CDS: Cuccinelli Derangement Syndrome. When Ken Cuccinelli looks in the mirror I have to wonder if he sees Barack Obama in the reflection. The reflected image is perfectly reversed but eerily identical. Few of today’s politicians evoke the “amped up” emotional response of President Barack Obama. People either love him or hate him. There is no middle ground. So too, Ken Cuccinelli presents the same potential for emotional response. Attorney General Cuccinelli recently announced his intent to run for governor in 2013. Nobody said, “Well, he might be a good governor. I’m not sure. I’d like to see his campaign unfold and then I’ll decide.” Oh, no. Ken Cuccinelli is either the political equivalent of the anti Christ or the one true hope for the future of Virginia.
The origins of a
Fascist, Leader, Reactionary, Savior, Whatever. Ken Cuccinelli was born in the midst of the Hippie Years – in the summer of 1968. He started life in Edison, N.J., but somehow made it to Gonzaga High School in D.C. for four years of Jesuit training. In an irony of politics, the man who would be the most conservative governor of Virginia in decades graduated from Gonzaga shortly after the man who is the most liberal governor of Maryland in decades – Martin O’Malley. It seems the Jesuits of Gonzaga inspire more of a passion for politics than a consistency of political belief. Preceding Martin O’Malley at Gonzaga was conservative stalwart Pat Buchanan. The Cooch must have done well enough at Gonzaga since he got into the University of Virginia where he earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering followed by an M.A. and a J.D.+ from George Mason University.
A Semi-Professional Politician. Kenny didn’t waste a whole lot of time between his two graduate degrees and his entry into politics. As far as I can figure it, Cooch was an undergrad until he was 22, then spent 4 years in graduate school – making him 26 (in 1994). He won his Virginia Senate seat in 2002 – so he had about 8 years of doing something non-governmental and (presumably) useful. I am sure that some will claim that state senators are only part time politicians but, to me, that’s like being a part time prostitute. You may have have other sources of income but you’re still a prostitute.
Given his election as Attorney General, aspirations to be governor, and who knows what after that – I guess those eight years may be the only time in his working life where he will have existed in the cold, cruel world of private enterprise. However, he will no doubt extol the virtues of the “job creators” he has never been and has no intention of becoming.
An AG for the AGes. Most people who become Attorney General in Virginia lead a relatively quiet, behind-the-scenes political existence. Not AG Cuccinelli. He roared out to national notoriety with an opinion that Virginia’s colleges could not include sexual orientation as a protected class. Bob McDonnell quickly issued an executive order essentially refuting the Attorney General’s opinion. But that was just the start. He filed briefs complaining about the federal government’s “interference” in Arizona’s strict anti illegal immigration laws, he sued against ObamaCare, he sued both the EPA and UVA over global warming. All that happened in the first six months he was in office! Despite all this, Cuccinelli sometimes surprises. For example, he opined that George Mason’s ban of handguns on campus was legal and constitutional, a move that infuriated hard core conservatives.
Put a governor on that! Cuccinelli’s last year as Attorney General has been a lot quieter than his first. It’s almost as if he were reconsidering whether his actions might hurt his future ambitions. Surprise, surprise … on December 1, 2011 Cuccinelli announced his candidacy for governor. Yet even that sparked controversy. Many Virginia Republican leaders put down their double martinis and Robb Report magazines long enough to express shock and outrage. How dare he violate the Oath of the Descendants of Pocohontas by stepping between the Lieutenant Governor and the nomination? How dare he force a primary that will give the non-Descendants a voice in choosing the Republican candidate? Northern Virginia Whippersnapper!
White smoke over the capitol. Regardless of what one may think of the Cooch, he makes a much more compelling candidate than Bill Bolling. I can only imagine the downcast looks on a number of would-be Democratic gubernatorial contenders who heard the news – here comes Ken again.
Good for Virginia. I think that anything that breaks the status quo is good for Virginia. Instead of a coronation of Bill Bolling there will be a primary. Who knows, maybe Sean Connaughton will even summon up the temerity to run for governor rather than take the Descendant – mandated role of Lieutenant Governor. Let’s hope so.