The Other Option Against Mark WarnerPolitics

The Washington Post plows a bit of ground familiar to Bearing drift readers: which Republican can mount a serious challenge to Sen. Mark Warner. there are two GOP candidates in the race — Shak Hill and Howie Lind. Neither has much name recognition and an objective observer would give neither much chance to beat the very popular Warner.

Ken Cuccinelli’s name is on the lips of many of his supporters. I appreciate the sentiment. But let’s be brutally honest: Cuccinelli blew his chance to take on Warner. Yes, he could still be a serious challenger. But I strongly suspect that if he decides to make another statewide run, it will be against Tim Kaine in 2018.

There’s a bit of a drum beat for Sen. Jeff McWaters to make a run against Warner next year, and he may have the desire to run. His one downside? He could be vulnerable on health care. It’s not insurmountable. But you can bet the ranch Warner’s team is building a nice oppo file on McWaters based upon his time as CEO of Amerigroup.

McWaters’ clear advantage is that he could quickly become financially competitive in a race against Warner. Does he have the chops to run statewide? That’s the open question.

But there is another possibility — a potential candidate who has run and won statewide and who still seems to have the bug: Bill Bolling.

Yes, I know: Bolling has sown the ground with salt. His career is, in the eyes of most observers, deader than Jacob Marley. And yes, when he had the opportunity to prove his mettle against Ken Cuccinelli, he instead went to the sidelines to hone his skill at dart throwing.

But there are those who still believe he’s the best man for statewide office — practical, business friendly, and most of all, no hysterics. Or so the thinking goes.

To read this interview with Bolling is to see a man who believes he has a mission. It’s a mission to divert the GOP back into the mythical “mainstream,” but there’s a little more to it:

The goals of this effort are really, I would say, fourfold: One is to recruit and support mainstream Republican candidates for public office, and we’ve done that. Second was to call our party back to a more mainstream place. Third was to find opportunities to get Democrats and Republicans talking together to actually solve problems and get things done. And then, finally, to offer some policy solutions to some of the important challenges that people face in Virginia.

We’re going to take a pragmatic approach to getting things done, and try to get people to move beyond the rigid ideologies of the right or the left, and understand that problems cannot be solved by listening to the most extreme voices of either political party.

Such soothing words are exactly the sorts of things Mark Warner and Tim Kaine used to advance their political careers.

Are they part of what could be a strong challenge to Warner? A GOP bent on winning would look at Bolling and think he’s not only their ideal candidate, but also their only chance against Warner.

Yes, Bolling stuck his thumb in Ken Cuccinelli’s eye this year. Repeatedly. Yes, his long-time consultant, Boyd Marcus, jumped to Terry McAuliffe’s campaign in exchange for a fat payday. He backed the transportation bill, favors Medicaid expansion, and has spent the last few months trying to erase all traces of his political past. The faults are many, and the case against him running for anything ever again is strong.

But he would be an intriguing alternative…

  • http://bearingdrift.com/ J.R. Hoeft

    Ah, but Bolling would have to get the nod at a convention – the exact thing he ran away from at this time last year. An intriguing postulation nonetheless.

    • MD Russ

      Of course, the convention could always give Jim Gilmore another shot. Maybe he could come up with another catchy slogan like, “No More ObamaCare.” As an alternative, perhaps Jamie Radtke is still available. I haven’t heard much about her lately. Perhaps we could take up a collection for rent and get Christine O’Donnell to hop on her broom and relocate from Delaware to Virginia.

      BTW, if you are reading this Jim, can I send you my car tax bills next year?

      • Dawmuc

        Jamie Radtke! LOL! Imagine that.

      • S Fisher

        Gilmore wouldn’t be an effective candidate and neither would Radtke. What about someone in the General Assembly? Randy Forbes perhaps?

        • MD Russ

          Sorry. I was being sarcastic about the dearth of viable Republican candidates to run against Mark Warner. Like John Warner before him, I suspect that his Senate seat is his to keep until he decides to retire.

          • Tommy Valentine

            I don’t get this mentality. Warner has been a reliable lefty in the Senate for five years. He’s not invincible, at least not anymore.

          • MD Russ

            Well, Tommy, that is probably because you consider anyone who doesn’t rate 100% with the American Conservative Union to be a “reliable lefty.” The fact is that Mark Warner is rated as a “mushy middle” moderate, scoring in one recent survey as only 44th as the most liberal senator out of 100.

            Gosh, I hate to break this news to you, but most voters–about 40%–do not agree with either the social liberalism or social conservatism of the Democratic and Republican bases. I’ll bet that sucks, doesn’t it? If KC and his campaign staff could have grasped that idea, then he would be governor-elect today, instead of beating all the odds of running against a political hack with no elected experience and lots of ethical baggage. Not to mention the October Surprise of ObamaCare crashing and burning on roll-out.

            But I have faith that you “true conservatives” will persevere in your quest to lose at all costs if that is what is required to be ideologically pure. And that is the mentality that is going to keep Mark Warner in the US Senate as long as he wishes to serve.

          • Tommy Valentine

            One word: Obamacare.

          • MD Russ

            Four words: What’s. The. Republican. Alternative.

          • Tommy Valentine

            The lawyer who was the first to challenge Obamacare in court.

          • MD Russ

            And how did that challenge do in the Roberts Court and where is that lawyer today? Fail.

          • midwestconservative

            Four words: American Healthcare Reform Act.

          • midwestconservative

            Can you name any Bill that Warner authored that got actual Bipartisan support (AKA Republican, not just Independents) and passed into Law?
            How often has Warner criticized Harry Reid? How often has Warner led a call for actual Bipartisanship in the Senate e.g. Criticizing some specific members of his own party, as well as Republicans ( while also complementing those Republicans who are willing to compromise, and yes they exist)
            WAPO should print a retraction about how Mark was the “heir to John”
            A prime example would be the nuclear option. In 2005 John Warner joined with other centrists to help save the filibuster. In 2013 Mark voted reliably and quietly with his party’s leadership in gutting the filibuster.

