Bill Bolling Does The Smart Thing

By Joe Budzinski

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.


  • NateDogg614 says:

    *your heart

  • Novaguy says:

    Nate IS right.
    If you are a rich Democrat, you can be forgiven for being successful, but if you happen to be a Republican, then you are immediately judged to be an evil robber baron.

    Therefore, as is my right as anyone who is jealous of someone else’s success, I call on Terry McCauliffe to release his tax returns from 1995-2011.

  • NateDogg614 says:


    I appreciate the confirmation regarding my comment, however, I would hope that we can aspire to be a society that doesn’t automatically look at a successful person with jealousy and contempt. Rather, one should be inspired by whatever that success is (monetary, service to the community, great family man or woman, creating a good or service that is beneficial, etc.) and say, “Wow, what a role model! Someone who took their individual God-given gifts and talents and put them to work to make the most out of life for themselves and for others. THAT is one of the reasons why I identify as a conservative and as a Republican. The GOP champions more pesonal liberty and allowing people to make use of their talents, rather than having folks beholden to an all-powerful ever-growing centralized Government. Now, to be clear, Government has its proper role in the social contract and there ought to be a safety net at the bottom to help people back on their feet and offer a helping hand. But it should not be a crutch and people shouldn’t be conditioned to think “there is no way I can improve my standing in life, so I’m just doing to do just enough to get by and still be elegible for some kind of Government assistance. Plus that will stick it to the rich who obviously got where they are by screwing someone else.” That’s not the America I grew up in and believe in and it frankly saddens me to think that there could be more takers than makers and enough people who are now conditioned to think that they can’t make it anywhere without a Government handout of some kind.

    Of course, if Mr. McAuliffe wants to release his tax returns for the past 20 years, well, what’s good for the goose should be good for the gander. Again, he’s a Democrat and there’s a double standard, so I don’t expect him to be taken to task by the media in DC or VA.

  • Novaguy says:

    Mine was intended to be little bit sarcastic… but good point.

  • NateDogg614 says:

    I suspected. 😉 I thought it best to elaborate, as my initial comment had a slight sarcastic undertone to it. I do mantain there is a blatant double-standard in the media when it comes to the Dems and GOP. Obama is their “messianic figure” and anyone in the GOP is a “minion of the Anti-Christ.” With that basic premise in mind, they construct the rest of the narrative. If anyone wants to suggest otherwise…..have at it. I’m more than happy to listen.

  • FedUp says:

    “I have decided to suspend my quest for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship in 2013,”

    I just knew Joe was a NASCAR driver (Dale, Carl, Jeff, Matt?). Brad Keselowski? Boooooooooooo! My most memorable moment of the year was at Watkins Glen when Marcus Ambrose pinched him into the wall coming out of the final turn to win after battling neck and neck the last lap. What a race! Did you see it?

  • Joe Budzinski says:

    In the old days it was David Pearson. In the modern era I liked Dale Sr, since then Dale Jr and a few others. Most NASCAR drivers are hard to dislike (rather different from most sports, obviously). I like Keselowski! How can anyone dislike the kid?

  • FedUp says:

    Glad to know you’re a long-time NASCAR fan, Joe. I agree that there are only a handful of drivers fans seem to dislike and that becomes apparent in the pre-race driver introductions. Why do I dislike BK? Maybe it’s all the incidents he has been involved in in his brief career that seem to have been related to his won’t back down, aggressive style. Incidents like wrecking Kyle Busch on the last lap of the Watkins Glen race to take the lead. I thought that was unnecessary and I think most drivers would have avoided doing that.

  • Joe Budzinski says:

    Oh, I did not see that. This was one of those years I only caught Daytona and a couple other races. BK’s accessibility on Twitter is cool, but I will pay closer attention to his racing in the future.

  • Rtwng Extrmst says:

    Excellent piece Joe. I think that would be high literary stuff on the Editorial page of any major newspaper. Very well written and witty.

