The focus in the news has been Governor Northam this week. Just a few days ago, the governor of our great commonwealth, interviewed on WTOP’s “Ask the Governor,” defended the Repeal Act which would reverse protective legislation in the state of Virginia. The protective laws in place, for example, include a parental notification/consent law and a law that requires an ultrasound before an abortion
In his comments, the governor also defended abortions up to birth and the idea of a third-trimester abortion where, if the infant is born alive, he or she could be left to die. As egregiously pro-abortion as this is, he was being defended by supporters.
The pro-life movement in Virginia mobilized and some voters were beginning to express their shock.
Move forward about 48 hours and it’s revealed that the governor’s profile page from his medical school yearbook includes a photo of two people: one in blackface and one in a KKK costume. The governor issued an apology for appearing in the photo but then backtracked and said he was not in the photo BUT that he did appear in blackface at a different event where he portrayed Michael Jackson.
I don’t know if Virginia has a provision for impeachment but quite a number of state and federal representatives on both sides of the aisle are calling for Governor Northam to resign. So far, he refuses.
As an aside, I think his crisis communications team is doing a poor job of dealing with this. It may be that they are having a hard time because he wants to do things his way but it’s the job of the communications team to vet responses and address the issue consistently. If you were at fault, apologize. Apologize first to those you have offended then apologize to everyone else. And then, don’t back track. Don’t apologize then defend. That’s not an apology.
But the KKK costume? It was bad in 1984 and it’s bad today. Some might argue that blackface in 1984 could be a “youthful indiscretion” but the KKK costume cannot be defended.
Can he survive? I’ll be shocked if he can.