    • Turbocohen

      And antennas are up about switching it back.. Go ahead Bill fans, make our day. You shied away from conservatives, liberty minded youth and the base of the party who in your way of thinking crossed over and supported the nominee.. Bring all your monied interests with you.. Lets play Bill.

      • Eric McGrane

        Convention was sooper awesome in 2009; but was the devil’s spawn in 2013. It’ll be cool again when the correct candidates are chosen via convention. You know…the CORRECT ones.

  • Manny

    We saw what happened when the ‘establishment’ abandoned Cuccinelli. If Bolling is the nominee we would get to see what happens when the grassroots abandons the establishment. It would be an interesting test to see if they are right that social conservatives are hurting the party and they can win without them.

    • MD Russ

      I love it every time I read that term, “grassroots.” It is often referred to as “astroroots,” as in artificial turf that doesn’t have any substance or growth.

    • http://www.brianschoeneman.org/ Brian W. Schoeneman

      The establishment never abandoned Cuccinelli.

      • Britt Howard

        Brian, you didn’t, but that doesn’t mean Cuccinelli wasn’t abandoned by groups within the establishment. Bolling wasn’t the only one to vote against him, try to sabotage an endorsement etc. And to be truthful there are certain people on the libertarian side that screwed us, too.

        • Not Harry F. Byrd

          Why didn’t Tea Party groups pony up the big bucks for Ken? Oh, that’s right, they were busy hawking Ted Cruz’s “look at me” stunt to shutdown the government. Can’t fund Ken when we can threaten to retaliate against nasty RINO senators!

          • Turbocohen

            Tea Party groups were knocking on doors, making phone calls, volunteering for Ken.. and almost won without the turncoats who sat this one out. Oh, Call me a Cruz supporter and I call you a liar.

          • Not Harry F. Byrd

            Fair enough to a point, Turbo. I don’t mean to attack you personally or associate you with Cruz, so my apologies if that’s how I came off.

            What I mean is the Tea Party groups – people like Club for Growth, Madison Project, Tea Party Express/Patriots, & the like – have quite deep pockets. (One may dare almost say they are ready to be called “Establishment” *gasp*).

            Did they spend it to help Ken out? Nope. They put it to use slandering Republicans in Washington who wouldn’t willingly shoot themselves in the foot with glee.

            Shows you where the priorities are.

          • midwestconservative

            You get it man. Though out of the group Madison Project is as I understand it fairly new and not quite as wealthy.
            The others, well, after this race they should definitely reconsider their Washington obsession.
            For groups dedicated to “limiting the Federal government and returning power to the states, while fighting the ‘establishment” They’ve pretty much ceded State Government to the “establishment”
            I’m pretty sure the only “Tea Party” group that does jack on the state Level is AFP.

      • MD Russ

        No, but Cuccinelli abandoned the establishment and that is why he lost, even with the tailwind of the ObamaCare roll-out disaster.

        • Eric McGrane

          Yes, he should have embraced Bolling as Bolling was attacking him.

          I mean, IT JUST MAKES SENSE.

          lol

      • Phil Tran

        “Establishment” is a loaded and nebulous term these days. I will get straight to the point. Tons of upper class, socially liberal, fiscally conservative, albeit non-libertarian Rockefeller Republicans in Fairfax County jumped ship and voted for Terry McAuliffe. I have names. I am at liberty to disclose one name you should all know. Jan Schar, the former Chair of the Virginia Federation of Republican Women, blasted Ken Cuccinelli on the Washington Post and went to work for Terry McAuliffe after a lifetime of donating to and volunteering for the Republican Party. She was certainly not the only one and represents a large constituency of people who Bob McDonnell was able to keep in the fold to win in 2009, but Ken Cuccinelli allowed to go away in 2013, thus causing his own defeat and nearly taking down a few Republican House incumbents with him.

        • Not Harry F. Byrd

          Establishment has become a catch-all phrase to describe any person who doesn’t agree with me currently.

          The truth is, there are no moderate Rockefeller Republicans anymore. Maybe you know them, Phil, but practically speaking the Republican Party is united on a broad set of policies. There is no real *organized* moderate-liberal faction.

          Locally, there are some differences – perhaps the biggest being the Transportation Bill – which I supported – but which a vocal minority really hated. But the differences are fairly minor.

          Where the differences aren’t minor is on tactics and tone. The Tea Party folks (and especially their self-appointed leaders) – seem to believe that it’s not enough to disagree with your opponents. Disagreeing without being disagreeable signifies a tacit approval of your enemy. The only way to bargain is to first punch your opponent in the face. Everything is an existential struggle that we must fight to the death to bring about the Endsieg.

          It’s one of the main reasons Chris Christie is loathed by portions of the right. They never really complain all that much about his record (there are indeed things you can complain about) – it’s that he’s too nice – he didn’t give the President the finger, oh and a blue state likes him. He *must* be bad.

          I’ve heard it said over and over again in regards to folks like Cuccinelli. Why do you like him? “He fights back”. Same with Cruz & company. It doesn’t matter that they lose, it doesn’t matter that the fights often aren’t winnable (indeed that winning becomes harder by taking them), one MUST do it or they aren’t thoroughly committed. (And I do Ken a disservice by comparing him to Cruz – there are redeeming Cuccinelli characteristics that unfortunately are lost to eternity now because the man has been thoroughly turned into a caricature.) But let’s be honest, Ken helped create his reputation by the way he chose to pursue his causes. You don’t have to go down that route (see: McDonnell, Bob). But he did. And it is what it is.

          • Eric McGrane

            False argument. Don’t be offended that “the tea party” (whatever the hell that is*) started defending itself and began giving a few shots back. I’ve read here many times that there’s little difference between Bill and Ken for example, but now Bill is sooper awesome/electable and Ken is a tea party whack job. The only difference is that now one of them has been deemed the “correct” candidate. Its really disgusting.

            *(We’re your neighbors, your coworkers…we’re you. Its not some rabid cult, although Bill Bolling would have you using his language of “extreme”)

          • David Eggleston

            Ken started off with the premise that he didn’t some folks votes to win, so he didn’t work to bring them back to the party, besides the usual scare tactics. In retrospect, he may be thinking, “yeah, I should’ve courted Main Street Republicans, ‘moderates,’ and the business community.” Instead, on BD, we get idiots calling Chris LaCivita a RINO squish. Keep it up, guys.

