Op-Ed from Zell Milliband of Hanover County in response to the Virginia Right post “How Bill Janis Lost My Support In The Virginia Senate Race”:
I have only been in politics for several years, but I have never seen or heard of a political conversion as sharp and as stark as that of Tom White. That’s sad because I looked up to him as an even-handed grandfatherly political sage in the area. Mr. White’s endorsement of Janis would have made much more sense as recently as three years ago, but since then, Mr. White’s politics has taken a distinctly angry and even conspiratorial turn.
In spite of the V.M.I. connection (I have some college classmates whom I like personally but wouldn’t vote for them for dog catcher), these days, the initial endorsement of Bill Janis smelled like pots of chitterlings and collard greens slow cooking at the same time. It almost seemed like Mr. White was setting up Janis for an eventual endorsement retraction in much the same way as Lucy with Charlie Brown’s football. In his screed, he puts out a laundry list of reasons including the use of Ray Allen as a consultant and a missed committee vote. All of his complaints were common knowledge for a long time to anyone who has followed Bill Janis’ career in the slightest. Anyone who claims to be shocked was paying very little attention. Mr. White goes on to say the tipping point came when Bill Janis failed to answer a debate question to his satisfaction. That goes to show the weak Mr. White’s support was from the beginning.
When I was growing up, we would call people who change their minds on a whim “flighty”. When I came to observe Mr. White in the very beginning I never thought I would be describing him this way in any context. I do not know Bill Janis that well, but his political philosophy has not changed. He does not buy into factional politics and calls things as he sees them come what may. Based on Bill Janis’ voting record on his conduct during the time I have been involved in politics, he has been remarkably consistent in a profession with a flighty reputation. Isn’t it ironic that Tom White is more flighty than the politician?