are my principles, and if you don't like them...
well, I have others." --Groucho Marx
Marx might as well have been Jerry Kilgore’s
campaign manager--no one would have known the
political insiders and pundits, one of the
greatest mysteries of 2005 is Kilgore’s blind
allegiance to his campaign manager, Ken Hutcheson.
Kilgore got a lot of grief from a number of
conservative Republicans for keeping Hutcheson on
the top spot of the campaign team.
was anathema to most conservatives. In 2003 he
managed the campaign of state Senator Chichester,
R-Northumberland -- affectionately known in this
column as Sir John, and to others as as Commissar
Chichester -- who was the architect and primary
enabler of the 2004 tax increase.
also managed the campaigns of several other
stealth Republicans, such as State Sen. Russ
Potts, R-Winchester, who ended up running against
Kilgore as an “independent Republican.”
of these red flags seemed to bother Kilgore in any
way. Worse, when the cries for Hutcheson’s
removal were reduced to a steady drumbeat, Kilgore
circled the wagons and stuck with “Hutch” all
the way to his infamous defeat.
Kilgore’s political future lays in ruins,
Hutcheson will continue being employed by
tax-and-spend, liberal RINOs (Republican in Name
Only) who are singularly responsible for the sorry
shape of our state’s runaway spending spree.
Instead of being banished, Hutcheson will continue
to collect handsome fees from those who see
Kilgore’s demise as meeting the goals of their
Virginia Club for Growth and other conservative
organizations made no secret of the fact that
Kilgore’s campaign strategy was unacceptable to
conservative voters. We repeatedly warned the
Kilgore campaign that they should take principled
positions against taxes and government spending.
Unfortunately, we were shunned like everyone else
who dared to admit publicly that the emperor wore
Kilgore’s colossal defeat, one candidate who
stood on principle won a monumental and convincing
victory. I’m speaking of course, of Lt. Gov.-elect,
herein lies the greatest unreported story in this
election cycle: Bolling managed to stave off the
tsunami that sank Kilgore. And in the process, he
picked up another seat from the Democrats in the
mainstream press has covered this election as a
big defeat for the Republican Party. The focus has
been on Tim Kaine’s win and the pundits have
been mesmerized by the fact that a liberal was
again elected in Virginia, which by all accounts
still remains a Red State.
the facts are these: Before the 2005 election, the
Democrats controlled two out of the three
statewide offices, i.e., the Governorship and Lt.
Governorship, while it now looks likely that they
will control only the Governorship. The Attorney
General’s race is still being contested in a
recount, but it looks like the Republican
candidate, Bob McDonnell, will prevail with a
small lead over his opponent.
the question the pundits should be asking has
nothing to do with Republican losses. Instead,
they should be focusing on how Bill Bolling
managed to win in the face of improbable odds,
given Jerry Kilgore’s complete collapse and lack
of political coattails.
win is a tribute to his campaign team, which came
up with a brilliant strategy and stuck to it all
the way to victory. Bolling showed how campaigns
are won, and his campaign strategy should be
studied for years to come.
important distinction in the two campaigns
centered on one word: “Principles.” While
Kilgore showed no principles -- he tried to appeal
to everyone and in the end only managed to appeal
to a minority of the electorate -- Bill Bolling
stood fast by his conservative principles.
was the only candidate on the statewide ticket to
sign the taxpayer protection pledge. He never
veered from the principles that have won him the
admiration of conservative voters across the
even though a number of conservative voters stayed
home on Election Day, disgusted with the top of
the Republican ticket, Bolling garnered almost
67,000 votes more than Kilgore. This goes to show
that even moderate and liberal voters respect and
vote for candidates who stand on principle.
Calwell, an Australian politician (1896-1973) once
said: “It’s better to be defeated on principle
than to win on lies.” That was good advice in
Calwell’s times and it continues to be good
November 14, 2005