SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

November 4, 2013

Column: A look at what others are saying

(Continued)

The public institutions of higher education are under intense pressure to respond to the marketplace. The ongoing efforts by UMaine and the Academy of Arts and Sciences show that a liberal arts education is one of the best ways to do that.

— The Portland (Maine) Press Herald

What took so long? In Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, former Democratic Party chairman under President Bill Clinton and the Democratic nominee for governor, is running against a strong tea party advocate, Ken Cuccinelli.

The race was predicted to be close. In spite of exposure of both candidates’ past problems, recent polls show the race becoming one-sided in favor of McAuliffe. He has surged to a substantial lead, to the consternation of those Republicans who, echoing the tea party program, preached that only a right-wing candidate can win elections.

The gubernatorial race in the home state of Eric Cantor — a House Republican leader whose obduracy against Obamacare led to the federal shutdown and a dismal drop for his party in national popularity polls — may turn out to be the second recent resounding defeat of a Republican candidate chosen by the party’s right wing.

Cory Booker, a New Jersey Democrat, easily beat his tea party-endorsed Republican opponent in that state’s Senate race. Now Virginia, a swing state, seems likely to elect a Democrat over another tea party Republican.

The reluctance of some Democratic bigwigs to get involved in this race when it was a toss-up has changed. Hillary Clinton not only resoundingly re-endorsed her friend McAuliffe but made a fundraising appearance on his behalf last week.

If it is at all possible, you can be sure of the Clintons being on the side of the projected winner.

In the meantime, we do not see many national proponents of the tea party position rushing to Virginia to help their acolyte Cuccinelli. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and his cohorts are too busy telling us that they — and only they — are doing the right thing for their country, and those of us who do not agree with them are leading our country to ruin.

If Cruz tries to sell his program outside Texas and the other deep South states that support him, he may be one of the best assets the Democrats have.

Cruz has a number of years before he is a candidate for re-election. By that time, Texas may have changed just enough to find Cruz battling for his job.

— The Journal Inquirer of Manchester, Conn.

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