The more or less already-doomed Republican candidate for Virginia's Senate seat, Jim Gilmore, gives us a lesson on how to try to massage a terrible record in this interview with local TV anchor Jay Warren:
WARREN: “The perception is that Jim Gilmore screwed up the budget and economy [as governor] and [the next governor] Mark Warner had to come in and fix it. You left us with a budget deficit and he left us with a surplus. How do you change that dynamic and perception during the campaign?”
GILMORE: “Well, you can’t have a deficit in Virginia, it’s against the law.”
WARREN: “Okay … a budget shortfall.”
Semantics. The Virginia Constitution prohibits submitting a budget that has a deficit, but the multimillion-dollar revenue "shortfall" Gilmore left was basically the same thing. (The Roanoke Times editorialized at the time that "the debt-happy Gilmore administration's disdain for honest accounting and fiscal responsibility is breathtaking in its audacity," and that fiscal foolishness did a lot to hand the Democrats the governor's office in 2001.)
Ah, Jim Gilmore. The gift that keeps on giving.