Judging Bob McDonnell's Schoolwork

Virginia liberals get their first chance to counterattack a leading Republican for governor after his master's thesis is revealed

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This year's Virginia gubernatorial race is being seen by many national observers as a referendum on Barack Obama, but that lens is mostly useless when trying to evaluate a stunning local development: the Republican candidate's master's thesis. The paper, unearthed by the Washington Post, has Bob McDonnell saying he believes feminists are "detrimental" to families and that a 1972 Supreme Court case legalizing contraception for married couples is "illogical."

McDonnell has been consistently beating Democrat Creigh Deeds in polls, but this scandal of sorts has liberal Virginia bloggers showing Deeds the way to attack McDonnell.

No Moderate Fake Virginia said McDonnell's claim that he's in the mainstream of the commonwealth's politics is not true after this revelation. The fact that this was a college thesis doesn't make it irrelevant for the blog. "As the Post points out, McDonnell wrote this document, not as a college student, but as a 34 year adult. In it, he laid out a 15 point plan for the GOP. As an elected official, he’s pursued 10 of these 15 goals according to the Post."

"Look, let's face it, Bob McDonnell's not just outside the mainstream of American politics generally," wrote Blue Virginia, "he's even outside the mainstream of the Republican Party." Blue Virginia went on to call McDonnell "Sideshow Bob."

Keep Up the Attacks
Not Larry Sabato said the Democrat is attacking McDonnell as an anti-abortion extremist in hopes that the tactic will win the race as it helped do in 1989 for Democrat Doug Wilder. "Creigh Deeds['s] strategy may be very 1989. But Bob McDonnell's position on abortion is 1909!"

For the record McDonnell told the Post that his thesis doesn't represent his views today and that he hasn't thought about the paper in years.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.