Saturday, August 15, 2009

Joe Abbey Denies Larry Sabato's Claims of a Campaign Shake Up

It looks like when it comes down to who knows more about the status of Creigh Deeds' gubernatorial campaign, it's "Not Larry Sabato" who has more credibility than Larry Sabato. Despite Larry Sabato's claims to have numerous anonymous sources who claimed that there was going to be a shake-up in the Deeds campaign, that change hasn't happened and campaign staffers have come out strongly in support of Joe Abbey continuing to be the campaign manager. Then, during a conference call with bloggers and members of the mainstream media, Abbey addressed the issue himself.

Quite frankly, it was very easy for me to tell who was telling the truth in this situation. Larry Sabato kept insisting he had anonymous sources, while Ben Tribbett (aka "Not Larry Sabato") was able to repeatedly site high ranking campaign officials such as Monica Dixon and Mo Elleithee who claimed that Joe was "definitely still the campaign manager" and they "work for Joe." There's also the fact that even when he was pressured, Sabato couldn't come up with any concrete action of what the shake-up would be or who was giving him the information.

What I think makes this whole situation worthy of discussion is that it makes it perfectly clear that many pundits have a personal agenda even if they are supposed to be non-partisan. There has been some questions about whether or not Sabato called races a certain way depending on a lawmaker getting his program funding. Furthermore, there's also been suggestions that Sabato might have gone after Abbey because he was the one who delivered the message that Creigh wouldn't be participating in a debate Sabato wanted to moderate.

In the end, this whole situation ultimately proves that you have to evaluate the source of your information. Furthermore, it definitely raises some questions about whether or not Larry Sabato should be the go-to political pundit for Virginia and if his program should still be supported by taxpayers.

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