    Ken has always been underestimated by his opponents. He will do well and I believe will win. One thing about him, even those who disagree with him on issues can count on him to be an honest person who you can trust to do what he says. I think many will look aside from the social stances and vote for him given the problems we face from Washington. He’s the best person to lead the fight against the edicts from the “Central Committee of the Supreme Soviet” that the White House has become.

    As for Bolling, he’s lost all respect I ever had for him (which was considerable). Bolling’s statements since backing out appear childish and whiny. Certainly not the stuff of an honorable member of the GOP. Not to mention that Bolling has strongly backed Cuccinelli in his past elections. For him to come out with the statements he has made now, totally disgraces himself in my opinion after what had been a long and respected career.

    I would not put it past him or the establishment to run another candidate, either Bolling or someone else, as an independent in order to defeat Ken at any cost (ensuring a Dem win). This has been proven to be their operendi many times in the past (look at 1993, 1996, and 2005 for examples). If they do that this time, I think it will be the end of the GOP in VA and would be the start of a political insurrection that might well doom the GOP, but in the long run might be a good thing for VA and the nation.

  • Rick Boyer says:

    The whole flap over Bill Bolling pulling out of the Governor’s race and threatening to run as an independent has stoked emotions on both sides. To me, it reveals the blatant hypocrisy of folks who savaged Virgil Goode for running against Mitt Romney (never mind that Virgil’s differences with Romney were very significant, and we’re all told that Bill Bolling actually is a conservative and not that different from Ken Cuccinelli).
    But what’s more important to me than which individual is right or wrong, is that this whole flap sets out in sharp relief two of the greatest things WRONG with the modern incarnation of the Republican Party – certainly at a national level and perhaps even more exaggerated in the Republican Party of Virginia. I think each deserves our attention.

    1.We tend to idolize individual politicians. I believe our Founders would have warned us against this. We ought to look to the American people for direction, not to self-anointed leaders. Perhaps this was best expressed by one longtime Republican activist who stated that with Bolling’s withdrawal, she would just retire from politics.

    Are we serious? Are our years of effort really so tied up in the worship of a single man or woman that the person’s defeat leaves us without a cause for which to fight? There is no candidate out there, Bolling, Cuccinelli or otherwise, who deserves that level of idolatry. Many of us in the “party activist” ranks are the folks most susceptible to the clearly false idea that “Congress stinks, but MY Congressman is a great guy.” This attitude of “politician worship” leads us to judge what is right or wrong on the basis of our preferred politician’s actions, instead of judging our politicians with an honest yardstick of objective right and wrong; that is, we measure truth by a man instead of measuring a man (or woman) by the truth. That’s why it’s “wrong” for Virgil Goode to challenge Romney, but “right” for Bolling to do the same thing to Cuccinelli. We become a nation of men, not of law.

    2.We look at public office as something to be “deserved” because the politician has “paid his dues,” or “put in his time.” Now “it’s his turn.” This attitude is cancerous. In truth, public office is a high honor, and more importantly, a sacred trust. PUBLIC OFFICE IS NOT SOMETHING A POLITICIAN DESERVES; IT IS SOMETHING HE HOLDS IN TRUST, RESPONSIBLE TO SERVE THE WISHES OF THE PEOPLE WHO PUT HIM THERE. No one “deserves” four more years on the taxpayer dime because they have already been granted twenty. No one “deserves” a promotion to the highest office in the state because he has been blessed to hold the second-highest. It is destructive to believe that I, as the citizen, owe some allegiance to an elected official because he’s been there. We are not far removed from the “divine right of kings” theory.
    As a party, we MUST reverse our thinking. Our elected officials are NOT our rulers; they are our servants. Being on the taxpayer dime is a privilege, not a guarantee of tenure for life and automatic promotion. They are our REPRESENTATIVES. WE are the rulers; THEY are the servants, who serve at our pleasure. We owe them nothing; they owe us everything. We have lost all concept of government of, by and for the people, and we must reverse our thinking.

