Cuccinelli's No Good, Very Bad Week
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli got some good news this week as Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling decided not to wage a campaign against him for the Republican nomination for Governor. The celebration was short-lived however, as the rest of the week was filled with examples of Cuccinelli's extreme record and rhetoric catching up with him.
First there was a wave of news items focused on a WMAL radio interview in which Cuccinelli seemed to side with the fringe conspiracy theory that massive nationwide voter fraud aided President Obama's reelection effort:
Virginian-Pilot: Does Cuccinelli think soft voting laws helped Obama?
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, long an outspoken critic of President Barack Obama, in a recent interview may have gone a step further when he seemed to agree with a suggestion that lax voting laws aided Obama's re-election.
New York Times Blog: Life on the Voter-Fraud Fringe
"Last week, life on the Republican fringe got too uncomfortable even for Mr. Cuccinelli, when he found himself agreeing with a radio talk show host, Cheri Jacobus, who implied that President Obama stole the 2012 election."
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) said he "completely" agreed when a radio host suggested "there's something going on" with Obama's election win.
On November 20, Cheri Jacobus of WMAL radio said "we're hearing so many stories" about voter fraud and suggested she was suspicious about Obama's win in states "where photo ID is required.
Next came Bolling's decision to drop out of the GOP race for Governor while leaving the door open to an independing run and offering his assessment of Cuccinelli as a party team player and a potential Governor:
Richmond Times-Dispatch: Bolling will not endorse Cuccinelli
"I have no intentions to endorse a candidate in the campaign for governor," Bolling told the Richmond Times-Dispatch in an interview Wednesday.
"I have serious reservations about his ability to effectively and responsibly lead the state," he said of Cuccinelli. "And given those reservations, I could not in good conscience endorse his candidacy for governor."
Roanoke Times: Could Bolling run for governor as an independent?
"Under normal circumstances, I would be open to the possibility of running for another term as lieutenant governor, but I would not be interested in running on a statewide ticket with Mr. Cuccinelli," Bolling said."
Finally, as people across the Commonwealth realized that Bolling's concession put Cuccinelli one step closer to the Governor's mansion, several newspaper editorial boards sounded the alarm about the danger his extreme agenda poses:
Virginian-Pilot: The field clears for Cuccinelli
"During his tenure as attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli has distinguished himself as that rare politician whose missteps and bullying style have inflicted more damage to the commonwealth than to his own career. And so he trudges on, ascending the political ladder.
".But Bolling's latest decision effectively serves notice that the Republican Party of Virginia is poised to surrender to its more extreme, and temperamental, wing. The result is bad for the party and worse for Virginia."
Daily Press: Fewer Choices in 2013
"As for Mr. Cuccinelli, we can only hope that as the presumed GOP nominee, he has learned a lesson from Indiana's U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock and Missouri's Todd Akin. Those candidates became the laughing stock of social media and late-night TV with their boorish and inelegant remarks trumpeting their no-exception, anti-abortion agendas."
Staunton News-Leader: Virginia would be better with Bolling on the ballot
"That's a shame, not only for Bolling's current political hopes, but also for all Virginia Republicans. The convention will lay the groundwork for the other serious contender, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, whose outright embrace of all things ultra conservative - from legal attacks against a state university professor's work in climate change research to support of mandating invasive ultrasounds (at the woman's expense) for anyone seeking a legal abortion."
Ken Cuccinelli's extreme record may have given him a clear shot at the GOP nomination for Governor, but that won't help him with mainstream Virginia voters value good jobs, quality schools and safe, pro-growth infrastructure over fringe ideological crusades.