This week could be indicative of the kind of weeks and eventually days we will have as the race for Governor unfolds in Virginia.
On Thursday both nominees for the top spot found themselves having to explain their role in situations that both represent perhaps their biggest difficulties as candidates.
My report from Friday night on NBC12 breaks it all down:
RICHMOND (WWBT)- Two major developments this week in the race to be Virginia's next governor, both examples of the types of controversies that could haunt both candidates right up until election day.
For Ken Cuccinelli it was a new book that gave Democrats the opportunity to paint him as an extreme conservative. For Terry McAuliffe it was an old association of his, caught up in a scandal he has nothing to do with.
It is a book that has yet to be released, but it's already making news. Released excerpts from
Ken Cuccinelli's forthcoming: "The Last Line of Defense" prompted the Washington Post to say the book "Echo's Romney's 47 percent."
The excerpts lay the ground work for Cuccinelli's argument against the encroachment of government. It is similar to what he said at this speech to the Iowa Republican Party last spring.
"The liberal sales pitch is easy. Here is a check," he said to laughs. "Vote to keep us in power and the checks will keep coming."
Democrats described the premise of the book as "extreme".
Pete Snyder, a candidate for Lt. Governor hopes to be Cuccinelli's running mate and believes the democrats are wrong.
"I am proud to have Ken Cuccinelli standing up and standing firm," Snyder said.
The Democrats have problems of their own, their nominee Terry McAuliffe's long history as a fund raiser for Democratic candidates has connected him with many people, including Salomon Melgen, a man linked to a sex scandal involving New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez.
The Miami Herald described McAuliffe as "close friends". McAuliffe knew and played golf with Melgen, but that was it.
Josh Schwerin, a spokesman said McAuliffe has no connection to the Menendez scandal.
"If there was any wrongdoing Melgen, needs to be held fully accountable for his actions," said Schwerin.
Read the full story on NBC12.com
Here are some other stories that caught my eye:
*In the GOP race for Lt. Governor, Susan Stimpson the Chair of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors picked up the endorsement of Jamie Radtke. Radtke lost the GOP nomination for Senate to George Allen and was toying with a run herself. Radtke is a nice endorsement for Stimpson, especially in a crowded field at a convention filled with hard core conservatives.
*Pete Snyder, another GOP candidate for LG, stopped by the NBC12 studios to talk about his school choice agenda. Snyder recently found out that his mother has cancer. It forced him off the campaign trail for a bit, but his mother is doing well and he is back to the grind. Snyder was in the office for less than 15 minutes, but dropped a reference to the show "Entourage" and the movie "Swingers".
*I chatted this week with the talented Alexander Burns from Politico. He penned a lengthy report on how the GOP members of the Virginia General Assembly are making life difficult for the party's statewide candidates. It is a great read if you haven't seen it yet. Burns told me that Cuccinelli and McAuliffe are unique because they are both each the only candidate that other one could beat. It is not the first time we've heard that, but it rings true each time.
*In the General Assembly, Uranium mining died, The Tebow Bill moved forward, Governor McDonnell's transportation plan is still alive and House Republicans proposed an immediate $1.7 million to put school resource officers in place in Virginia Schools.
*Who had the BEST WEEK? This is based on the last couple of weeks as this segment gets going. The last few weeks belong to KEN CUCCINELLI. Cuccinelli got a nice little lift from a story we broke about him coming to the rescue of a truck driver in distress (a post that is the top all time entry on Decision Virginia). He also carved out middle ground for himself on a number of issues that some might not expect. He came out against the ultrasound before abortion mandate, he stood firm saying that Virginia did not need to change it's Electoral College system and he deftly navigated attacks by the McAuliffe campaign to drag him into the fight over senate redistricting.
Just because he had the best week, that doesn't mean it was perfect. The roll out of his book was ill conceived. Allowing his publishing company to release just a few excepts out of context was the perfect opportunity for his opponents to attack. But the attacks are nothing new and as we have said before at this point it is still the die hards paying attention. People motivated to read up on the governor's race probably already know what Ken Cuccinelli is about.
But for this week in a long campaign really still beginning, Cuccinelli's was the best.