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Posted: 6/16/2009 2:12:44 AM EST
McDonnell makes push to the center
The GOP candidate for governor gained the support of moderate leaders who aided Kaine and Warner.

By Michael Sluss
(804) 697-1585

Associated Press

File March Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell said he wants to reach out to less partisan, more moderate supporters.
Related
roanoke.com/politics
http://www.roanoke.com/politics/wb/208579
* State, local and national political coverage, Virginia General Assembly and gubernatorial politics

RICHMOND –– Republican Bob McDonnell made a reach toward the political center in his run for governor Monday, gaining the public backing of moderate civic and political leaders who had roles in coalitions assembled by Democratic Govs. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.

The announcement of a "Virginians for McDonnell" organization could help the former attorney general deflect Democratic charges that he is too closely aligned with a GOP conservative wing that worked against major initiatives of the Warner and Kaine administrations.

The McDonnell campaign group includes two members of Warner's gubernatorial Cabinet and individuals associated with certain policy initiatives embraced by the two Democratic governors.

McDonnell will face Democrat Creigh Deeds, a state senator from Bath County, in the general election. Deeds won the nomination last week in a three-way primary against better-funded and more liberal opponents. Warner and Kaine have promoted Deeds as a logical successor who can bridge regional and partisan differences in the Capitol.

President Obama also waded into the Virginia race Monday, asking Democratic activists in an e-mail message to get involved in Deeds' campaign. In a message sent to the Virginia e-mail lists of the Democratic National Committee and the group Organizing for America, Obama wrote that Deeds would "bring the same bipartisan, pragmatic approach to politics" as Warner and Kaine.

But McDonnell is making a concerted effort to draw support from moderates who first helped Warner form working coalitions as a candidate and as governor.

McDonnell acknowledged in a news conference that GOP candidates have not done enough to attract that support in recent election cycles.

"I also realize that most elections are decided by those people who don't affiliate themselves with a Republican or a Democrat, but they want good candidates, good government, and they want results," he said.

The new McDonnell group will be led by Judy Ford Wason, a former GOP activist who was involved in similar campaign organizations for Warner's gubernatorial and U.S. Senate campaign; and by Wyatt Durrette, who was the GOP's nominee for governor in 1985. Durrette backed Kaine's campaign for governor in 2005.

The group also includes two former members of Warner's Cabinet: former Secretary of Technology George Newstrom and former Secretary of Health and Human Resources Jane Woods. Woods served as a Republican member of the state Senate representing Fairfax County before joining Warner's administration.

Roanoke businessman Heywood Fralin also is a member of the McDonnell organization. Fralin, whose son William is a Republican member of the House of Delegates, backed Warner's 2008 Senate bid and introduced him at the Democrat's kickoff rally in Roanoke last year.

Durrette said the new organization will be a vehicle for those who want to support McDonnell and remain free to back candidates from either party for other offices.

The Republican ticket includes Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, who is seeking re-election, and attorney general candidate Ken Cuccinelli, a state senator from Fairfax County. Each of the three statewide offices is elected independently.

"The task of leading Virginia through these challenging times requires a person who knows where the partisan line stops and the governing line begins, and Bob McDonnell has demonstrated that he does," Durrette said.

McDonnell hopes to reverse his party's recent losing streak in statewide elections and has been working to shed the "party of no" label that Democrats have tried to affix to the GOP at the national level.

Deeds' campaign referred questions about the McDonnell endorsements to the state Democratic Party, which accused McDonnell of "trying to perform a political makeover."

Among other things, Democratic spokesman Jared Leopold noted that McDonnell opposed Kaine's plan earlier this year to expand eligibility for unemployment benefits so Virginia could receive $125 million in federal stimulus funds. McDonnell also opposed a 2004 budget compromise that emerged after Warner steered a tax increase through the Republican-run legislature.

Warner argued that the tax and spending plans were needed to adequately fund essential services.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 3:15:09 AM EST
I just hope he doesn't make the same mistake as a few recent Republican candidates and not get his ass out and work to get the job. Sitting back and watching does not work. The Dems have out campaigned us every year.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 3:16:47 AM EST
The biggest worry McDonnell should have is not stepping on his peepee every chance he gets like Jerry Kilgore did four years ago. That, and like or not, the GOP has been painted as the "party of no" and he has to overcome that.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 3:16:47 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/16/2009 3:17:10 AM EST by Bonk2029]
Oops. Doubletap.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 3:19:19 AM EST
Originally Posted By Bonk2029:
The biggest worry McDonnell should have is not stepping on his peepee every chance he gets like Jerry Kilgore did four years ago. That, and like or not, the GOP has been painted as the "party of no" and he has to overcome that.


