E.W. Jackson would probably be the first person to agree with an assessment that his campaign cost the 2013 election.
This isn’t to say that Cuccinelli’s lackluster effort would have been magically whisked away from chickenshit to chicken salad, but consider Mark Obenshain’s near miss in his Attorney General’s bid.
Consider further what would have happened if Jackson had been properly run (loyalists inside the campaign will confide that Jackson was hobbled from the inside as well as from without). In fact, when the dust settled, does anyone remember who gave Jackson the most visible support?
Remember this guy?
Let’s consider alternative histories here. If Snyder had won the Republican nomination in 2013, would Obenshain be Attorney General right now? Hands down, I think the right answer to that is yes. Would the Snyder candidacy have been elected lieutenant governor? If given the choice between a coin flip and betting on Pete ’13, I’d have bet on the Pete Snyder technology juggernaut vs. Ralph “I’m Helping”
Wiggum Northam — right?
Needless to say, the lesson here is very simple. Any problem on any one part of the Republican ticket has the chance to sink the whole.
…and that is a problem in the wake of the Vogel/Reeves dust up.
* * *
Several members of the Virginia Republican blogosphere have been talking among one another for some time. In short, almost to a person we are all disappointed in the dust up  between Vogel and Reeves — and especially the claims of blackmail added on  to what was supposed to be an affair of honor.
Most of us feel as if the episode has harmed both candidates. Worse, most of us believe the Washington Post coverage was designed to wing both candidates regardless who becomes the nominee. If you need a mere taste of how nasty the current LG race is going to become, check out Millennial Ascent’s coverage  of the Hanover GOP debate — the outcome having been so disappointing that even the folks at The Bull Elephant declared Delegate Glenn Davis (who voted for Medicaid expansion) the winner .
Most notable of all? There is a growing (yet private) consensus that perhaps — just perhaps — it is time for a fourth candidate to emerge.
John Adams’ candidacy for Attorney General bears all the hallmarks of an insurgent, grassroots campaign. His fundraising numbers were modest at best. In contrast, Herring’s totals were at gubernatorial levels of confidence — which means we are in the fight of our lives against a well funded progressive hostile to the Virginia Constitution and everything conservatives hold dear.
The four way fight for the gubernatorial nod remains up in the air at the moment. Gillespie enjoys wide margins in both primary voter support and cash on hand. Riggleman and Stewart are actively displacing one another as the conservative insurgent to supplant the frontrunner, while Wagner is slowly hammering his case home. In short, the gubernatorial nominee is going to need every precious ounce of resources they can muster against either the progressive insurgent Tom Perriello or a well-financed and establishment backed Ralph
The nominee in the lieutenant governor’s race will decide 2017.
There is literally no other way to say this calmly or collectedly, but the episode over the e-mails has crippled confidence among the grassroots entirely. Whether one believes that Reeves is a womanizer or Vogel’s staff needs to take a remedial course in home Wi-Fi setup — the fact of the matter is that the entire sordid episode will hobble both candidates through November.
Is that what Adams’ candidacy needs vs. Herring, folks? Is that what the Republican gubernatorial nominee needs?
This is no longer a conversation as to whether or not one of the three LG candidates can spend precious resources recovering lost reputation in a state where Democrats are desperately looking for a rebound after a devastating 2016 campaign — we don’t have those resources; we don’t have that time.
The question now is whether or not there is a choice who can clear the field, one with solid fundraising capability who can unite the ticket and the Republican Party writ large.
…but let’s be honest here. Right now? The mess at the lieutenant governor slot is threatening the entire ticket.
This is no mere observation, but cold reality where resources have to be applied to recover that ought to be applied taking the wood to the Democratic opposition and forcing them to make the case as to why four years of failure needs to be turned into eight.
Because seriously — do you really want to risk losing to a Democratic ticket headed up by this guy??
I didn’t think so either. So the time for cold truth is now.
The current candidates are hurting the ticket and can’t go on offense. We need an adult who can.