          • JayD

            “The truth is, there are no moderate Rockefeller Republicans anymore.”

            They are there, but now self-identify as Independents. Still voting for many republican candidates, but no longer supporting the modern Republican party with cash or shoe-leather.

          • MD Russ

            You just described me and many of my friends to a “T.” Most of my upper-middle class associates have become so cynical about both parties that they never vote, much less support a candidate. At the very lowest level, like town council or county supervisor, perhaps. But most of them feel that whichever party has the White House or the Governor’s Mansion makes absolutely no difference. And that leaves the “takers” in charge of the political process. Whoever can promise them more “free stuff” like ObamaCare or increased entitlement programs gets their vote.

          • midwestconservative

            Actually I disagree with Christie on a variety of policy decisions, particularly on fiscal and 2nd Amendment issues.

        • Eric McGrane

          Phil: using specific instances/examples, please tell me how Ken’s positions varied greatly from Bob…enough so that Jan felt the need to leave?

          • Phil Tran

            There is virtually no substantive difference between Bob and Ken. The differences are in style. Bob had a laser like focus on jobs and merely paid lip service to being pro-life on the campaign trail in 2009. He did his very best to be one with the wine-sipping, moneyed Northern Virginia business people. This allowed him to deftly deflect the negative stories that came out of the thesis he wrote at the far-right Regent University founded by Pat Robertson. The Northern Virginia business people saw that Bob made a serious effort to be one of them and Bob earned their trust. Even after his scandals, Bob was still polling in the 60s for job approval. Contrary to the conservative narrative, Bob was not a drag on Ken and the average voter did not pay attention to what was going on with Bob.

            Ken, on the other hand, has a history of saying incendiary statements about abortion, gay rights, public education, and Barack Obama; and never backing down from those statements. His strategy since his State Senate days has always been to identify, activate, and turn out the base. A strategy that prioritizes the base over independents leaves no room for error as the conservative base continues to decline in numbers in Northern Virginia.

            Ken did very little to assuage fears from Northern Virginia business people that he would prioritize his social agenda. It is true that Ken did not speak much about social issues in 2013. He did not have to do so. His record of statements and actions from 2002 to 2012 did the talk for him, much to the Democrats’ delight and to the shock and horror of socially-moderate-to-liberal, fiscally conservative suburban voters in secular Northern Virginia who voted enthusiastically for Bob, but would never vote for Ken.

            I said this here on a Bearing Drift comment before the election and somebody told me I was making excuses for Republicans losing before the election has been decided. I am a political consultant and I tell it like it is. This election just further proves my point.

            The difference is that Northern Virginians like who Bob is because he is a positive, well-behaved, level-headed individual who communicates respectfully with Democrats. Ken is an ideological Tea Party firebrand with an us vs. them mentality. That rhetoric does not sell in Northern Virginia.

            I cannot tell you why exactly people like Jan Schar are fiscally conservative, but support abortion and would prioritize abortion over tax cuts. You have to ask her yourself. We each have our own personal experiences which shape our worldviews and most people do not fit neatly into the left vs. right paradigm in American politics. Welcome to democracy.

            As a political consultant, I put aside my own personal views (for the record, I am pro-life and I like Sarah Palin) and I just study the electorate and formulate the best strategy for victory for my small number of Virginia political clients. I knew from day one that Ken would lose.

            I also have a very successful track record with my clients. I am undefeated in general elections with pro-life female candidates.

            http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-06-04/local/39732122_1_terry-mcauliffe-cuccinelli-spokeswoman-anna-nix-mcauliffe-campaign

          • Daniel Cortez

            Pretty spot on, however I know a great many others who won’t speak on the record that are fiscally conservative and support abortion and other views that establishment conservatives or those tea party extremists that are destroying the movement find offensive. Most in media circles were salivating when it was verified that Cuccinelli would be the nominee. I also predicated early on it that he would go down in flames and it would be the Ollie North debacle revisited with all Cooch’s baggage. He was the one candidate Dems were begging for and got. Once again the attack on Bolling begins for fear by many that he might actually stand a fighting chance.

          • Eric McGrane

            Thanks Dan, for your take on true conservatism. Its inspiring.

          • DJRippert

            The difference between Bob and Ken is that Bob didn’t spend his tenure as Attorney General throwing firebombs at things he didn’t like. He spent his time as AG being a good AG.

            As far as your fascination with Northern Virginia in this race – I kind of get it. Lots of votes. But Cuccinelli got a far smaller percentage of the votes in Henrico County than Loudoun County. Cuccinelli also lost Chesapeake and Suffolk and couldn’t pull a majority in Virginia Beach. The RPV has problems throughout the so-called urban crescent, not just in NoVa.

          • JayD

            Excellent! One additional observation. Ken’s nomination was a tipping point for social liberal republican & independent voters. This very large percentage of Virginia voters concluded that KC as Governor + a General Assembly that had already shown willingness to ‘go there’, was potentially too toxic. Question: Since all roads lead thru the primary or convention, how does a social moderate successfully maneuver the fires of the base to get to the General?

          • midwestconservative

            How does a social moderate win if all of those tea party folks decide not to vote for them in the general like all of those moderates did this year?
            Those socons you hate make up over half of the party, and that’s arguably about 22-25% of the electorate, give or take a few percentage points.
            Run some douchebag who does nothing but throw bombs at all of those icky “conservatives” and see what happens.

          • JayD

            That task not easy, but also not so impossible. And your numbers are off.
            Half of 1/3 = 16% of total electorate.

          • midwestconservative

            GOP got 45% of the electorate, that’s more then one third.
            Who did you vote for in the last election moderate? Not this one, but 2012.

          • JayD

            Your original statement was “socons …over half of the party”, not “the electorate”. Exit polls showed Republican voters down to 31% of electorate – not 45%. Significantly down, btw, from 37% just 4 years ago.

