How has Gov. Northam survived months-long blackface scandal? Political analyst weighs in

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — It’s been nearly four months since Governor Ralph Northam’s blackface scandal first rocked the state’s capitol.

On Wednesday, a months-long investigation found “inconclusive findings” of who’s in the racist photo on Northam’s Eastern Virginia Medical School’s 1984 yearbook page.

So what now?

When the news first broke in early February, there were mounting calls of resignation. However, Virginia’s top Democrats all remain in office. 

“Scandal isn’t the disqualifier it used to be,” says Rich Meagher, 8News political analyst. “The politics of scandal… I think America has kind’ve moved to a place where we just accept it now…that’s part of how things work….”

Some have maintained their desire to see Northam step down following the controversy. Wednesday’s revelation proved no different from one NAACP official. 

“What we heard today was a PR blitz to try to heal the image of EVMS and heal Ralph Northam’s image around the nation so he can justify continuing to be Governor of the state,” says James Boyd, Portsmouth NAACP President. “…he needs to resign right now.”

Meagher insists that it’s unlikely for Northam to hold political office again. 

“There’s no way for voters to hold him accountable,” Meagher said. “What’s really important (is) not the voters position on him but other public officials …delegates, senators, candidates,” Meagher said. “We have primaries in a month and elections this fall.”

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