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The Blame Game Begins In Virginia

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Polls in Virginia don’t open for another 48 hours or so, but the end result has become fairly apparent when you look at the polls. Notwithstanding the fact that we saw a few polls last eek that seemed to show that the gap between Terry McAuliffe and Ken Cuccinelli was closing, the overall pro-McAuliffe trend in the race is pretty much the same as it has been for weeks. In the RealClearPolitics average, the former Clinton fundraiser and DNC chair holds a +6.4 point lead in a head-to-head race with the Virginia Attorney General and a +7.5 point lead in a three way race that includes the still surprisingly strong Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis. Further down the ballot State Senator Ralph Northam is beating E.W. Jackson Jr. in the Lt Governor’s race by an even wider margin, while State Senator Mark Obsenshain, the Republican, and Democratic nominee Mark Herring. Barring a voter turnout model that is vastly different from what the polls have been projecting, then, Virginia Democrats are likely to pick up at least two of the three statewide offices up this year, and possible get a three-way sweep for the first time in some four decades.

Republicans here in the Commonwealth will tell you it wasn’t supposed to be this way. In the past, the party that lost the Presidential election has typically ended up winning in Virginia, and this year there has been plenty of Tea Party enthusiasm behind the Cuccinelli campaign. Despite all of that, though, Cuccinelli began fading quickly as the summer went along and he actually hasn’t led in a poll since a Roanoke College poll conducted in early July. The rise of the Sarvis campaign has, at least according to some Cuccinelli supporters, drawn attention away from their candidate to the point where they spent the better part of last week attacking Sarvis and his supporters online. They’ve also accused national and state Republicans of abandoning the campaign even as the Republican Governor’s Association has invested millions in the race. In other words, the votes haven’t even been cast yet and the blame game has started:

National Republicans agree on this much about the 2013 campaign in Virginia: It wasn’t supposed to go like this.

Well before the last votes are cast in the state’s off-year governor’s race, GOP leaders are already engaged in a spirited debate over why, exactly, a fight against a Democrat as flawed as Terry McAuliffe has turned into such a painful slog of a campaign. Even Republicans who haven’t yet counted out their nominee, state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, view the governor’s race as a profile in frustration for the GOP – an election that should have leaned toward the Republicans, but where Democrats have held a persistent lead in polling, money and tactical prowess.

The GOP’s internal discussion about the race mirrors much of the broader national tug of war within the conservative coalition, between officials and strategists who want the party to trim back some of its most confrontational tactics and hard-edged rhetoric, and activists bent on drawing the starkest possible lines of contrast with the Democratic party of President Barack Obama.

The clearest battle lines will emerge after Tuesday; but the Washington community has groused for months about Cuccinelli’s history of incendiary, ultra-ideological stances, while rank-and-file activists have watched with horror as well-tailored GOP donors have defected to McAuliffe. Everyone in the party – establishment and tea party alike – has fumed over the ongoing ethics controversies that have rocked outgoing Gov. Bob McDonnell’s administration and undercut Cuccinelli’s anticipated advantage over McAuliffe on personal integrity.

A Cuccinelli defeat, in other words, would have a thousand fathers. But this much is already clear: the GOP’s accumulated problems in Virginia have brought the party to the edge of a historic defeat in a nationally pivotal swing state, potentially producing a Republican shutout of all five statewide offices (governor, attorney general, lieutenant governor and two U.S. senators) for the first time since the Nixon administration.

