VA AG…where I stand, and What will Happen

The last 40 days or so have been full of too much to do and too little time do it in, so blogging fell off the table completely as there was not enough time in the day to think outside the box, challenge orthodoxies, seize the moment to be a change agent…well, that’s enough cliche’s to start the day.

Suffice it to say that during the past few weeks I have been able to follow the GOP Trench War, the Dem Hot Air War, and the Dem Exhaustion offensive…but more about the dems later.

The question was put to me over at TC who am I for in the AG race?

Answer: I am still with the Cooch, and were I going to be a delegate I would vote for him.

My reasoning may be highly impractical, but that’s how it is.

You may ask why is this, and it is a very simple answer.  To quote Sancho Panza, “I like him”.  Moreover, I hate to be ignored.

There is more than adequate reason to not back him.  Were the roles reversed, he undoubtedly would not back me for a GOP nomination as I don’t fulfill his litmus test on the issues.  I have a personal reason not to back him, as he helped deny my friend Mike Polychrones the GOP nomination in 2003 to run for an open delegate seat. 

Cooch’s candidate lost that election.  Ironically, now the Cooch is fighting for the chance to oppose the Democrat who DID win that election, Steve Shannon.

So why am I with him?  As noted, I like the guy.  I enjoy talking with him.  He is engaging and comes across well in person.  Given the way that Jerry Kilgore was slagged in 2005 for his appearance, accent,  and lack of personal impact, I think it a good thing to have a candidate who comes across well on the stump.

Next, he knows how to run a campaign.  It would have been very easy for him to lose in a heavily democratic district in 2007, but he ran smart and he ran tough and ran a race that no one thought he would win.  Given our recent history of statewide candidates who focus on frills instead of fundamentals, it will be a benefit to have folks up and down the ticket who have run tough races and know what to do and what not to do in a general election.

Now it may be that Mr. Brownlee and Mr. Foster are equally or even more impressive than The Cooch-but I wouldn’t know.  I have not seen or met them, and that face to face sizing up has always been a prime criteria for me in choosing a candidate to back.  I have not been invited to the typical convention meet and greets that dot the pre-convention landscape, either under my blogging pseudonym or under my real name.  I have not had the chance to meet them, and they have not solicited my support…and if they don’t want my support-well, you get my drift.

By the way, I find myself in an ironic situation. For the last several election cycles I have commented that the Democratic candidates do not send me campaign materials, and each time I am told by a variety of folks (and in a wide variety of tones) that Democratic candidates are not going to send campaign material to anyone who voted in a GOP primary in the last x years-it is not cost effective!

So given that I do vote in GOP primaries, and was a voter in the Fairfax County Special Elections for Board Chair and for Braddock Supervisor, one would think I would be a prime target for folks seeking convention delegates.  The Dems have already written me off as highly partisan, I should expect a path of GOP candidates streaming to my door…except they didn’t.  No mailings from Brownlee, perhaps one from Foster, no phone calls or meet the candiate invites from either.  I can only assume they wrote me off as a GOP in the Cooch Senate district…in which case they must not have expected me to back them.

Ah, but I digress.  Let us continue…

There is some comment that since he was “the only person who could have won my senate district in 2007”, he should stay there and hold the seat for the GOP.  That is a nice bit of oppo logic, but since when in the USA is it considered a good thing to restrict folks who are successful…I mean, outside of high tax proposals floated by liberal democrats?

Now The Cooch is not perfect.  His shortcomings, perceived or real, have been hammered over at Too Conservative ad absurdum.  But he is the one I went into this backing, and that is where I stay.  I have no problem backing Messrs Brownlee or Foster if they are on the ticket, but until then Iam with The Cooch.

However, prior to that there is a little matter of voting…and here is what I see happening…

First, the convention will likely pass the Low Man out rule, to take effect following the second ballot.  It makes too much sense, and unless either Cooch or Brownlee decides there is a benefit to them to extend the voting or they have philosophical problem with limiting voting.

If that rule passes, then I think you have a Cooch win on ballot #1 or 2, or a Brownlee win on ballot #3.  Cuccinelli is the natural favorite of your typical conservative convention delegate.  He will have the true believers, he will have the folks who think Jeff Frederick got the shaft, he will have all those folks he met while campaigning for Bob Marshall last year.  He will come in strong, and if he comes in so strong he has a majority he wins on the first ballot, and if real close even on the second ballot.

But if they get through two ballots and Cooch has no majority, then the low man goes.  If that low man is Foster, then his folks will likely go to Brownlee.  Foster seems to be more ideologically sympatico with Brownlee than with the Cooch, and I suspect that if his folks had any real feeling for Cooch they will break to him on Ballot #2.

So there it is.  I am with the Cooch, who wins on the first or second ballot…or not at all.


7 thoughts on “VA AG…where I stand, and What will Happen

  1. Bwana:
    Everybody has busy times my friend, but glad to be able to read your well written and thought out diatribes again. You are an excellant writer, always have been and always will be!!
    I completely agree with the statement above by Loudoun Insider. This is one time that I hope you are wrong, because I truly think The Cooch will be a drain on our statewide ticket and Ken is part of the problem with the current Va Republican Party and not part of the solution. Additionally, while in a head-to-head match-up he will give Delegate Shannon a hard time, this is one race that the Cooch will ultimately lose.
    Glad to have this opportunity again and take care Bwana.


  2. Well I may be backing the wrong guy, and my reasons are completely personal and based not a bit in logic or political analysis, and Lord knows I failed that infallibility test long ago.

    But I doubt I am wrong about the ballots…

  3. I don’t think there’s much doubt that Cuccinelli will be nominated tomorrow and will lose in November. There may be more of a debate about whether he will drag down McDonnell and Bolling significantly. I can’t really discern that and it depends, to some extent, on whether McAuliffe is the Dems candidate. If so, McDonnell will do better in November than he would against Moran or Deeds. It does seem likely that McDonnell’s and Bolling’s program of making invisible their past infatuations with empty slogans that please only a small sector of the electorate will go badly astray if the Dems can focus in on Cuccinelli, which they most certainly will, if he is nominated.

    Foster to me seems like the class candidate in the field, and the one with the most experience that would enable him to be a good AG. Given that Brownlee has experimented the last couple of months with what seems like an astoundingly silly tactic of trying to find room to the right of Cuccinelli, Foster has the most running room ideologically, as well as the most appeal to the general electorate. Of course, the convention favors Cuccinelli enormously and I will be flabbergasted if your analysis re the scenario of a second ballot win is incorrect.

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