See, I think the party of no is a good thing and that should be expanded on. No bailouts, no tax increases, no more harmful regulation, no more gun control, no corruption, etc.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 3:36:57 AM EST
Originally Posted By Bonk2029:
The biggest worry McDonnell should have is not stepping on his peepee every chance he gets like Jerry Kilgore did four years ago. That, and like or not, the GOP has been painted as the "party of no" and he has to overcome that.


IIRC in 2005 it was Ken Hutcheson, Kilgore's campaign manager, who ticked off activists in all three core conservative groups that form the GOP base (gun owners, pro-lifers, and advocates of limited government) to the point where they undervoted in the Governor's race. Bolling and McDonnell ran much more conservative races and their campaigns didn't cr*p on the base, which includes the people most likely to get out and volunteer for them. I was working locally for the GOP at the time and saw some of that correspondence after the election. It was quite ugly.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 6:32:49 AM EST
Must. Not. Rant.....


This is the type of crap that really gets me pissed off! And, this is exactly the reason that it was absolutely imperative not to allow either Moran or McAuliffe to have any chance at the governorship. Once again, rather than actually run on conservative principles, and actually BE the party of NO (no tax increases, no welfare increases, no increase in government, no feel-good legislation, etc.), the Republican Party nominee gains the support of the party, then runs "to the center", which means right back to the politics and policies that have been failing Virginians all along. Except, there will be a big to-do about abortion and gay marriage, so the run "to the center" will just alienate conservatives and the emphasis on abortion and gay marriage will alienate the so-called "center". Result -> the Democrats win another decisive victory. Screw these idiots!
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 11:12:02 AM EST
Originally Posted By Bubbles:
Originally Posted By Bonk2029:
The biggest worry McDonnell should have is not stepping on his peepee every chance he gets like Jerry Kilgore did four years ago. That, and like or not, the GOP has been painted as the "party of no" and he has to overcome that.


IIRC in 2005 it was Ken Hutcheson, Kilgore's campaign manager, who ticked off activists in all three core conservative groups that form the GOP base (gun owners, pro-lifers, and advocates of limited government) to the point where they undervoted in the Governor's race. Bolling and McDonnell ran much more conservative races and their campaigns didn't cr*p on the base, which includes the people most likely to get out and volunteer for them. I was working locally for the GOP at the time and saw some of that correspondence after the election. It was quite ugly.


Bingo. Someone called the VCDL irrelevant, which shut off just about everyone here.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 1:29:22 PM EST

Originally Posted By Bubbles:

IIRC in 2005 it was Ken Hutcheson, Kilgore's campaign manager, who ticked off activists in all three core conservative groups that form the GOP base (gun owners, pro-lifers, and advocates of limited government) to the point where they undervoted in the Governor's race. Bolling and McDonnell ran much more conservative races and their campaigns didn't cr*p on the base, which includes the people most likely to get out and volunteer for them.

Quite right!

By the time the election rolled around, I could not vote for Kilgore. The other 2 Repubs on the ticket, yes, but not Kilgore.

Link Posted: 6/16/2009 1:32:42 PM EST

Originally Posted By VTHOKIESHOOTER:
Originally Posted By Bonk2029:
The biggest worry McDonnell should have is not stepping on his peepee every chance he gets like Jerry Kilgore did four years ago. That, and like or not, the GOP has been painted as the "party of no" and he has to overcome that.

See, I think the party of no is a good thing and that should be expanded on. No bailouts, no tax increases, no more harmful regulation, no more gun control, no corruption, etc.

Sure it's a good thing, but people are tired of hearing it as "no ____."

It's all in the presentation... the party of self-sufficiency, low taxes, regulation taylored for prosperity, the right to self-defense, increased accountability/honesty, etc...



Link Posted: 6/16/2009 3:44:55 PM EST
Originally Posted By VTHOKIESHOOTER:
Originally Posted By Bonk2029:
The biggest worry McDonnell should have is not stepping on his peepee every chance he gets like Jerry Kilgore did four years ago. That, and like or not, the GOP has been painted as the "party of no" and he has to overcome that.


See, I think the party of no is a good thing and that should be expanded on. No bailouts, no tax increases, no more harmful regulation, no more gun control, no corruption, etc.


What he said.

Someone has to be the functional parent.

Sometimes you HAVE to say no, for goodness' sake.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 3:48:45 PM EST
i'm not voting for moderates any more. if this guy turns out to be a moderate after talking up being a conservative, he can suck it just like the rest of them. i'm not voting for a moderate ever again. it absolutely killed me to vote for Mclame, i basically pulled the lever for Palin. i'm all for throwing these guys out of the party when they pull the "move to the center crap"
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 4:35:30 PM EST

Originally Posted By wmw221:
i'm not voting for moderates any more. if this guy turns out to be a moderate after talking up being a conservative, he can suck it just like the rest of them. i'm not voting for a moderate ever again. it absolutely killed me to vote for Mclame, i basically pulled the lever for Palin. i'm all for throwing these guys out of the party when they pull the "move to the center crap"

This + eleventymillion.... You can have Democrat or Democrat lite, take your choice. This crap of "I'm a moderate Republican" is old. Basically you are saying that you haven't the stones to be a real conservative but wish to still cling to the stodgy old Republican name.