          • midwestconservative

            Not every socon registers or identifies themselves as Republican. I would say that at least half of Cuccinelli’s voters are socons. Try winning without them.
            Also you aren’t going to get enough votes from the single “pay for my birth control” demographic to make up for 16% let alone 22% of the electorate.
            So let me ask you gain, WHO did YOU vote for last POTUS election? Was it the moderate or the ideologue?”

          • JayD

            MidWest, your words, “Those socons you hate make up over half of the party.” … not half of the electorate … not half of Cucciinelli’s voters. Once you make up your mind, I’ll be happy to provide you with accurate data so you can stop pulling it out of your —.

            For now, this data point should be important to republicans in the next election: over 80% of white evangelicals vote republican, regardless of the candidate. That group now down to 27% (from 34% of electorate four years ago). BIG reason why Cooch couldn’t pull it off – it’s a shrinking base. If we want to win elections, we must look for candidates that are attractive to the base AND to the broader and secular electorate.

            As to who I voted for … first, it’s really nunya… second, the answer is Mitt.

          • Eric McGrane

            If there’s no substantive difference, why did Bill attack Ken?

            Rhetorical.

          • http://www.brianschoeneman.org/ Brian W. Schoeneman

            Personalities.

          • Eric McGrane

            But that’s not what Bill was saying. Bill was saying that Ken’s positions were “extreme”. All while we all agree that there was little substantive difference between them.

            In other words, Bill is a dishonest/lying hack who worked against his party’s candidate due to “personalities”.

            And yet Bolling is held aloft as the “good” and correct candidate. We can do better.

          • http://www.brianschoeneman.org/ Brian W. Schoeneman

            Eric, again, is personalities. Politicians are more than the sum of their policy positions.

          • Not Harry F. Byrd

            THIS! People don’t get this and I don’t get that they don’t get it.

            “But Ken was just as conservative as Bob” (or vice versa)

            Yes! But they are different people with completely different styles. People are willing to cut a guy much more slack if they LIKE him and if he comes off as agreeable.

        • Warmac9999

          You cannot be both fiscally conservative and socially liberal. The liberal part inherently overwhelms the conservative part, and always leads to bigger government. The proof is the growth of the federal government regardless of which party is in power.

      • midwestconservative

        Depends on your definition of establishment. If Establishment is Pat Mullins and Bobby Jindal, then no, they didn’t abandon Ken. If establishment is Boyd Marcus, Jan Char, and others, then yes they abandoned Ken.

        • http://www.brianschoeneman.org/ Brian W. Schoeneman

          The party establishment are party officials at every level, and elected representatives at every level with an R behind their name. Other than Bolling, I saw nobody in office or in high party office that was running away from Ken. Everybody was working for him.

          Despite the Democratic talking points, the business community isn’t the establishment in the Republican party.

          • midwestconservative

            Uh, Will Sessoms? Does he not count as “High Party office”
            The party really needs to figure out how to inflict discipline on both sides of the idealogical divide ( within the party).
            So when a moderate ( or moderate claimant) decides to backbite the ticket they should know there is no going back. If a conservative does that, the same thing should happen.
            In fact it has happened in the past if you consider Bob Smith of New Hampshire. the NRSC would rather Scott Brown carpetbag his way to NH from MA then let former Senator Smith have another go. And with good reason as Smith switched parties. He’s one of the few successfully primaried Senators from the Left ( ish, Sununu is actually fairly conservative)
            So I take it you’re in favor of a Bolling run?

          • http://www.brianschoeneman.org/ Brian W. Schoeneman

            He’s a mayor, not a legislator or statewide.

            I am in favor of anybody running who wants to. I haven’t got a preference for who at this point, I just want somebody credible who may be able to take advantage of the climate next year against Warner. I get the feeling we may be able to pull a Jim Webb on Warner if things keep playing out the way they are playing and we need to be able to take advantage of it.

          • midwestconservative

            Well, Bolling ain’t it.
            McWaters looks like a good candidate, don’t know why Norm thinks his background in the Insurance industry is a weakness, seems to me it would be a strength in an election all about Healthcare.

          • JayD

            Speaking of pulling a Jim Webb, would be exciting to see General Mizusawa throw his hat in the ring. Bert’s history is comparable to Webb’s … Major General; West Point #1 grad; ArmyAirborne Ranger; Silver Star; Harvard Law; US Senate Professional; Deputy Director/ Joint Chiefs.

            Über-qualified in Defense and Foreign Policy, passionate about the burden current fiscal policies are placing upon future generations, and a bona fide card-carrying Conservative. In short, a frig’n war hero with more than enough intellect, service to country, & gravitas to make Warner appear like a ‘slick politician’. Hope the powers that be are courting him.

          • midwestconservative

            Is he pro-choice and pro-gay?
            I mean why would you back him if he wasn’t?
            As far as “the powers that be” are concerned, Mark Warner has already won. They wrote this seat off the minute Tim Kaine beat Allen. Even more so after Bob’s scandal sidelined ( sort of) the only Republican anybody thought stood a chance of beating him.
            If Bert wants to run he better start running.
            I’ve yet to see any recent polls, but considering the fact that other swing state Senators have taken a dive I’d expect Warner to have as well. Or maybe he’s remained untarnished.

          • JayD

            Bert is most definitively pro-life and will guess his response to the latter might be similar to President Reagan’s when asked if he knew how many ‘closeted gays’ were in his administration. Reagan’s answer, “Now why would I want/need to know that?”. For a definitive answer, you’ll have to ask the General.
            Search Bearing Drift blog for “Bert Mizusawa” and find enough to whet your appetite, I think. Also wiki.
            FTR, I have absolutely no problem voting for pro-life candidates. My ‘agenda’ isn’t to change peoples hearts and minds about personal and religious beliefs and issues, but rather to suggest that if our collective voice as a party is non-welcoming & full of moral certainty, fewer and fewer will want to join our club. If that happens, we’ll be as relevant as the Green Party.

