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.