Neither Gov. Ralph Northam nor Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, each embroiled in scandal, gives any indication they are considering leaving office despite the broad consensus of Virginia’s political establishment that they do so. That doesn’t absolve the two Democrats of the obligation to address unanswered questions. To the contrary, the need is all the more urgent given that they have shaken the trust of even many ardent supporters.

For Northam, who spun heads by denying he’d appeared in a racist yearbook photograph less than 24 hours after admitting it, the questions mainly concern his credibility. How does he intend to repair it?

The questions for Fairfax arise in part from his intemperate responses to accusations by two women that he sexually assaulted them.

He has referred to the accusations as a “smear” and called them a “coordinated” conspiracy against him.

A lawyer and former federal prosecutor, he understands the meaning of words. So on what does he base his assertion?

Northam and Fairfax may believe they can weather the storm by holding tight and uttering platitudes about reconciliation and respect.

The reality is that there are factual issues to be addressed. Both men had better address them, if they can.

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