I'm going to start, on a semi-regular basis, a recap of the state of the 2013 race. I'll try to run down some of the big moments in the statewide campaigns in Virginia. This segment will obviously primarily feature the race for governor, but because it looks like we will have some pretty competitive down ballot races, we will include them in there at times as well.
To make this segment a bit different than just the normal "best of" posts, we will also include a special addition you will only find on Decision Virginia. We will award one campaign with the honor of the "Best Week". Any statewide campaign can be up for the "Best Week". It doesn't mean that other campaigns did not have a good week, just that at this particular time this particular campaign had the "Best Week". So stay tuned at the end of this post for our first winner.
This was a very busy week in the race for governor. Perhaps not a surprise given that everyone is looking to make noise before the General Assembly session takes over and with it all the headlines.
*The biggest headline came from Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R). Cuccinelli was interviewed on the Steve Deace Radio Show in Iowa and said that he told his local Bishop that he may have to "go to jail" to defend his religious liberty when it comes to the HHS mandate that requires employers to provide full coverage for contraception. The Deace show is broadcast out of Iowa, but has a national audience. It currently airs on 88.1 WIRH in Richmond.
Here is the transcript of what Cuccinelli had to say:
"My local bishop said, 'Well, you know I told a group I'm ready to go to jail.' And I said, 'Bishop, don't take this personally: You need to go to jail. What I mean by that is, people need to see it play out all the way to its logical conclusion."
-Steve Deace Radio Show. The entire interview can be found here.
The interview took off when it was posted on Politico. It resulted in outrage from women's rights groups and Democrat Terry McAuliffe who called it "divisive" and "outside the mainstream". Cuccinelli doesn't need these kind of headlines, but this is the kind of thing his die hard supporters love about him. It's early enough where most passive general election voters will never hear about it. But it is still a boon for McAuliffe who can use it fund raise. It is yet another reason for democrats and liberals to be scared to death by thought of a Cuccinelli governorship.
*Speaking of McAuliffe he is taking a decidedly more low key approach to 2013 when compared to 2009. He has yet to launch any television ads. He didn't come out with a public pronouncement on the McDonnell transportation plan and he even found a way to meet one on one with Lt. Governor Bill Bolling who he now shares a common enemy with. When he does emerge (like to respond to the Cuccinelli radio ad) it is understated. He is running like a general election candidate. It is still a marathon, not yet a sprint.
*Bolling meanwhile, is not ready to go away. He promised after McDonnell's State of the Commonwealth that he will remain quiet during the General Assembly session, but also made the rounds to any media outlet that will have him to make sure they knew he is very serious about an independent run. I talked to Bolling for about five minutes and my vibe is that he isn't doing this for show. If he thinks he can win, he will run. I still think his potential bid is unlikely, but it should be considered serious.
My full interview with Bolling can be seen below. Note my last question:
Nobles: Have you guys talked at all? Have you had any opportunity to iron out your differences? Do you want to do that? Are you interested?
Bolling: "We have not. He has not reached out to me and that is not..... not suprising."
Who had the BEST WEEK? Terry McAuliffe: McAuliffe wins by pushing but not pushing too much. He made good use of the Cuccinelli interview and got positive press for meeting with Bolling. McAuliffe has a long way to go, but at least this week was a good week.