          • midwestconservative

            How about no
            You want a “social moderate” so go find him. It’s your guy’s turn now, run your “inclusive” candidate, who will likely tell socons to sit down and shut up. Socons will go ahead and do that ( they’ve had enough practice recently) and if he beats Warner, we’ll stick with that.
            If he loses, you can apologize.
            Also “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” is bigoted these days dontcha know. So run the pro-gay pro-abort candidate, heck run Mary Cheney.
            Lets not run Bert, only to have him get turned into ( via ads) a right-wing nut job, witch burner etc. That way you’re not stuck holding onto the “fundamentalist” baggage.

          • JayD

            Take a breath and put away your powder. No need to get all riled up.
            1. Bert Mizusawa ran for the D2 congressional seat a few years back, has very strong conservative creds, and is held in extremely high regard by many in VA republican circles, including Gov. McD, who asked him to serve on his security/defense commission. Bert also wrote a chunk of the republican 1996 presidential platform and has actively campaigned for republican candidates.
            2. General Mizusawa is very clear ~ he is firmly pro-life.
            3. I do not know his position regarding marriage equality.
            4. I have and will vote for pro-life and DOMA supporters, if/when the rest of the package is right. I’m old school and don’t expect my choice candidate to agree with me on every issue.
            5. I do believe – to win statewide races in today’s Virginia – we need to run candidates that are less defined by their position on issues like abortion rights and marriage equity (like Marshall, KC, etc.)
            6. Read 1- 5 again.
            7. Bert was called back to active duty and now serves his country as Assistant to the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff.
            8. http://bearingdrift.com/2013/08/26/bert-mizusawa-is-a-walking-tom-clancy-novel/

          • midwestconservative

            As I said, you have made it clear you want a social moderate, don’t “settle” run your candidate.
            I certainly don’t intend on “settling”

          • JayD

            One last attempt, then done. Yes, clearly I am a social moderate that also continues to support the GOP in spite of disagreeing with ‘conservative’ objectives to overturn Roe, deny LGBT community access to equal civil rights, and reject all (any!) attempt to raise revenue or support responsible and reasonable gun legislation. Sure, would love to vote for a kindred spirit, but there hasn’t been much opportunity to do so since President Reagan.

            I’m also a market strategist, realist, pragmatist, and optimist with an opinion not at all unique: given the current (operative word is current) VA electorate demographic trends, selecting far right socon candidates isn’t smart strategy for winning state-wide races (emphasis on state-wide).

            Curious, if ‘your guy’ doesn’t run and/or you don’t like the primary/convention winner(s) …do you NOT vote?
            Or do you … ‘settle’?

          • midwestconservative

            I settled for Romney, and I didn’t like Mourdock all that much. Thing is I don’t “settle” in the Primary, I vote and promote the candidate who agrees with me the most.
            Also “far right” is an incorrect classification for Cuccinelli. There isn’t any statewide or Federally elected Republican who classifies as “far right”.
            Far Right by Definition is fascism.
            And as far as voting for a “kindred spirit” you got a chance last year. As a Governor ( his actual record, not rhetoric) Romney passed gun control legislation and also increased funding for abortion.

    • S Fisher

      I wasn’t pleased with the way the whole Bolling/Cuccinelli thing went down over the Governor’s race…however, I would consider supporting wither for Senate, although I think Cuccinelli would be a toxic choice. Hopefully we’ll have a primary to choose. Would McDonnell be too toxic to consider?

    • midwestconservative

      If Bolling runs, by this time next year he’ll have been turned into a socon Neanderthal and moderates will complain that socons once again cost the GOP the victory. Even if Socons sit out, even if Bolling declares truce on socon issues, socons will get the blame, just like they did with Romney. Heck Socons will probably eventually vote for Bolling ( but not in the primary) but by then the social liberals will have abandoned him.

  • Britt Howard

    Hell no!

  • Jim Portugul

    Same ole’ song and dance, no electable candidate……..

    • midwestconservative

      Yeah, McDonnell was so unelectable he lost to Creigh Deeds…….

  • Turbocohen

    Hey, many Tea Party folks are at odds with each other right now.. Want to unify us against a candidate? Ask Hampton Roads Tea Party and Va Beach Tea Party chairs about the way Bill Bolling treated us in Tampa last year.. Go ahead rinos, make my day.

    • JayD

      RINO = REPUBLICANS who are INCLUSIVE, NOT OBSTRUCTIONISTS.

      • Turbocohen

        Uh, no madmoiselle D, Rinos say what they need to say to win republicans votes then vote like democrats. Rinos are liberal republicans who do not actually vote like the conservative republican creed. Rinos voted for TARP.. Republicans opposed TARP.

        • JayD

          Sorry Turbo, you’re wrong again. We are old school republicans that voted for Ronald Reagan and remember that his victories came from a core set of values combined with optimism, pragmatism, and inclusiveness. We are the 50% of republican voters under the age of 44 that firmly believe supporting equality for all citizens is simply the right thing to do. And we are part of the 70% of American voters that do not want to overturn Roe.
          We understand that in politics, those who can best align their core beliefs with a changing and improving citizenry win elections; those who hold tight to rigid ideology attract only like-minded purists.

          • Turbocohen

            Was a Reagan supporter before identifying as a republican.. He would not recognize the party today.

          • MD Russ

            No, Reagan would not recognize the Republican Party today. And that is a bad thing, not a good thing. BTW, Turbo. Don’t forget that Reagan’s first elected position was as the head of a labor union.

          • JayD

            That he would not. Reagan had strong values, but when push came to shove he made plenty of deals he didn’t like to further the country’s best interests at that time. As president, he approved tax increases several times & raised the debt limit repeatedly to deal w/ soaring deficits. He granted amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants and oversaw a massive increase in the size and scope of government spending. And BECAUSE he compromised, he achieved big things, like reviving the nation’s confidence & economy and ending cold war conflict w/ the Soviets. His ‘tax and spend’ policies reversed the deep Carter recession and, consequently, for much of his 2 terms the US economy thrived.

            By your definition, any practical leader willing to calibrate like President Reagan is a rino … ergo those of us that follow his still relevant principles today must be Reaganite Rinos.

            I’ll take label that any day.

          • David A.

