This afternoon Mark Obenshain demonstrated that he is indeed a Virginia gentleman by gracefully conceding to Mark Herring when a recount showed that more voters had indeed voted for Herring. In conceding, and in calling to congratulate Herring, Mark Obenshain showed that he was head and shoulders above his running mates Ken Cuccinelli and E.W. Jackson.
It must be conceded that had Ken Cuccinelli run a competent campaign--and had he not been so ethically compromised--and had the Republican Lieutenant Governor nominee been almost anyone but E.W. Jackson, then Obenshain would have almost certainly won this close race.
It will be interesting to see how the Republican Party of Virginia will react to this turn of events. A Democratic sweep the year after Democratic Presidential win hasn't occurred in four decades. It would seem that a change of leadership at the Republican Party of Virginia is in order.
Likewise, I think that most would have to admit that this year's election were a setback for the Tea Party. You'd be hard pressed to find more Tea Party-ish candidates than Ken Cuccinelli and E.W. Jackson, and all they accomplished was to drag Mark Obenshain under. It will be interesting to see how Virginia's Republican politicians attempt to thread the needle of appealing to the Tea Party wing during the primary/convention while remaining viable in the general election.
So congratulations to Mark Herring for pulling out a razor-thin win against a very skilled Republican politician--and congratulations to Mark Obenshain who, even in defeat, showed class and poise and who, in spite of his loss, has emerged with an enhanced reputation. We haven't seen the last of Mark Obenshain.