Remember when former Virginia Gov. Doug Wilder, the first black elected governor in the South since Reconstruction, turned up unexpectedly at a Mitt Romney campaign event a while back? Wilder, who had been mayor of Richmond and governor of Virginia, explained that with a laugh and said he mistakenly turned up at the wrong building in Richmond. But he was there, and had to get past several Romney signs and the obvious trappings of a campaign event to get into the room, where he was acknowledged from the stage. The Tatler had a trusted source in the room who witnessed the whole thing.
With all of that in mind, now consider how Wilder describes Barack Obama. Wilder endorsed Obama in 2008. This year, though…
“I have campaigned for and supported the president in the past and many people now want to discuss his job performance with me,” Wilder writes in a column for Reuters.
“They often note that Obama ran as a moderate — and that is the man they threw their support behind in 2008. But some look back and say that he has governed as a left-of-center liberal who did not keep the focus squarely on jobs and economic recovery.
“Is that group of independent-minded voters enough to swing Virginia’s 13 electoral votes away from Obama on Tuesday? The race is so close, we will have to wait until November 6 for a definitive answer. But for a state Obama may need to win, that uncertainty after almost four years on the job cannot be a great comfort to his campaign operatives.”
Wilder, by the way, is a moderate and governed as such. It’s easy to see how he could have been swayed by Obama’s 2008 rhetoric, and just as easy to see how he could be disenchanted with Obama now. Obama made a fool of every moderate Democrat who endorsed him.
Now see how Wilder describes Mitt Romney.
“The Republicans endured a bad nominating process. Yet in the end, they seem to have chosen a credible candidate that many Virginians tell me they would feel fairly comfortable with in the Oval Office.
“Democrats counted on using ad hominem attacks to make Romney seem too unworthy and too unsteady to be the country’s chief executive because of the rough nominating process. But that has not been 100 percent effective.”
That’s a Doug Wilder endorsement of Mitt Romney.
Update: Wilder just stated on Fox that he’s still voting for Obama. That’s disappointing.