It is not like I didn’t spot the Ken Cuccinelli train wreck coming up around the bend. The aggressively partisan, undisciplined conservative is running for governor in a state that is, at the very least, purple in political complexion and where “the Virginia way” is a preference for old-fashioned decorum and grace. Politico reports that he is coming out with a “252-page tea party jeremiad of blistering attacks on government in general and President Barack Obama in particular that could make it difficult to broaden his appeal to the kinds of voters he needs to win in November.”
The hubris of Cuccinelli writing a book that is an instantaneous gift of oppo for his political opponents is not lost on savvy Virginia political operatives. Apparently Cuccinelli thought that “47 percent talk” in the 2012 presidential campaign was smart politics. His book picks up where Mitt Romney left off: “One of their favorite ways to increase their power is by creating programs that dispense subsidized government benefits, such as Medicare, Social Security, and outright welfare (Medicaid, food stamps, subsidized housing, and the like). These programs make people dependent on government. And once people are dependent, they feel they can’t afford to have the programs taken away, no matter how inefficient, poorly run, or costly to the rest of society. Creating government dependency is the typical method of operation for big-government statists.”
This, in a nutshell, is precisely what is wrong with the GOP and why it has so much trouble winning competitive races. Cuccinelli is preaching and screeching to the choir, ignoring the nonideological voters and painting himself as an ideologue. He sounds simultaneously clueless and mean-spirited.
So, it is time for a mea culpa. I called Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, who since dropped out of the race for the GOP nominee, boring. I’ll take boring! And sober, electable and disciplined. Bolling or some other center-right candidate should jump into the race. There is a real chance to win in a race with two candidates whose negatives are already high and whose personalities are likely to rub most people the wrong way.
Come on, who is game? The birthplace of Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and George Washington deserves better. And by the way, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), it is not too late to change your mind and primary Terry McAuliffe, win the Democratic primary and romp to victory. (He reportedly hates and is bored by the Senate anyway.) For Virginians that might work out just fine.