Cuccinelli Fails Early and Often


Slowly out of the blocks.  As the 2013 governor’s race gets underway Ken Cuccinelli finds himself stumbling in the early going.  Most of Cuccinelli’s wounds have been self-inflicted.  Individually, none of these slips have been significant.  However, taken as a whole, they may indicate a rudderless campaign  and/or an over-confident candidate.

Book of the Month Club.  Cuccinelli oddly decided to kick off his campaign with the publication of a book depicting himself as something of a hero beating back federal over-reach.  The book provided a distraction and was “off message” in a race for governor.

Double dipping.  Ken Cuccinelli ignored three decades of protocol by refusing to resign from his full time position as Attorney General in order to campaign for governor.  Four years ago, Republican Attorney General Bob McDonnell resigned in order to campaign for governor saying, “The office is a very difficult job. It demands a full-time attorney general to do the hard work that’s required.” Indeed.

Just being a dip.  After McAuliffe sent a Tweet advising Virginians to stay safe in the snow, Cuccinelli issued a bizarre, snarky response.  A Cuccinelli spokesperson said, “Terry McAuliffe is so out of touch with Virginia, that only he would tweet his concerns about a massive snowstorm in the Commonwealth, while palling around with his millionaire friends in Florida.” And where is our full time Attorney General now?  In Maryland, at CPAC, “palling around” with millionaires Donald Trump and Mitt Romney.  Let’s hope it doesn’t snow.

Where’s the beef.  The Washington Post‘s token conservative Jennifer Rubin wrote a column on Monday entitled, “Cuccinelli Must Get His Act Together”.  The ultra-right Ms. Rubin chastises Cuccinelli for his lack of proposed policies – “And lastly, as I have written here at Right Turn, he has no discernible agenda or specific policy items. Why is he running? What does he want to accomplish?”

Gridlock on gridlock.  Terry McAuliffe was given credit for working behind the scenes to help pass Bob McDonnell’s transportation proposal.  On the other hand, Cuccinelli knows he doesn’t like the compromise plan but isn’t too sure what he would do instead.  Weeks after the transportation measure was passed Cuccinelli is still “mum” on his position regarding the plan.  This is an odd situation for Mr. Cuccinelli given his willingness to lambaste the uncertainties in Obamacare.  It seems that Mr. Cuccinelli may be better suited to endless criticism of others than devising plans of his own.

Et tu, Vince?  Three former Republican legislators have already seen enough of the Cuccinelli campaign.  Forty year Republican General Assembly veteran Vince Callahan joined 32 year Republican vet Jim Dillard and Katherine Waddell in publicly announcing support for Tery McAuliffe.  Ouch!

D.J. Rippert

15 Responses to Cuccinelli Fails Early and Often

  1. I still think the right is going to turn out in droves and the left is going to sit at home.

  2. Give me Bill Bolling. McAuliffe doesn’t inspire confidence either.

  3. jeeze TMT … but you can’t choose Bolling now…so what do you do?


    the Cooch?

    • I’ve met and talked with both candidates. I liked some of the things McAuliffe said about the economy and jobs. But I felt he was very slippery and left feeling that I wouldn’t want to be his partner in business despite his strong track record of success. I felt as if I’d constantly need to watch my back even though I’d probably make a lot of money. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him give away tax money to developers.

      I’m a social moderate and am not very focused on social issues. I don’t like Cuccinelli’s focus on them. I feel much more comfortable with his views on government spending and taxation and his ability to work with legislators. I think he’d be more receptive to the concerns of the middle class than would McAullife. Cooch was correct when he called the financing for Dulles Rail Phase 1 a giveaway to the Tysons landowners.

      • I know Terry casually. I never met Ken. Terry can come across as a bit slippery although I think it’s more of a personality quirk than any intent to deceive. Cuccinelli is pretty slippery too. His end run around an open primary consistent with small “d” – democratic – ideals was not just slippery, it was downright slimy. You don’t have a chance to vote for Bolling as the Republican candidate because a greased eel named Ken Cuccinelli took that choice away from you.

