The Cooch is the Big Winner in Marshall Senate Bid

You have likely heard that Bob Marshall, GOP delegate from VA-13, recently announced his candidacy for the 2008 VA GOP nomination for the US Senate.  This throws him in a head-to-head contest with Jim Gilmore, whom Marshall considers to be less than steadfast on right-to-life issues.

I think Marshall’s campaign is an ego run that will be whacked at the convention and will only serve to impede Gilmore’s already seemingly minimal chances of success in defeating Mark Warner this November.  Marshall’s candidacy is a boost to Mark Warner, who will again have the benefit of a general election opponent who had to spend resources on a nominating fight.

But the real winner of Bob Marshall’s quixotic candidacy?
My State Senator; the only GOP State Senator in Fairfax County; the one, the only…the man, myth and legend known to many simply as “The Cooch”-Ken Cuccinelli.

Why do I say such a thing?

Cooch has already intimated he wants to run for AG in 2009…so we know he has ambitions statewide. His Lone Republican Ranger status in Fairfax County gives him a certain panache and base, as does his very, very conservative positions on social issues. But balancing out his very conservative positions is a very genial personality and presence. He does not come across as a “wingnut” nor as a “squish”.

I can hear the muttering…”Very nice, Bwana, but what does that have to do with 2008?”

Cuccinelli is one of Marshall’s prominent supporters, a member of his exploratory committee. There will be times when Marshall cannot attend meetings, even local mass meetings, and will need surrogate speakers to carry the flag…and who will be waiting? The Cooch!

The Cooch has the chance to travel the Commonwealth proselytizing for Marshall, and at the same time show himself to party activists in ROVA who are not familiar with him. They will have the chance to encounter Cooch for the first time not as a candidate but as a genial, effective speaker. They will be impressed with his presentation skills and with his ardor in supporting the candidate of his choice…and when time comes for his run in 2009, many months after the Marshall candidacy has been disposed with, these same party activists will remember meeting The Cooch up close and personal.

They are going to remember how well he came across. They will remember how he was the only GOP Senator in Fairfax County to win his election. They will remember the ardor and the effectiveness…and they will say, “I like him…I think I will back him for AG”.

The Bob Marshall candidacy will provide The Cooch a much smoother path to the 2009 AG nomination, and maybe…just maybe…even farther.


9 thoughts on “The Cooch is the Big Winner in Marshall Senate Bid

  1. Interesting, but I really don’t think Cuccinelli is going statewide . . . yet. With his young, and numerous, children it would be asking an awful lot for him to put his law practice on hold and move is large and young family to Richmond. The rumblings I’ve heard is that Cuccinelli is especially interesting in the goings on in the 10th district, and I think Congress will be his next stop. It makes sense geographically, personally, and professionally. Just wait, I think a major move is in the works to make the 10th District friendlier to Cuccinelli, and Frank Wolf may be running for his last term.

  2. Chris, many folks who set up shop in Richmond as LtGov/AG/Judges, etc., don’t move their families, so I don’t know that I see that as a stumbling block.

    As for the 10th, you sound, with all due respect, like those RK/Federians who keep saying Frank Wolf is about to retire because he is too old/too tire/doesn’t like being in the minority, etc.

    First off, Wolf has a solid 10th district that will stay that way in 2008 and 2010. Why should he bail after 2008? Redistricting will not be until 2012, which means Cooch will likely have to win reelection again to keep his star in the ascendancy.

    His odds on that? Depends on the redistricting…if the dems follow the Ben Tribbett idea, then SenKen could be drawn into a district that pulls in the most GOP districts of PW Co, and splits off his Burke, etc. precincts into another senate district. It will be a GOP strong district created to allow for the creation of stronger democratic districts. If Cooch draws something like the current 37th district, well, I don’t think he can count on a Janet Oleszek clone running against him.

    Back to the 10th…Frank Wolf has long called being a Congressman his dream job. I don’t know that he has ever considered going statewide. All his children are grown, and he is in good health. Why step down? Moreover, I think he believes he can do more good for the causes he supports as a member of Congressman than as a retired Congressman.

    Besides, with population growth in eastern Fairfax and Arlington/Alexandria, I am not sure how you can make the 10th more friendly to Cuccinelli. I think there is a reasonable chance that the 2012 district will not include any of either Fauquier/PWCo/Manassas/MP OR Frederick County/Winchester. I think one of those GOP rich areas will be lost, if not both.

    Let me toss another log on the fire…the next redistricting will be done with a Democractic Majority State Senate (unless some non-partisam redistricting committee system is approved). What stake do they have in making the 10th more friendly to the Cooch?

    Redistricting, both on the state senate and congressional levels holds a vast number of unpredictable factors. I don’t think Cuccinelli can take out a sitting Congressman short of a scandal. Presently, the only way SenKen can advance his political career and maintain maximum control over the circumstances is to run for AG in 2009.

    H’mmmmm…that went longer than I intended…

  3. The Cuccinelli folks would probably like to push Wolf out of his seat along with Feder. Yes, every two years you hear this is going to be Wolf’s last term from the same anti-Wolf people within the 10th. I have been hearing this is Wolf’s last term for what seems like a decade. These people want to force him out. Just remember, when Wolf retires, we will lose our seat on appropriations as well. I think some of Cuccinelli’s supporters would like nothing more than to see him primary or face off with him in a convention. I don’t believe the Cooch would do this because he knows that if he lost his career would probably be over.

    I agree with Bwana. I don’t see this happening any time soon. Congressman Wolf is doing his best work ever and I certainly don’t see him going away any time soon, provided that he remains in good health. Cuccinelli would almost be a lock for the nomination for AG if he ran.

  4. All I know is what I hear, Bwana. And what I heard was there were plans to “fix” the 10th District. Thats what made me make that post.

    Now I personally think the better move is to run for AG, but I’m just saying what I heard.

  5. CB, I do not doubt you one bit…I just don’t know what can be done to fix it.

    Now, I assume “fixing” means it stays at least as GOP as it currently is. What can you do? You can’t apportion North or West-that’s Maryland or WVa. Is there enough population growth South of the 10th to keep from having to take away the “rim counties”? Is there so much population growth in Fairfax/Alex/Arlington that the eastern boundary of the 10th doesn’t have to come further east back into Fairfax?

    I am curious to see what these folks think it is to “fix” Va-10

  6. I am assuming that means forcing will be gearing up again against Jim Rich. It was Cuccinelli who steadfastly supported Heidi Stirrup last time around.

  7. Chris,

    I don’t doubt at all you are hearing the rumors but I would be very careful who you listen too. Certain people like to start up rumors in the attempt to force Wolf into retirement. There are plenty of Congressman much older than Wolf in office. I don’t think it would be a stretch if he served several more terms.

    Yes Cuccinelli supported Stirrup last time but failed to show at the convention. Smart move on his part.

  8. I’d be all for Cooch to run for AG if I didn’t think that MY State Senator, Mark Obenshain, wasn’t running as well.

    I like both guys, and I hope I don’t have to choose.

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