Virginia Lt. Governor Bill Bolling has decided to “suspend” his quest for the GOP nomination for governor in 2013, clearing the way for Ken Cuccinelli to lead the Republican ticket in next year’s elections.
In related news, I have decided to suspend my quest for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship in 2013, clearing the way for Brad Keselowski to repeat as champion.
Bolling is by all accounts a nice guy and truly decent man, and also the candidate of the Republican establishment, who presumably looked at the newspaper the morning of November 7 and noted the respective fates of George Allen and Mitt Romney … and put two and two together.
On top of the fact that reportedly he was polling at least 30 points behind Ken Cuccinelli, Bill Bolling probably discerned the signs of the times.
To wit: There is a deprecatory adage among Republicans, of being prone to choosing the person who is “next in line” for higher office in the party hierarchy. This year, Bolling suffered the double disadvantage of a lower profile among voters and being, literally, next in line – as a result of a deal he cut with (then-candidate, now Governor) Bob McDonnell in 2009, to step aside in that year’s nomination contest in return for the presumed nomination in 2013.
On top of everything else happening within the Republican Party right now, this is the wrong time to be that guy.
Cuccinelli, who apparently got in the wrong line when they were handing out places in line, made a hash of the orderly succession of Virginia gentlemen by announcing his own candidacy for the GOP nomination. Cuccinelli’s star not only has been on a steady ascent within Virginia, but he enjoys a national stature among conservative grassroots and Tea Party activists for a variety of reasons, most notably his leadership opposing the implementation of ObamaCare.
Regardless of current R vs D polls, Bolling’s announcement is good news for the Republican ticket. It is going to save large sums of money for the general election, and provide a higher profile, for a longer period of time, for the superior campaigner. Cuccinelli will not only fire up the base during the campaign season of the next eleven months, but he is also a creative thinker at a time when tried and true election tactics are now a proven losing proposition for Republican candidates.
I, for one, expect fewer robocalls next year.
UPDATE: The first comment reminds me of a point not included in the post: Democrats undoubtedly will respond with deep concern over the general rightward drift represented by Ken Cuccinelli’s leadership on the ticket, and such concerns should be received with all appropriate seriousness and gratitude relative to the sincerity in which they are proffered. Undoubtedly, Cuccinelli will study long and hard each of the elections he has lost to Democrats in the past, for clues on how to achieve better results in the future.