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Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R)
Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R)
Once in a while, I do get things right. Back in June, Republicans formally did away with their primary and instead choose their gubernatorial nominee via convention. Concentrating decision-making power in the hands of the hardest-core activists was only going to benefit Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a movement conservative darling, and make life impossible for Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, the establishment choice who'd patiently waited his turn to run for governor. And what did I say at the time?
I'm not even sure how Bolling has any shot at the nomination now and I wouldn't be surprised if he gave up.
On Wednesday, bowing to the inevitable, Bolling did indeed drop out of the race. I don't even think he could have won an ordinary primary, but a convention was definitely a bridge too far—something he himself recognized in saying that party regulars had put up "too many obstacles for us to overcome" by deliberately choosing the convention route.

Now there's a question as to whether Bolling will seek reelection as LG, something he has yet to address publicly. While Virginia has the strictest-in-the-nation term limits for its governors, there are no limits whatsoever on the number two spot. However, a whole ton of other Republicans have already declared their plans to run for lite gov, though, and guess what? That nod, as with the gubernatorial slot, will also get decided via convention. So it's possible Bolling could even get squeezed out of renomination to his own job. Double ouch.

As for the governor's race, I'm going to say that this move is not a major positive for Democrats, and if anything might be a negative. Bolling tended to slightly out-perform Cuccinelli in hypothetical head-to-head matchups with Democrats, and the Cooch definitely has worse favorability ratings with left-leaning voters, so there's little doubt Democrats would prefer to face him in the general. But that was already extremely likely—as I say, it's why Bolling dropped out.

Still, though, a nomination fight would have pushed the already mega-wingnutty Cuccinelli even further to the right, whereas now he can try to moderate himself a bit. That said, Cuccinelli is a true believer and probably is intellectually disinclined to changing his profile—and in any event, it's not like he doesn't already have a long track record of extreme statements and actions that can be used against him. So for all this sturm und drang, I expect Bolling's departure to change little.

P.S. There's also a little bit of news on the Democratic side, where "sources close to" ex-Rep. Tom Perriello, a favorite of many progressives, tell the Huffington Post that he's considering a run for governor. That would set him up (in a normal primary—Democrats don't do the convention thing) against 2009 candidate and former DNC chief Terry McAuliffe.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 01:40 PM PST.

Also republished by Virginia Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  All I know is... (12+ / 0-)

    I will do everything possible to prevent Virginia Gov. Cucinelli from ever becoming a reality!

    Message to Dems: We HAVE to start showing up for Midterms.

    by Jank2112 on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 01:47:58 PM PST

  •  Terry McAuliffe? (7+ / 0-)

    VA Dems can't do any better than that?
    I'm sorry but that's pathetic. McAuliffe carries a lot of responsibility for the Republicanization, or at least the corporatization of the Democratic Party, something that we are finally seeing subside.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 01:50:50 PM PST

    •  I'll take him over Cooch.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kysen, CwV

      but he couldn't even dispatch weak primary opposition four years ago. Let him run for Lt. Governor and if he wins he can run for governor in 2017.

    •  Yes, in VA we always seem to vote for the (0+ / 0-)

      Republican-lite when we don't elect a Republican outright. As a candidate McCauliffe excites me as much as a dead fish. The ONLY thing I can say in his favor is "He's not Cooch." And that's a sad endorsement. If anyone has info on the other guy  who's considering running - sorry, had minor surgery today and am more than a little foggy right now, and too damn lazy and queasy to look him up for myself! - I'd be interested to hear it.

  •  Bill Bolling is an idiot. And a better choice (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    for governor than Savonarola . . . I mean Coochie Coochinelli.

    Courage is contagious. - Daniel Ellsberg

    by semiot on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 02:04:18 PM PST

  •  Perriello yes... (5+ / 0-)

    McAuliffe no (see Deeds, Creigh).

    "We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis D. Brandeis

    by VA6thDem on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 02:08:03 PM PST

    •  Deeds vs. McAuliffe (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rich in PA, Kysen, brooklynbadboy

      To me, Deeds was the "Who is that guy?" candidate, whereas McAuliffe is more of an, "Oh, THAT guy."  The idea of putting McAuliffe on the ballot always struck me as more of a blatantly political maneuver rather than one for our benefit, as if the national Democratic party had to install their own bureaucrat to keep us in line.

