Do Ken Cuccinelli’s supporters honestly think he can win with the same coalition of voters as Mark Early and Jerry Kilgore? I certainly don’t.
The simple fact is that if all of our Republican candidates in 2009 do not win the votes, and yes the financial support, of people in the Commonwealth who supported and voted for Warner and Kaine, we are going to lose again. I have no doubt that Bob McDonnell and Bill Bolling can accomplish this, as they have both won statewide office once before and seem positioned to broaden their voting coalitions next year.
The AG race is another story. Neither candidate has proven himself on the statewide level and both have work to do in making their case for electability. Unfortunately, Cuccinelli’s supporters seem all too eager to push people out of the Republican Party rather than welcoming them in. That is a recipe for failure.
I am certainly not suggesting that the candidates not be vetted completely. They should. However, it strikes me as bizarre that when a person who has held a position of trust for as long as Brownlee has and, by all accounts, has acquitted himself admirably therein, the first reaction by some Republicans is to immediately disbelieve everything he says based, not on a record that contradict those statements, but rather upon the absence of a public record.
I know some of you won’t believe me when I say this is not an attack on Ken. I am a big fan of Ken Cuccinelli and if he is our nominee, I will support him without any reservation. It simply baffles me to see the fervor with which his supporters seem to want to tear down John Brownlee. I guess that shouldn’t surprise me for as long as I’ve been in politics, but it still does.
I just hope we can move past the pettiness of personal attacks and talk about which candidate is best suited to continue the successful run of Republican Attorneys General in 2009. Both of these men deserve our full and fair consideration.