The most tempting explanation for Cuccinelli’s problems, of course, would be to point to his well-known position on social issues ranging from abortion and contraception to same-sex marriage. No doubt, this is certainly a part of Cuccinelli’s problem, and a reason that, for example, he is losing so badly among women in every poll that has come out for the past several months. Indeed, Cuccinelli was known statewide as one of the most prominent Republican advocates on these issues long before he even ran for Attorney General. No doubt, Democrats have been preparing the playbook that they have used against him this year for some time now based solely on his public statements, the legislation that he co-sponsored while a State Senator, and his record as Attorney General. At the same time, though, it’s worth noting that Cuccinelli isn’t necessarily any more radical than anyone else in the Republican Party of Virginia has been on these issues  over the years, and they’ve managed to win elections statewide quite handily. In fact, Democrats tried many of the same “social issues” arguments against Governor Bob McDonnell in 2009 only to fail miserably. Additionally, if Cuccinelli had not been the Republican nominee, then the RPV would have nominated Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, who is also pro-life and opposes same-sex marriage, although he admittedly does not have the same public reputation as an activist on these issues that Cuccinelli does (neither did McDonnell). In this day and age, in other words, whomever the RPV nominated in 2013 was going to be generally conservative on social issues. So that suggests that it isn’t just social issues that is the cause of Cuccinelli’s problems, especially considering his inability to even perform competently against a candidate as bad as McAuliffe, who couldn’t even win his party’s primary four years ago against a relatively unknown State Senator. If you ask Cuccinelli supporters for the reason that their candidate has underperformed in this election and is likely to lose, they’ll point to what they claim is a betrayal by the so-called GOP establishment:

Among conservatives, all that establishment grief overlooks the role that GOP elites have played in hampering Cuccinelli. National party leaders chastise the right for focusing on purity over big-tent pragmatism – but a collection of prominent GOP finance types have closed their own tent to Cuccinelli, complaining about his social views on the record or even cutting checks to McAuliffe instead.

Those GOP defections “are proving Cuccinelli’s undoing,” Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Jeff Schapiro wrote.

There’s no doubt that many Virginia Republican stalwarts have either rejected the Cuccinelli campaign outright or stood on the sidelines for this election. The most prominent of those would be Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, who originally was running against Cuccinelli for the GOP nomination before dropping out when it became apparent that there was no way he could win a convention-based nomination against him. This was the end of an episode of incredibly bad blood between the two men that started when Bolling had agreed to hold off running for Governor in 2009 so that then Attorney General McDonnell could do so. At the time, there was at least a “gentleman’s agreement” that Cuccinelli would not oppose Bolling in 2013, but it quickly became apparent that wasn’t the case. So, in addition to dropping out Bolling essentially divested himself of any support for Cuccinelli and even, briefly, flirted with the idea of an independent bid for office that he rejected (a decision I bet he might be regretting right now.) Bolling’s opinion of Cuccinelli seems to be shared by many what you might call “patrician” Virginia Republicans, who seem to have have decided to sit this race out.

The other side of the equation, of course, is that the Cucccinelli campaign and its Tea Party supporters  did its best from the beginning to completely piss off veteran Virginia Republicans, starting from the point at which there was a fairly conscious and obvious effort to take control of the state party’s Central Committee as part of a plan that ultimately ended in the decision to go forward with a convention rather than a primary. This alienated not just people like Bolling and his supporters, but also a large part of the traditionally Republican business community who looked on with horror as their party’s nominees were chosen by an incredibly small number of people who cared more about ideological purity than they did about winning elections. So, in some sense, you might say that turnabout is fair play.

The final part of the equation, though, is what may be the most important one. Ideology aside, the one thing that has become apparent throughout this race is that Ken Cuccinelli just hasn’t come across as a very likable candidate. Admittedly, I’m not an unbiased person in this regard since I’ve had a fairly negative opinion of Cuccinelli myself for some time now, but one need only look to the polls and Cuccinelli’s negative favorability ratings, which haven’t moved much at all since the campaign began. Say whatever you might about Terry McAuliffe, and there’s plenty to say about him, but it seems abundantly clear that voters in Virginia just plain don’t like Ken Cuccinelli, and it’s hard to win an election for Governor when people don’t like you.

In the end, then, the blame for what looks like a likely Cuccinelli loss on Tuesday evening can really only be aimed in one direction, and that’s toward Ken Cuccinelli. Whether it’s because of his extreme social conservativism, the fact that he’s run a bad campaign that never really bothered to make up for the fact that voters had an extremely negative opinion of him, or the fact that he alienated a large segment of the traditionally Republican Virginia business community, it really all goes back to the candidate.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Metro says:

    “there has been plenty of Tea Party enthusiasm behind the Cuccinelli campaign” Really? Could have fooled me. He distanced himself from the tea party/grassroots from the very beginning of his campaign and then tried to shore them up at the very last minute. At the same time, he essentially told Ted Cruz to take a hike and was critical of conservatives during the shutdown. Bad move.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  2. jeffrey pelt says:

    No, they spent a nominal sum, and walked away from him, as if he was contaminated with Polonium, well if you like to feel like the shareholders of SunTech and Global Crossing, by all means cheer McAuliffe,

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 10

  3. DC Loser says:

    Cooch is a RINO and that’s why he is going to lose. They GOP needs a more pure conservative running in order to win.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 3

  4. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Say whatever you might about Terry McAuliffe, and there’s plenty to say about him

    …but you sure as hell won’t read it here. There’s a blackout on saying anything about McAuliffe’s flaws, errors, mistakes, or weaknesses at OTB. The only think you’ll hear about is Cuccinelli’s problems — and you’ll hear about them over and over and over and over ad nauseum.

    So, Doug, if there are all these things to say about McAuliffe, why haven’t you ever said them? And, in the interest of fairness to your readers, could you at least point to a site or two where they might read these things you won’t discuss?

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 31

  5. jeffrey pelt says:

    Cuccinelli fought against Obamacare when Joyner and co, suggested ‘lie back and think of England’ and went after Michael Mann’s scam, for that he must be shunned,

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 13

  6. Stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Yeah, Jenos, Doug has been a real cheerleader for Macauliffe. In reality , even liberal Democrats here have repeatedly stated that they despise Macauliffe.
    The problem for conservatives here is that they have nominated outspoken “real conservatives” for all three statewide positions-and even in Virginia, the voters recoiled. To the extent Obenshain is competive , it’s because he is masking his extreme socially conservative positions.
    Had Virginia Democrats nominated a better candidate for governor than Macauliffe, it would be a landslide.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 0

  7. Argon says:

    I think that after several years of having a ‘true conservative’ as governor, the VA voters finally figured out what that meant. They clearly don’t want someone even deeper into the conservative abyss.

    As DC Loser describes, I wonder how many of the hard right are going to use ‘no true Scotsman’ reasoning to explain the loss.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  8. steve s says:

    Michael Mann’s scam

    Is there a pie filter for OTB? We’re getting too many straight up retards these days.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  9. CSK says:

    The “base” has already come up with a number of creative rationalizations for Cuccinelli’s impending loss. Among the more colorful are:

    1. Cuccinelli snubbed Sarah Palin, whose endorsement and an appearance on his behalf would have resulted in a landslide victory for him.

    2. He’s a RINO. If he had been more socially conservative, he would have won.

    3. Karl Rove is supplying Terry McAuliffe with huge amounts of money because Rove hates true conservatives like Cuccinelli.

    That they can believe all three simultaneously is a testament to cognitive dissonance.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  10. Grewgills says:

    Further down the ballot State Senator Ralph Northam is beating E.W. Jackson Jr. in the Lt Governor’s race by an even wider margin, while State Senator Mark Obsenshain, the Republican, and Democratic nominee Mark Herring. Barring a voter turnout model

    Doug, I think you lost the end of that first sentence.
    … while State Senator Mark Obsenshain, the Republican, and Democratic nominee Mark Herring (are in a tight race)?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  11. ebase22 says:

    “Whether it’s because of his extreme social conservativism, the fact that he’s run a bad campaign that never really bothered to make up for the fact that voters had an extremely negative opinion of him, or the fact that he alienated a large segment of the traditionally Republican Virginia business community”

    Pretty sure its some of all of the above. You can’t both have a long held image as a culture crusader AND not run a campaign on anything except my opponent is a scumbag (even if your opponent is one.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  12. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos Idanian #13

    …but you sure as hell won’t read it here.

    You are welcome to start your own blog. Post anything you like. Google blogger is free and user friendly, you could be up and running in an hour.

    You constant whining about your unhappiness with the content and editorial tone at OTB is beyond tiresome. If you don’t like it, go elsewhere. People are standing in line to hold the door for you.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0

  13. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Stonetools: Yeah, Jenos, Doug has been a real cheerleader for Macauliffe.

    So far the OTB party line has been “Cuccinelli is bad, and here’s reasons A-Z, with more to come. Oh, yeah, and McAuliffe’s bad, too.”

    Personally, I think most Democrats are bad, so McAuliffe sounds like a generic Democrat to me from what I’ve read about here. Fortunately, I recall a few details about him from his previous efforts and other web sites.