      I'll admit I don't know much about Perriello, but there are plenty of democrats here in Montgomery County who vouch for him.

      "O mulier, magna est fides tua. Fiat tibi sicut vis."

      by rujoking on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 03:16:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Deeds and McAuliffe have different failings (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Virginia Victory

      McAuliffe does at least know to come to a gun fight with a gun, which Deeds refused to do. McAuliffe has more than his share of flaws, but fundraising and willingness to "mud wrestle" when needed may be what is required here.

      If Perriello is to overcome McAuliffe in that nomination battle, he'll have to lose very close in NoVA and  win solidly pretty much everywhere else. I predict that a few weeks into his "listening tour", Perriello will be "strongly encouraged" to alter his campaign to a Lt. Governor run.

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:17:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am in Virginia... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ammasdarling, wombat

    and, by a mile, I would prefer to see Perriello over McAuliffe.

    By SEVERAL miles.

    /fingers crossed

    Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.

    by Kysen on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 02:12:44 PM PST

  •  Hadn't heard Perriello was considering the run (0+ / 0-)

    just knew Warner had said no

    Though McAuliffe had it in the bag but I have seen how hard Perriello works and think if he wants to do it, he could win it!

    There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it. ~Author Unknown

    by VA Breeze on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 02:27:00 PM PST

  •  GOPers love them nuts and insane (0+ / 0-)

    "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

    by LaurenMonica on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 02:59:16 PM PST

  •  VA Dems should take a lesson from VA goopers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VA Breeze

    Dump your establishment candidate and go with the true believer.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 03:32:15 PM PST

  •  More Cooch? (0+ / 0-)

    OMG, just what Virginia needs. coochwatch.com/

    Being "pro-life" means believing that every child born has a right to food, education, and access to health care.

    by Jilly W on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 03:47:38 PM PST

  •  McAuliffe could easily lose to Cuccinelli... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wombat

    because he is so much a 1% candidate.  Given a choice between a far-right kook and a corrupt hack, the kook could well win.  

    To nominate McAuliffe feels like a Democratic death wish.

    •  No freakin way...all terry has to say (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VA Breeze

      Is conch sued Obama over obamacare!  That will bring out the 2012 voters...

      Cooch watch is a fab website.  He now has an extreme history that will make for some great ads!

      Takin it to the Streets! time to GOTV

      by totallynext on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 04:16:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I was hoping Periello would get in. Fact is, (0+ / 0-)

    the Cooch is batshit crazy. TMac isn't my kind of guy.

  •  Wrong on all account about mcauliffe (0+ / 0-)

    Terry Is a great candidate.  He has been working Virginia for the past three years, and he excites the base and the party diehards.   Here is the best of all, he will keep the Obama voters engaged (unlike deeds who ran away from Obama at the first chance and did t darken the door in NOVA). Shoot deeds didn't even win NOVA that outta tell you something.

    Terry will have non stop support from the Big Dog in addition to Hillary once she resigns from SoS...that will make big difference in the turnout compared to 2009.

    Tom is great but not ready for prime time in Virginia.  

    Takin it to the Streets! time to GOTV

    by totallynext on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 04:14:49 PM PST

  •  Draft Rick Boucher! (0+ / 0-)

    Its unlikely, but I would like to see Rick Boucher run for the Democratic nod for Governor. Tom Perrriello would be a good choice too, and I'm definitely against any of the three from 2009. Especially Brian Moran, who was a high up exec in a for-profit college company until recently.

    •  Boucher? (0+ / 0-)

      He's basically another Creigh Deeds.  From SW Virginia, Blue Dog, won't inspire anybody.  Not to mention I doubt he wants the job.

      19, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
      politicohen.com
      Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
      UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.5.38, -3.23

      by jncca on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 06:14:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cooch is the devil's spawn. (0+ / 0-)

    A truly despicable man.

    The only good thing is that the more people see of him the less they like him. His margin in the run for elected offices goes down every time he goes for reelection.

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