The more I am around Lt Governor Bill Bolling, the more impressed I get. I attended the luncheon he hosted on Monday here in Roanoke. Bolling started his comments by telling the audience how good of friends he and Governor Kaine are and what a decent person the Governor is. I don’t think half the people in the crowd knew what to say or think. But, Bolling went on to say that in spite of the great personal relationship they have, they don’t always agree on policy and went into a lengthy rant about the Governor’s new budget. With this, the crowd’s spirits lifted a bit. I too disagree with much of Kaine’s politics, but also feel that the Governor is a good, decent person. I commend Bolling for his candor. First class all the way.
Bolling went on to talk about the State of our Republican Party. Two of his points really made an impression on me. He reminded those in attendance that “the enemy is not in this room”. He said Republicans had to stop fighting each other and that “a house divided will fall”. I couldn’t help but imagine how a few in the crowd who participated in the primary smear of Senator Bell felt. Uncomfortable, I hope.
Bolling also said that we need to define our Republican Party not by what we are against, but what we are for. It’s easy to be against things. It doesn’t require any deep thought. Many in our party will state their opposition to a proposal, but rarely offer their own solutions for the problem. Bolling said that wasn’t good enough any more and I agree. He mentioned education. He said the Republican Party cannot be defined as the party opposed to public education. It’s non-sense, but that’s the impression many in the public have. We’ve got to change that. Recently, I’ve been thinking about how the Democrats have successfully labeled us as the anti-environment party. Again, that’s a losing proposition. Most people want clean air and clean water. Do we really want to be the party against those things? That doesn’t sound like a winning election theme to me.