    How do we address both these problems? By a paradigm shift in our thinking. Today we view a “Party” as a group of folks bound together by a blood oath to “elect Republicans,” and then to serve and re-elect those incumbents basically for life. If we are to move forward, we MUST view a “Party” as a group of folks bound together by a basically shared set of IDEALS, PRINCIPLES – sworn to find folks who subscribe to those ideas to support at election time, to hold them accountable once elected, and to REPLACE THEM if they “become destructive of those ends” for which we elected them, as the Declaration put it. WE MUST BE DRIVEN BY IDEAS, NOT POLITICIANS.

    What are those basic ideas? For simple starters, our elected officials MUST believe in Life and Liberty. They must stand without apology for the simple understanding that unless we ALL have the right to life, everything else is but window dressing. The “Republican” state senator who bottles up pro-life legislation in committee, who “reaches out to single women” in a craven bid for power, with the lives of innocents as the 30 pieces of silver he trades for votes, is as shameful as the openly pro-partial birth abortion Democrat. Secondly, our officials MUST understand the government is too big, and be committed IN PRACTICE to making it smaller. Not “smaller growth,” but making it smaller. Almighty God only demands 10 percent; government already demands 40-50%. How DARE we consider “raising revenue” or raising debt ceilings? EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN THIS COUNTRY IS ALREADY IN DEBT $250,000! It is UNCONSCIONABLE for a Republican, yea for an American, to support allowing unelected groups of bureaucrats to have the authority to tax us. Yet our Governor, Lieutenant Governor and most “Republican” Congressmen and state legislators supported the creation of unelected taxing authorities. We used to have one of those; his name was King George III. We had to fight a war to get rid of him. A politician who votes us back to 1775 shouldn’t get another chance!

    If we will swear our allegiance to Life and Liberty, and make our politicians run the gauntlet of Principle before they “earn” our votes, we will, as party activists, rebuild the trust in this party that 2012 proved we have so manifestly lost. If we continue to put “Truth upon the scaffold and Man upon the throne,” we deserve the contemptuous title of “party hack.” We are, like it or not, accountable for the votes we cast and the folks we help elect. If they betray our Ideals and we wink at it, we too have become Judas. We too have broken faith with the folks who trust us, as activists, to present them with leaders who earn their trust.
    This “Charlie Crist moment,” as Richard Viguerie puts it, is a Moment of Truth for us as a Party, and as its activists. Will we be content to be hacks, or will we determine to be a new breed of freedom fighters, rebuilding from the ashes of 2012 the dream our Founders bequeathed to us. Forget Bolling vs. Cuccinelli; I call us to choose – Are we in service of Men, or in service to Liberty? IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO BE BOTH!

  • Just sayin' says:

    “Frankly, anyone who voted for Obama and then gets laid off, well tough stuff for you! You voted for him, you live with the consequenses”

    Which, between the 100 companies that laid off folks on Wednesday after the election, the coalmines that won’t need workers when the coal-fired plants get shut down, and all those government contractors who’ll get the boot on Jan.1, 2013….well, there’s a lot of unemployment coming.

    We were trying to get 23 Million back to work so they could pay taxes. This is clearly going the other way.

  • Elder Berry says:

    You people would be funny if you weren’t so sad.

  • Julii says:

    conflation here..first the AG of the US is not the one who is investigating . seocnd, the AG of states have no role in global warming and a very tenuous with respect to the use of state dollars in educational research.if you look at the totality of university research papers .. they are very diverse..all over the map on a wide variety of issues.. and vigorously and even vociferously debated and disputed within the scientific community not to mention the research paid for by cigarette and other companies .the Cooch has cherry-picked one particular area with a highly partisan context imagine what university research would look like in Va.. if the AG would have his staff go through all of it to basically say that if the content/results of the study differed with political ideology that witch-hunt investigations would become the norm.what Coouch is doing in wrong on so many levels while at the same time he ignores legitimate questionable things going on in higher ed .and it’s connections to private industry.Imagine if the AG of the US started investigating colleges on the pretext that because they received Fed money the AG of the US should be going through papers looking for waste, fraud and abuse especially on papers that oppose current administration policies.wrong TMT and if this is what you really want.. do you want the Dems to do it when it’s their turn?

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