The browser or device you are using is out of date. It has known security flaws and a limited feature set. You will not see all the features of some websites. Please update your browser. A list of the most popular browsers can be found below.
A second term all but assured, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is casting himself as an inclusive Republican who transcends political lines and a pragmatic leader whose results-oriented approach offers valuable lessons for dysfunctional party leaders in Washington.
"We need to send a message to all of America that the only way our state and our country gets better is if people work together across the aisle," Christie said during a rally in the campaign's waning days at an Elks Lodge packed with pro-Christie Democrats. "My job is to be the CEO of this state, not to be some ideologue."
Democrats and Republicans agree that Christie always was positioned to win big in his first re-election test. Challenger Barbara Buono has struggled to attract support from even her party's most devoted allies.
President Obama and fellow Democrats attempted Sunday to tap into voter anger about a 16-day U.S. government shutdown and turn Virginia's upcoming governor's election into a referendum on Tea Party conservatives.
With Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe leading polls over Republican Ken Cuccinelli before Tuesday's vote, Obama and Democratic speakers at a rally in the Washington suburb of Arlington pressed party activists to focus on turning out the vote.
"This election is going to say a lot about Virginia's future, and the country's future," said Obama.
On Monday, Vice President Biden echoed the president's sentiment that Virginia's gubernatorial race is a 'critical decision' for both the state and the nation: whether Virginians 'choose progress or turn back the clock on women, gays and the middle class.'
Offering generic praise for Democrat Terry McAuliffe as smart, tough and grounded, Biden reserved his fervor for McAuliffe's opponent, Republican Ken Cuccinelli, whom he lambasted as the "loudest voice in America" opposing women's access to health care. He called Virginia a bellwether for the nation, calling the bitter race to replace outgoing Gov. Bob McDonnell a major fight between the new face of progress in the U.S. and the "faces of the new Republican tea party."
"A tea party whose social recidivism is outdone only by its hostility to science and technology, innovation and scholarship," Biden said, "led by a candidate whose views on women — you know them well — but I think it's fair to say are from another era."
Terry McAuliffe, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and confidante of Bill and Hillary Clinton, has reportedly used his extensive political Rolodex to repeatedly land lucrative investments and cash out at the right moment. His last venture — an electric-car company called GreenTech that was supposed to pad his job-creating credentials after his failed 2009 bid for Virginia governor — is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Meanwhile, GOP candidate Ken Cuccinelli, the state attorney general, has been one of the most strident anti-abortion voices in the state, supporting a controversial so-called personhood bill that would have given legal rights to human embryos. Cuccinelli is a favorite of the tea party.
How do the voters feel about their options? "They're both idiots," Rob Piester, resident of Arlington, told Khan in October. "They both have this sleaze about them."
Detroit's infrastructure is sagging, crime and corruption remain high, and, as a final kick in the butt, it filed for bankruptcy in July and its major spending decisions are now handled by a state-appointed emergency financial manager.
"All of this begs the question," asks Steve Miller. "Who would want to be mayor of the nation’s punch line?"
The answer, it seems, is a pair of candidates whose trajectories may need as much of a recovery as the city they hope to oversee. It certainly isn’t sitting Mayor Dave Bing, who announced in May he would not seek re-election.
The campaign has the look and feel of any other mayoral race in a major U.S. city. Candidates Benny Napoleon and Mike Duggan will raise and spend millions before the Nov. 5 election in pursuit of an office some blame for being part of the city’s storied economic hardships.
But the outcome may not matter much.
“Whoever is elected mayor will not have any power right away,” said Bill Ballenger, editor and publisher of Inside Michigan Politics. “He will have to wait and see how quickly the city can emerge.”