by Paul Goldman
RICHMOND, Va. – Right now, the campaign of Republican gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli isn’t ready for prime time.
Their strategy – turn Cuccinelli into a Tidewater toll road defending, transportation tax accepting, “I ain’t no culture warrior” afraid to talk about gay marriage and abortion, yada, yada, yada candidate is the worst I have ever encountered. Even seasoned GOP pros in Washington agree.
So: I agree 100 percent with Terry McAuliffe’s hoping, praying, keeping my fingers crossed strategy for begging Governor McDonnell to stonewall, drywall, scale-a-wall effort to stay in office until his term would legally end.
Things are going according to plan at the McAuliffe HQ. Why would they want to risk a change? They wouldn’t, they shouldn’t and they won’t unless forced.
McDonnell’s mess is their mantra.
If McDonnell is still in the governor’s chair come November, the odds strongly favor McAuliffe winning. If McDonnell resigns in the next few weeks, then I believe Governor Bolling will cut a deal to get on the Libertarian Party line and this would set up a three-way race with Terry having a far less likely chance of winning although he would still be the favorite.
I know this is counter-intuitive, that Terry would seem to be a better bet in a three-way race against two basic Republicans than head up against only one Republican.
But as I read the chess board, a Governor Bolling would appeal to the very middle of the road voter who isn’t happy with the two current choices, but is leaning Terry in all the polls.
This could change by Election Day, but based on 2012 results, I think the better bet is on Terry to win these voters, not Cuccinelli.
True, the current two-man race is still a close race on paper, even in the polls. But there is no evidence yet that Cuccinelli has been able to broaden his appeal to the very middle of the road independent voters that elected McDonnell, Kaine and Warner.
He thinks the way to do this is to say he isn’t an extremist. That is so amateurish.
Because he has to first accept the validity of the Democrats premise before making the argument. YOU NEVER WIN votes on the defense.
McAuliffe understands, always attack, never defend.
As long as Cuccinelli is saying what he isn’t, then he isn’t telling voters what he is.
That being the case, why would McAuliffe want the whole chess board thrown out and turned upside down by Governor McDonnell having to resign?
Politically speaking, chaos would reign.
There is no telling where the press would go next.
Remember, the press is never your friend.
Once they take down the Governor, they need to find someone else to destroy.
That’s the game, whether fair or unfair. You adapt, or you die.
Since McDonnell is a Republican, history says they will look for a Democrat to prove they aren’t biased. I know it sounds crazy, but having seen it enough times, having had to deal with it enough times, it happens all the time.
A Democratic leaning press being pressured by the conservative talk shows and blogs into proving they are not biased.
What do they do it?
Because it is the only way to prove they aren’t biased. But of course, the conservative talkers don’t care. Even after the press destroys a “liberal,” the conservative talkers still say the press is biased against them. But the media falls for it every time. .
But as long as they have McDonnell to kick around, everyone else is safe except the GOP which suffers by association with the Republican governor.
Game theory wise, Democrats lose nothing by keeping McDonnell in power. Thus any other outcome has some potentially great risk. And game theory says: NEVER trade your current position for one that is riskier unless forced to retreat.
It is the same strategy used in war time by all the great generals. Hold your position unless you can fall back or move forward to a better one.
Paul Goldman is in no way affiliated with WTVR. His comments are his own, and do not reflect the views of WTVR or any related entity. Neither WTVR nor any of its employees or agents participated in any way with the preparation of Mr. Goldman’s comments.