Wake me when a fiscally, morally and socially conservative candidate is brought to the plate. Until then, have fun with the two Democratic parties. Politics in VA and the USA = BS.

(did that sound like a bitter person?)


Link Posted: 6/16/2009 4:57:49 PM EST
Originally Posted By Tipsovr:

Originally Posted By wmw221:
i'm not voting for moderates any more. if this guy turns out to be a moderate after talking up being a conservative, he can suck it just like the rest of them. i'm not voting for a moderate ever again. it absolutely killed me to vote for Mclame, i basically pulled the lever for Palin. i'm all for throwing these guys out of the party when they pull the "move to the center crap"

This + eleventymillion.... You can have Democrat or Democrat lite, take your choice. This crap of "I'm a moderate Republican" is old. Basically you are saying that you haven't the stones to be a real conservative but wish to still cling to the stodgy old Republican name.

Wake me when a fiscally, morally and socially conservative candidate is brought to the plate. Until then, have fun with the two Democratic parties. Politics in VA and the USA = BS.

(did that sound like a bitter person?)




only if you are also clinging to your guns and religion
Link Posted: 6/17/2009 8:31:09 AM EST
At least Cuccinelli is running true to form.

Cuccinelli Sticks to His Guns in Statewide Race

By Sandhya Somashekhar
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 12, 2009

Gun rights advocates gathered outside the Virginia state Capitol for a rally in January, some of them wearing their weapons tucked beneath their clothes. Among the featured speakers was Sen. Ken Cuccinelli II, one of the most conservative members of the state legislature and a fixture in gun rights circles.

Tall and lean, dressed in a black overcoat and buffered against the wind by an indigo scarf, he noted that his opposition to efforts to "roll back our right to protect ourselves" is not shared by many of his Northern Virginia constituents.

"I have a district that votes four-to-one for gun control," he told the crowd in a speech that was circulated on YouTube. "But I know defending the Second Amendment is the right thing to do. And so I've led the charge year in and year out to do just that."

That incongruity has been a hallmark of Cuccinelli's seven years as a GOP lawmaker from Fairfax County, where by his own admission, conservatives of his stripe are an "endangered species." The unusual blend of politics and geography will come into sharp focus, in ways favorable and not, when he runs statewide this year as the Republican candidate for attorney general.

Critics and fans of Cuccinelli, 40, say he is a shrewd and hardworking campaigner with a record of winning in enemy territory and a loyal following among home-schoolers, antiabortion activists and others in the conservative wing of the party. That base helped push Cuccinelli over the top at the recent Republican convention, where he secured the nomination from among three competitors.

His nomination has buoyed some Democrats who believe that his views are extreme and will benefit their candidates, particularly Del. Stephen C. Shannon, their nominee for attorney general. They hope Cuccinelli will drag down the entire GOP ticket, including Robert F. McDonnell, who has sought a more centrist path to the governor's mansion.

Among the more controversial legislation Cuccinelli has introduced is a bill that would have cut off state funding for Planned Parenthood. That same session, he proposed a law that would have allowed employers to fire workers for failing to learn English. He was a champion of the 2006 state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and has said unequivocally that "homosexuality is wrong."

Shannon, a fellow Fairfax County resident, said: "People want folks elected to office who really try to work across party lines and who work on solutions. Ken has a different view, I think. He's very focused on what I consider hot-button social issues."

The two are not strangers. Their districts overlap, and it is their custom to have dinner once a year during the legislative session.

"This year he asked for a rain check because he said he was kind of busy. That's okay, because I think it was my year to pick up the tab," Shannon joked.

In the statewide campaign, the first for both candidates, Cuccinelli said he will call on those who have been charmed by his intelligence and affability and his unapologetic devotion to his causes, regardless of political pressure.

"The impression outside the legislature is that he's a rabid partisan who's hard to get along with and prickly," said Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel (R-Winchester). "That could not be farther from the truth. I think it springs from the fact that he is a champion of the causes he believes in, and he does it publicly and boldly."

Cuccinelli, who is a devout Catholic and home-schools four of his seven children, has said he supports abolishing the U.S. Department of Education. A video clip making the rounds on GOP and Democratic blogs shows Cuccinelli at a spring campaign event saying that he might not obtain a Social Security number for his seventh child out of fear that it "is being used to track you."

