Shut-out: Republican AG campaigns blow-off Norfolk and ChesapeakePolitics

We’ve heard stories over the past couple months of AG candidates criss-crossing the Commonwealth in support of their campaigns – speaking to delegates and hoping to garner support, which is a very smart move. However, today, because Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell is having his campaign kick-off this morning in Fairfax, followed by appearances in Richmond and Hampton Roads, the AG campaigns have decided to ignore today’s mass meetings.

This is a huge tactical error.

Well, maybe not huge, but at least to folks here in Chesapeake who haven’t made up there minds — and not all of them will be going to the rally this afternoon in Virginia Beach — a golden opportunity for any candidate who wanted to catch fire was wasted.

The three-hundred plus votes from Chesapeake in a close convention contest certainly could be the votes that bring a candidate from a three-way plurality to a majority victory.

However, candidate for lieutenant governor, Patrick Muldoon, was present and warmly received. He spoke on his conservative credentials, including the right to life, his fiscal conservatism, and right to bear arms. He claimed that Bolling “moderates” the message.

Muldoon challenged the delegates present. He stated that the decision for the GOP candidate is not one by party leaders, but that it is the delegates who will decide the future and direction of the party.

“My opponent, Mr. Bolling, has failed to exemplify the conservative leadership we need and Virginia desires,” said Muldoon. He took particular exception to Bolling’s support for the transportation bill and his campaign connections to Barr Laboratories – maker of the “morning after” abortion pill.

Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling was represented by Rep. Randy Forbes, who spoke glowingly of Bolling’s conservative credentials and willingness to personally sacrifice on behalf of achieving Republican victories.

“There were few senators I knew that voted more consistently conservative than Bill Bolling,” said Forbes. He also made a point of emphasizing that single issue disagreements are less important than uniting behind a candidate.

All the attorney general candidates were represented by surrogates, and while it was nice to hear from them, it certainly wasn’t the same as having the candidate here.

Speaking with some of the campaign representatives at the meeting, they claimed that being on the stage or with the gubernatorial candidate is the smarter political move.

Perhaps the candidates should be with McDonnell on the rally circuit, but to those in Chesapeake, this was definitely the cold shoulder.

Also of note, Jeff Frederick was apparently supposed to be here but also didn’t attend. Apparently he wanted to, but the rules did not allow for him the opportunity to speak. Interesting.

  • Grozet

    Frederick was at Jennifer Lee’s kick off breakfast in Portsmouth for her bid to make take 90th HOD seat.

  • http://TidewaterLiberty.com Britt Howard

    Cold shoulder? If that is the case, it begs the question as to why.

    Bill Bolling is definitely a great conservative. Anyone questioning that is just blowing smoke and rhetoric on behalf of their personal sorry agenda.

    I guess Bolling isn’t a team player either since he didn’t show up? Let’s remember what race Bolling is running for and what race he DESERVES to run for but, took one for the team! Tell me again how bad Bolling is Mr. Muldoon.

    Was this a Republican event or Democrat event? Hearing that rhetoric ,who would want to show up for that punishment?

  • Aaron

    Jim, Norfolk didn’t have a mass meeting.

  • http://bearingdrift.com JR Hoeft

    Aaron,
    I spoke with Pam Brown at the McDonnell-Bolling rally tonight and found out the Norfolk event had been canceled…partially due to the fact that none of the candidates were going to show up. I also found out that Norfolk is going to have nearly 100 delegates at the convention…which is great news.

    Britt,
    No one is being critical about LG Bolling not attending. Did I say that in my post? Your comment doesn’t even make sense…especially given that he was kicking off his campaign today with Bob McDonnell.

    However, the AG candidates are still in a nomination fight…and should be appealing to delegates who will be voting at the convention…especially those who don’t know them well.

    For what it is worth…none of the AG candidates made it to the rally at Virginia Beach either.

  • http://TidewaterLiberty.com Britt Howard

    JR, Bolling like the AG candidates has an opponent and likewise did not attend the event. I suppose he also committed a “tactical error” of not being everywhere like the AG candidates. And I would say yes, criticism of Bolling wouldn’t make sense especially given his appearance in Va. Beach. However, let’s review some of the quotes from your article:

    ***************************************
    However, candidate for lieutenant governor, Patrick Muldoon, was present and warmly received. He spoke on his conservative credentials, including the right to life, his fiscal conservatism, and right to bear arms. He claimed that Bolling “moderates” the message.

    Muldoon challenged the delegates present. He stated that the decision for the GOP candidate is not one by party leaders, but that it is the delegates who will decide the future and direction of the party.

    “My opponent, Mr. Bolling, has failed to exemplify the conservative leadership we need and Virginia desires,” said Muldoon. He took particular exception to Bolling’s support for the transportation bill and his campaign connections to Barr Laboratories – maker of the “morning after” abortion pill.
    ******************************************

    I was more pointing at Muldoon but, whatever. Muldoon was the person I spoke about in my previous post right?

  • http://bearingdrift.com Brian Kirwin

    I don’t get too excited by candidates who choose the office to run for by which has the lowest filing fee.

    I also prefer people who criticize someone’s “conservative leadership” to actually have had some. Who’s Muldoon leading?

  • Aaron Gulbransen

    Jim,

    None of the candidates were going to show up because there never was going to be a mass meeting in Norfolk. There was never any intention to hold a mass meeting.

    As per the State Central Call, the reason there wasn’t a mass meeting in Norfolk was because it was written into the call that if the maximum amount of filed delegates did not exceed a certain number, then the mass meeting would be canceled. The number was well above 600, which there was no chance of reaching.

    Virginia Beach and many other units around the Commonwealth did so. The reason that was done was to save the local units the time and money of having a mass meeting if their members so chose.

  • http://bearingdrift.com JR Hoeft

    Aaron G,
    Why are you rehashing what we already know? I did state that I found out the Norfolk mass meeting was canceled, right? Or did i get possessed by my alternate personality?

    Regardless, the candidates still blew off Chesapeake. I’m glad you spoke…but you were also there and know that a lot of folks had not made up their minds.

    Do you think the delegates would have preferred to hear from you or Dave? Not to denigrate your speech – because I thought you did fine – but having actually podcasted with Dave, I know he would have done great.

  • Aaron G

    Jim, you stated that you knew it had been canceled but your reasoning was incorrect. I wanted to clarify the reason for the average reader.

    I would have liked for Dave to have been in Chesapeake but he had a double scheduling conflict. I always enjoy speaking but there’s nothing better than having the candidate be there to speak.

  • http://www.espn.com -

    Eh, I am not so sure that the candidates “blew off chesapeake”. All three candidates have appeared at events for the Chesapeake Republican Party in the last 3 months. Cucinnelli came in January to the montly meeting, Brownlee in February and Foster to the Grassroots Dinner. The same people that were at the mass meeting were at any of the three events that the candidates were at. So really, I can see on their part why it wasnt worth their time.