            President Reagan was a pragmatic individual. He understood that to accomplish the business at hand, you had to work with Democrats. Yes, he is remembered as a conservative icon and that’s okay. Americans recall many of his famous quotes like “Government is not the solution. Government is the problem.” It helps enshrine him as a Republican icon.

            But if you examine his record as governor and president, you will view him as a moderate leader if viewed in today’s context. That is simply fact -a record is a record.

            Given his record on abortion, environmental regulation, immigration, spending and taxes, he would find it hard to be elected in today’s GOP.

            Lastly, Reagan knew the importance of being inclusive in the GOP. He said, “If we are to attract more working men and women of this country, we will do so not by simply “making room” for them, but by making certain they have a say in what goes on in the party.”

            This is the biggest problem with members of the tea party and those who view liberal to moderate Republicans as Democrats. They care less about governance. They care more about being philosophically correct. They would prefer to have one member of Congress who votes their way and speaks their language than an inclusive majority which represents all factions of the party.

            Simply put, they don’t see “governing” as the prize to be won and elections as the way to win it.

          • midwestconservative

            So get those moderates elected. Why should the “Right” work their butts off getting the Scott Browns and Susan Collins’ of this world elected, only to be constantly insulted by the very same people.
            If moderates want to have a “say” in how the party operates then do it. It’s not that hard, half of the precinct committee chairmanship are vacant. go get your mushy friends elected.
            The people who worked their butts off and voted for Romney ( a verifiable moderate) were Conservative, mostly more conservative then Romney. While the moderates complained about Romney “pandering to the Right”
            If your idea of “inclusiveness” is to tell half of the party ( the most energetic part at that) to sit down and shut up, it’s not actually inclusive.

          • David A.

            YES, I guess my point was lost on you. The party SHOULD get those moderates and liberal Republicans elected.

            It is how you build and sustain a majority. THIS is the point. You need folks like Brown and Collins because they can win in places more conservative candidates cannot. Cochran cannot win in Maine just as Collins couldn’t win in Mississippi. Not every congressional district and state are the same. Candidates need to be appropriate for both.

            If the Republican party is to regain the Senate and sustain its majority in the House, the tea party needs to understand this. It cannot continue trying to primary good members of Congress just because they don’t say “No” to everything that comes to a vote.

            At no point have I told a faction of the party to sit down and “shut up.” In fact, I said the tea party needs to understand that their preferred candidate cannot be elected in a general election in a lot of places. If their goal is governance than they must realize that primarying good folks is not the best option.

          • Eric McGrane

            align beliefs to a changing and improving citizenry? That sounds an awful lot like “don’t have real foundational principles”.

          • JayD

            You confuse ‘align’ with ‘change’. Different words w/ different meanings.

      • midwestconservative

        RINO= Republican who uses Daily Kos talking points. Which you just did.

        • JayD

          Jeez, who licked all the sugar off your lollipop today? :)

          • midwestconservative

            I don’t eat lollipops.

    • http://www.southsidecentral.com/ Bruce Hedrick

      You gave us E.W. Jackson. Please shut up.

      • Turbocohen

        EW was 2nd to last choice.. Try again.

  • Bradley Froman

    I think I hear a libertarian coming around the bend.

  • Turbocohen

    Support Bill Bolling the way he supported Ken Cuccinelli.. Mark Wins.

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  • Eric McGrane

    ..

  • Not Harry F. Byrd

    FWIW, I believe Bill Bolling has switched back to a “No” on Medicaid expansion. Supposedly the trouble roll-out swayed him, or so I read.

    • Eric McGrane

      For it before he was against it. Yes….because the way a thing is rolled out greatly affects one’s decision on whether or not its the role of government to do a thing. Bah.

  • Chip Tarbutton

    Bolling and his friends in Washington have made it quite clear they are willing to go to war against Conservatives to get power in the GOP…including helping a loathsome Democrat win. We don’t have to help the Democrats directly in the event a Bolling type wins the Republican nomination for Senate. If that happens, all we have to do is leave the battlefield and allow the Democrats to destroy them. Just the way they just did to us. And just the way they will do again if they don’t get THEIR guy.
    Or perhaps Conservatives take it a step further and start a 3rd party movement. But accepting Bolling under the banner of unity, after what has happened over the past few years, means we should just hold a funeral for any principles in the GOP….
    Conservatives are always good at sucking it up and voting for the lesser of two evils. Bolling and his minions know that. Things won’t change until THAT changes. And that means more Democrat victories in the short run.
    That is if principles are more important than just electing someone with an R behind their name.

    • Daniel Cortez

      Bolling is willing to go to war against conservatives? Show me a quote. OK guess who said this?

      “So go ahead…declare war on the grassroots people whose support you need to have
      any meaningful seat at the governing table. You just drive us into full third
      party status or even working against the GOP to support democrats. This is not
      an empty threat.” Says the tea party’s own….Eric “The Red” McGrane. And you say Bolling is the problem?

      • Chip Tarbutton

        Daniel…did you pay attention to the last election? He actively worked against the GOP candidate because he was “too extreme?” I can give you a laundry list of other sins if you like…but just his behavior in the last election alone is unforgivable. Not only should he not be the nominee….his actions should preclude him from being a member of the GOP.

        • Daniel Cortez

          Chip as an independent I had no problem with Lt Gov Bolling being his own man and having the courage of his convictions. I can guarantee if we’d of had a primary us independents would of flocked to support Bolling over Cooch and the election would NOT of been another Republican defeat. Talk about baggage Cooch had it all. What is done is done. It is my hope this round of defeats has taught conservatives a “primary” lesson.

          • Chip Tarbutton

            Daniel, you assume I care more about winning then doing the right thing. If Bolling loves Independents so much, he should run as one.

          • Daniel Cortez

            I believe in both Chip but I don’t support one party rule democrats or republicans. The real question is can we find common ground and not deal with moon howlers who “demand” absolutes ?