In an interview, Cuccinelli said he supports the concept of public education but also believes in small government. He did end up obtaining a Social Security number for 2-month-old Max, he said, and explained that his comments were part of a larger discussion about privacy and the over-reliance on Social Security numbers for identification purposes.

He has made a name for himself in less-divisive ways. He was a leader two years ago in rewriting some of the laws governing the state mental health system after a mentally disturbed Virginia Tech student killed 32 people and himself in a mass shooting on campus. Although he supports the death penalty, he has opposed efforts to expand it. He has also pushed legislation to limit the government's use of eminent domain to take private property.

He is unapologetic about his views that are less popular close to home. There's the "finger-in-the-wind style of leadership," he said, "and then there is what I think the founders had more in mind, which is a bolder form of leadership in which you do what you think is right and you are then obligated to turn to your constituency and say, 'This is why I did what I did.' And you stand for it at the ballot box."

Many of Cuccinelli's critics say his attempt to win statewide office is an acknowledgment that he would not survive another election cycle in Northern Virginia. He narrowly beat his last Democratic opponent, and his Senate district went more than 55 percent for Barack Obama last fall. Moreover, he could lose some of his base when district boundaries are redrawn in 2011.

Now that he has a broader pool of voters to choose from, Democrats are not taking the challenge lightly.

"I think it's easy to underestimate Ken. He has not survived this long on poor political skills," said Scott Surovell, chairman of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee.

He said he expects Cuccinelli's open embrace of divisive views to lead to his political demise. "The one thing I've learned about Ken Cuccinelli is that Ken rarely hides who he is. He's only going to accept so much rebranding."
Link Posted: 6/17/2009 12:24:46 PM EST

"I think it's easy to underestimate Ken. He has not survived this long on poor political skills," said Scott Surovell, chairman of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee.

He said he expects Cuccinelli's open embrace of divisive views to lead to his political demise. "The one thing I've learned about Ken Cuccinelli is that Ken rarely hides who he is. He's only going to accept so much rebranding."

This is almost entirely untrue of politicians today. So many try to pander to every click, group, race, creed, blah blah blah instead of just stating who/what they stand for. I would respect the most liberal politician if he/she simply came out and said "i'm super liberal and that is how I will vote if elected." I wouldn't suport that person but would respect their (rare) honesty in politics.

Folks, how far will we let our selves be pushed around by those who are supposed to serve us? We elect these nimrods and then complain when they screw us. How long will this go on? When do we reach our own April 19, 1775? (ok, for those wondering it was the Battle of Conord; commonly known as the start of the Revolutionary War)


Link Posted: 6/17/2009 3:00:08 PM EST
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The battle for the future of our state begins.
















May God have mercy on us and our children.



-3D
Link Posted: 6/17/2009 3:16:31 PM EST
Originally Posted By Tipsovr:
...

This is almost entirely untrue of politicians today. So many try to pander to every click, group, race, creed, blah blah blah instead of just stating who/what they stand for. I would respect the most liberal politician if he/she simply came out and said "i'm super liberal and that is how I will vote if elected." I wouldn't suport that person but would respect their (rare) honesty in politics.

Folks, how far will we let our selves be pushed around by those who are supposed to serve us? We elect these nimrods and then complain when they screw us. How long will this go on? When do we reach our own April 19, 1775? (ok, for those wondering it was the Battle of Conord; commonly known as the start of the Revolutionary War)



An account of someone who spent a brief time in politics:

During one campaign speech he was asked by a heckler if he was a "papist." Retrieving his rosary from his pocket he responded, "Sir, so far as possible I hear Mass each day and I go to my knees and tell these beads each night. If that offends you, then I pray God may spare me the indignity of representing you in Parliament." The crowd cheered and Belloc won the election.


Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953)

-3D
Link Posted: 6/18/2009 4:17:02 AM EST
The RNC is watching the VA race very closely since it has recently trended "blue". If Cuccinelli blows his opponent out of the water while McDonnell squeaks in or loses his election, expect the national party to shift to the right.
Link Posted: 6/18/2009 4:26:15 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/18/2009 4:31:20 AM EST by wmounts]
Originally Posted By Bubbles:
The RNC is watching the VA race very closely since it has recently trended "blue". If Cuccinelli blows his opponent out of the water while McDonnell squeaks in or loses his election, expect the national party to shift to the right.


This begs the question, "What to do?" Do we work our butts off to get McDonnell elected, and let the RNC take that as a sign that "moderation" is the correct path?!

ETA: I know it's a dumbass question... Yes, I am allowing my frustrations to spill out into this discourse. I am, though, so completely disillusioned at this point, and am wondering why some people and organizations absolutely, positively REFUSE to listen to those whom they are supposed to represent and to learn from their rather obvious past mistakes. Apologies to all.
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