        Being governor is a problem in management. Cuccinelli has never managed anything substantial in his life. We don’t need to provide on the job training to a guy in charge of a $45+B annual budget.

        ” … and his ability to work with legislators.” Wow. You have got to be kidding me. Cuccinelli is an ideological purist. He can’t work with the Republican governor or the Republican Lt Governor. Three former Republican legislators have already endorsed McAuliffe. McAuliffe helped to form the bipartisan compromise on transportation. There may be good ideological reasons to like the Cooch. However, a record of working with legislators – especially across the aisle – is not one of them.

        • Vince Callahan was an abject failure as a legislator. I’ve been at many meetings where he would whine that he didn’t have the votes to do X or Y. Example, sound walls on the Dulles Connector. Janet Howell, Margi Vanderhye, Barbara Comstock and Jim Scott got the money over several sessions. Example, restrictions on development. Tim Kaine got the 527 Traffic Impact Analysis through the GA without a dissenting vote. The 527 TIA process has stopped an awful lot of outrageous development proposals. Both Margi Vanderhye and Barbara Comstock put Callahan to shame.

          Callahan wanted to be liked by the developers. I may still write in Bolling.

  4. That Bolling looks to some people like a rational choice is a sad commentary on the two main party candidates.

  5. we are as they say, in a heap of dog do.

  6. Larry,

    I completely agree. I think the Virginia media is simply missing the story by focusing on way too early polls showing a “tight race.”

    The right is going to turn out. The D’s I know are not enthusiastic about McAuliffe. I just don’t sense any enthusiasm. And as 2012 and 2004 demonstrated, just saying “I’m not the other guy” doesn’t work.

  7. Yup – it’s Cuccinellis’ to lose. One way he does that is he shows more of himself to votes and scares the hell of those originally intending to stay home.

  8. Cuccinelli is working on a transportation plan. I’ll be very interested to see the details. I can’t imagine that it would be any worse than the McDonnell/McAuliffe approach, which is pretty much Business As Usual — tax more, spend more.

    • Please tell Mr. Cuccinelli he is not running for US Senate. Hemming and hawing may be fine for senators but are not good traits in a governor. Did Mr. Cuccinelli miss all the talk about transportation that has dominated Virginia politics for the last decade? Presumably not. Yet, he announced his intention to run for governor without any consideration as to his position on transportation? Really? I am beginning to think this guy is either plainly incompetent or such an ego maniac he thinks he can win without any position on the issues. He’s running an unfocused and rudderless campaign. I believe he will be an unfocused and rudderless governor if he is elected.

  9. Dillard, Waddell and Callahan were part of the long gone Big Tent Republican Party. I doubt any of them could get nominated today. Whether that is good or bad for the future of the GOP in Virginia, I’ll leave others to say. Jim and Vince made major contributions as members of the House, Ms. Waddell didn’t have time to make an impact. All three had strong pro-choice voting records (well, Callahan may have been more middle of the road.) Their support for McAuliffe qualifies as No Surprise. But they do indicate where this race could be decided — Fairfax and Henrico counties — and by whom — moderate white boomer voters (and their voting age children!) who are not as pro-life or anti-gay as the current GOP orthodoxy.

    I’m not sure it is “Cuccinelli’s to lose.” With all his problems, McAuliffe is not Creigh Deeds and he could have a President of the United States, maybe a former POTUS and two very popular United States Senators in his corner swinging. He’ll appear with Clinton west of Lynchburg and Obama east and north of of Richmond, and with Warner and Kaine everywhere. The major rap on Obama, the anemic economic recovery, may be totally old news by next November. Transportation should be off the table, unless promises are made to repeal the 2013 bill. So this may be a social issues election and the recent legislative activities of the General Assembly make it impossible to use the old dodge that abortion is not a state issue. So I would agree with those who say the quality of the Cuccinelli camapign and vision is crucial — this is hardly a cakewalk.

    • Points well taken. I think jobs will be the key. The sequester will have an impact on Virginia. What to do about getting replacement jobs into the state. That is 2013′s big thing.

  10. both candidates will need to show more of themselves to more Virginia’s if they want to win more votes.

    the question is if they show more of who they are will it benefit them or the opposite?

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