          • Chip Tarbutton

            I demand that political leaders follow the Constitution of the state and nation. Since Republicans do that rarely and Democrats generally see Constitutional limits as impediments to their goals…I am not a member of the Republican party. That is primarily because the party tends to have a short memory and will embrace someone like Bill Bolling (or George Allen) with the fools gold of attracting moderates. McDonnell ran as a Conservative (although he has not done a particularly good job of living up to that) and won because he had plenty of money and ran a smart campaign. Cuccinelli lost because he ran a crappy campaign and establishment folks like Bolling shoved a dagger into his back and openly reveled in his failures. And Cuccinelli still almost won. The only lesson to learn here is how desperate moderate Republicans are to push this meme you have bought into…and how NOT to run campaigns.

          • Daniel Cortez

            I respect your passion, I just don’t agree with your logic about who best can bring in moderates. I think Bill and George Allen did a lot of right things. Are they perfect? No man is. Personally I do agree with much of what you have said and like you have the courage of my own convictions, shared by many in my community…and we do vote the person not the party.

          • Eric McGrane

            I remember not that long ago when Roanoke Tea Party ran a piece destroying Dan Cortez. Makes me smile.

          • Dawmuc

            While I get your point, winning is important – that is politics. Winners have a seat at the legislative table and can shape policy. Losers sit at home and cry into their Gadsden flags while watching Mamas Family reruns.

          • Chip Tarbutton

            Of course winning is important. I played an active role in the last campaign for that very reason. But if you elect people to shape policies who are not philosophically different than your opponents, what exactly is the point of victory?

      • Eric McGrane

        Like

  • Socialism: Organized Evil

    Agree with the Bolling option; makes a lot of sense, all things considered.

  • DJRippert

    The problem with people who comment on blogs like this (i.e. any Virginia political blog) is that they don’t understand the “average voter”. The commenters think they are the average voters. They are not. They are far more passionate, informed and parochial than the “average voter”. The average voter sees Ken Cuccinelli as almost dangerous. He spent four years as Attorney General throwing firebombs at anything and everything that even slightly offended his sensibilities. Many people felt that he would spend the next four years as governor doing the same thing. He appeared more capable of governing before he became AG than after he was AG.

    Terry McAuliffe had a HUGE enthusiasm gap. He lost the 2009 Democratic primary to Creigh Deeds. He never held elected office. He had no devoted following. What he had was an anti-Cuccinelli following. And it was enough to win. In other words, the average voter saw McAuliffe’s inexperience and shady past as less dangerous than Cuccinelli’s firebombing. You can blame the average voter. You can call the average voter stupid. But the average voter will vote regardless of what you think or say about him or her.

    Bob McDonnell is perceived by the average voter as a cool, calm businessman. Most people think he’s done a good job as governor despite having to guide the state during very difficult economic times. He appears and sounds level headed to the average voter. In fact, most average voters will forgive his ethical indiscretions just like they forgave Bill Clinton for the Monica Lewinski affair.

    The average voter doesn’t know Bill Bolling. He’s like Cuccinelli before Cuccinelli became Attorney General. He’s like Bob McDonnell before he became governor. Generally, Bolling seems like a cool, calm guy. He put his foot down when the Republicans tried to redistrict the state senate in “the middle of the night”. The average voter respects that kind of fair play.

    The bottom line is that Bolling could gain the confidence of the average voter while Cuccinelli cannot. And don’t forget – this is a race against Mark Warner, not Terry McAuliffe. Warner is perceived as cool, calm and collected. The skeletons in his closet (and there are rumored to be some) are still in the closet. He is a former governor who left office with good popularity. He is a sitting senator. Whoever runs against him better be able to impress “the average voter”.

    Finally – you are forgetting the RPV’s best candidate … Bob McDonnell. He’s still very popular. And he’ll be very electable if the federal investigation comes up with no charges.

    • MD Russ

      Very well written. I could not agree with you more. There is a quote that is attributed to Woody Allen, “eighty percent of success is just showing up.” If you want to be a firebrand when there is no fire, then you have a problem. This country fought one revolution against absolutely intolerable tyranny and fought a bloody civil war that put over 35 million men under arms in proportion to today’s population. That, taken in historical context, makes all this loose talk about “socialism” and “oppressive big government” pale in comparison. Effective political candidates exude confidence and assurance, not panic and fear.

      I am sick and tired of all the canards thrown about in political discourse. The manufacturing sector in this country has not been shipped overseas. We are still one of the biggest producers of manufactured goods in the industrialized world. China does not own all of our debt. The largest holders of US Treasury securities are Americans. We are not wasting billions of dollars on foreign military bases. Our military is the most capable and well-equipped in human history and the rest of the world either admires this American exceptionalism or they fear it, depending on their motives and goals.

      Do we have problems that we need to solve? Of course, just like we have had problems for the past two centuries that needed to be addressed. Are there financial bubbles being perpetrated on Wall Street? Well, read the history of the Teapot Dome Scandal and decide which one represents a bigger failure of honest government. Is our military too big? Well, consider the fact that during World War II we consumed 37% of our GDP per year to defeat Japanese and German imperialism. Is ObamaCare an unmitigated disaster? Yes, but what is the Republican (or Democratic) solution to spiraling health care costs?

      And don’t get me started on legalizing recreational drugs. Now that is just what we need.

  • Chris Wilson

    I will not vote for Bill Bolling for anything, ever.

    • Tommy Valentine

      I’d vote for him in a general election as a nominee – I wouldn’t stoop to his level and throw fits – but I’d most definitely vote against him in a primary or convention.

  • midwestconservative

    Why not Tom Davis? He’s actually a moderate, and unlike Bolling the Tea Party is probably far more willing to vote for him.
    Tom has worked his butt off for fellow Republicans, while Bolling threw a hissy fit.
    Tom has class ( at least politically, maybe not in regards to family)
    Bill quite frankly doesn’t.

    • MD Russ

      I suspect that Tom Davis, like many, many moderates in Virginia, has turned his back on the RPVA and wouldn’t be interested in running for any office under that banner. The Republicans had their chance to keep John Warner’s seat with Davis as their candidate and they blew it by nominating James “No Car Tax” Gilmore at, wait for it, a closed convention instead of an open primary. I am quite confident that the RPVA will use a convention again to nominate the person least likely to defeat Mark Warner. But, hey, at least he will be “a good Republican,” for whatever that is worth.

      • Dawmuc

        Yeah, I don’t get it. The “base” loves America so much that they will do whatever it takes to guide our country towards continued greatness… that is, everything except win elections. First in principles, last in voting!!

        • midwestconservative

          How’s Senator Brown these days? still legislatin for America? How bout Charlie Summer? Or Senator Thompson? Senator Chafee?
          Don’t throw stones in glass houses.

          • Not Harry F. Byrd

            I’ll give you Chafee. If ever there was a Senate race where a RINO both 1) existed and 2) should have been cut loose it was the 2006 Rhode Island Senate Race.

            The NRSC spent $6 million saving Chafee’s ass in a primary only to see him go down in a general and then leave the party, endorse Obama, and run again as an Indy-turned-Dem.

            The guy’s voting record was miserable. He makes Collins, Brown, and Snowe look like Tom Coburn.

            He was only a Republican because of his father, John, and quite frankly he only achieved elected office for the same reason.

            We lost the Senate by 1 seat in 2006. That money could have been poured into many other races – most acutely Virginia – where George Allen was doing his damndest to blow his own foot off.

          • midwestconservative

            My point to Mr. Dawmuc is this, if moderates are so great and conservatives so terrible, then how come there is no great moderate victory from 2012. All of the moderate ( ish) candidates who ran in 2012 lost. Yes there were several conservatives ( Mourdock in my state) who also lost easy to win states, and there were conservatives who just lost with no major errors on their part ( Mandel in OH). BUT There are several candidates known as “moderate” who lost badly in 2012.
            Brown in particular lost to a borderline Marxist. Who lied about her ethnic heritage in order to get a cushy job at Harvard.
            And moderates are just as Responsible for the IN loss as Conservatives.
            Lugar lost the primary all on his own, he ran a TERRIBLE campaign. He also flippantly disregarded questions regarding his residency.
            Its not as if a moderate can’t win a primary. Collins would beat any R who tried to run to her Right. Lugar could’ve done the same.
            full disclosure: I did not in fact vote for Richard Mourdock in the Primary. But I know several relatives that did, the main reason they did so was the belief that Lugar “needed to retire and was too old”
            All of the great victories in 2012 were from conservative candidates ( Flake in AZ, Heller in NV)
            Most of the victories in 2010 were from Conservatives ( Toomey in PA, Johnson in WI, Rubio in FL, Ayotte in NH, Coats in IN, Blunt in MO, Portman in OH) The only moderate victories were Murkowski, McCain ( both incumbents) and Kirk in IL.
            I don’t really count victories in non-competitive redstates like UT, OK, SC,

          • midwestconservative

            The NRSC should really just commit to raising money ( like 5 million) to be spent on every Senate race deemed competitive.
            Incumbents should be perfectly capable of raising enough funds to protect themselves in a primary.
            NRSC should keep their powder dry until the general where they really need it.

      • midwestconservative

        Davis probably would’ve lost, Warner was too popular and too wealthy. Sure Tom would’ve kept it competitive. Might’ve even carried NOVA ( Loudoun, Fairfax, and Prince William) but Mark would’ve carried the Southwest ( that’s how he won the Governor’s race, and how he almost beat John Warner in 96)

      • midwestconservative

        Tom Davis was holding fundraisers for Obenshain back in October, that doesn’t sound like “turned his back”

    • EconDoc

      I worked for TD in high school in NoVa. But while I still support him, whenever I mention his name a lot of R’s just blow up in outrage about how he’s a RINO and terrible person. This is one reason I’ll be solid D through 2016.

      My takeaway: telling another Republican/conservative that they’re “not a real republican/conservative” because they don’t support you’re favored candidate doesn’t make them support you, it drives them towards the other guy.

      • midwestconservative

        He is a RINO, sort of, but he’s okay.
        I don’t agree with him politically on everything. But at least the man is a team player. He’s put in the mileage for a lot of candidates other then himself. That deserves to be rewarded.

  • midwestconservative

    Jeff McWaters has cash, he’s worth personally 25 million. And I’d think his background in the private insurance sector would be an asset not a weakness.

  • midwestconservative

    Also, forget McDonnell, he’s not running. He doesn’t want to be a Senator. He’s made that perfectly clear in recent weeks. Its not that he doesn’t think he can’t win, its that he has absolutely no interest apparently in being a legislator again.

  • midwestconservative

    I wonder if there will be a “Friends of Ken” running a write-in candidacy this time around? We can compare how many people in VA can spell Kenneth ( I don’t know his middle initial) Cuccinelli II as compared to William T. Bolling.

  • Warmac9999

    Warner is beatable by virtually any articulate conservative republican. Bash him into the ground with his being the final vote for obamacare and run on a Contract for Americans similar to what was done by Gingrich. Keep it simple and keep it on message.

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  • Joe

    A Bill Bolling candidacy could be intriguing, but I suspect he’s burned too many bridges to be a serious contender for the GOP nomination. If he runs as an independent, Bill Bolling basically hands Mark Warner a second term.

    At the same time, the GOP could mount a very strong challenge if it ever gets its act together and Bill Bolling doesn’t mount an independent candidacy. After all, Mark Warner voted for Obamacare and other parts of the president’s agenda. Historically speaking, the party out of power in the White House tends to do well in the midterm election during a president’s second term.. Besides, let’s not forget that George Allen was considered a shoo-in for re-election at this time eight years ago and we all know how that turned out.

  • Jim McGuire

    At least for 2014, Bolling is probably anathema to the more spirited Cuccinelli supporters and vice versa. But there are a lot of Republicans in this state. Can we not find someone acceptable to both camps? Suggestions?

  • midwestconservative

    Bolling probably doesn’t want to be a Senator anyway. He wants to run for Gov in 2017. Then it will be really his turn.
    Why else did he do absolutely jack for Obenshain? Who gains the most from Obenshain’s loss. Not McAuliffe, or even Herring and certainly not Northam.
    But rather Bill Bolling.