    I’m just wondering if the authors here ever will go into detail about why they think McAuliffe is so bad, and what things about him they find offensive. I’m torn between 1) shortly after he’s elected and 2) the 12th of never.

    Kind of like the great blackout on the Zimmerman case while it was actually going on. Article after article after article leading up to the trial, then total silence, then more after the verdict. It was like they were under a gag order or something.

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  14. anjin-san says:

    Shorter Jenos – “Oh, please, please, please. Pay attention to meeeeeeeeeeeeee”

    You must be a very lonely dude.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  15. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: You must be a very lonely dude.

    Your mother finds me quite delightful company.

    Oh, that’s right. Only you are allowed to make personal insults; you get all bent out of shape when I respond similarly. I withdraw the juvenile response.

    Feel free to point out how incorrect I am. After all, the OTB hosts couldn’t have gone all this time talking only about one of the candidates in this race, could they?

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  16. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    Zzzzzzzzzzzz.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  17. Grumpy Realist says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Speaking as a woman, I’d far rather deal with someone with sleazy business ethics like McAuliffe rather than a fanatic like Cuccinelli. And if you had any integrity about science and civil rights, you would as well. Or perhaps you agree with his form of Lysenkoism?
    China doesn’t have to do anything, you realize–it can just wait until people like you and Cuccinelli destroy the base of US science and technology, then just take over.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  18. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “Personally, I think most Democrats are bad”

    Wow. This is exactly the kind of keen political analysis we’ve all come to expect from you. What would we all do without your wisdom?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  19. Ron Beasley says:

    McAuliffe is a horrible candidate but the extreme social conservatism is now a no sale in most of the country. And Virginia is now representative of most of the country. Here in Oregon we used to have a lot of successful Republican politicians but about a decade ago the extreme social conservatives hijacked the party and they have not won a statewide of since.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  20. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Speaking from the left, McAuliffe is a very successful Democratic fund raiser. The flip side is that he is a sycophant to the rich and powerful. His ads all tout how wonderful he wants to make Virginia for business, and say nary a word about helping the poor and the disadvantaged. He is socially liberal, though, and will protect the environment and implement the PPACA. For liberals, that will have to be enough.
    One thing is certain: the Democrats have learned to be united and ruthlessly efficient at campaigning and fund-raising. From another Politico article:

    The vast left-wing conspiracy has come to Virginia.

    Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe has drawn a huge collection of allies to his side here, by far overpowering the independent spenders that have lined up on the right for Republican Ken Cuccinelli. And even more impressive than the diverse list of organizations spending on McAuliffe’s behalf – greens, abortion-rights and gun control advocates, unions and more – is the military precision with which Democrats have organized their activities in the state.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/11/ken-cuccinelli-virginia-governor-2013-democrats-99255.html#ixzz2jcYLwM1U

    About frickin’ time, I say. Liberals would normally not support Macauliffe because he is not pure enough. Those days are done. In a war, you go with the candidate you have, and you go all in. And this is a long war.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  21. Mikey says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    McAuliffe is a horrible candidate but the extreme social conservatism is now a no sale in most of the country. And Virginia is now representative of most of the country.

    This is something the GOP, both here in Virginia and nationwide, has utterly failed to understand. In a way, it’s hard to blame them, because the speed with which changes in social attitudes are occurring is dizzying, and the AM radio media culture is not conducive to handling things with great speed anyway.

    Today’s newest voters were politically-barely-aware 14-year-olds in Virginia’s last gubernatorial election. Today’s politically-active mid-20s voters were in their late teens then, more politically aware than their younger siblings but also–this is key–dramatically more socially liberal than voters even a few years older. The national majority opinion on gay marriage went from 53-44 against to 54-43 for in less than four years. That’s barely a blink, even in political terms.

    The GOP is going to have to move away from extreme social conservatism or it will go the way of the Whigs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  22. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @wr: You clot, my comment you quoted was a very precise and accurate summation of the information this site has provided on McAuliffe.

    The authors here are intelligent and skilled enough that the omission of any commentary of any substance on McAuliffe whatsoever, coupled with a nigh-constant stream of criticisms of Cuccinelli, is a de facto endorsement of McAuliffe. And no, that one article where they said “none of the above” was their choice doesn’t count — the utter lack of commentary on McAuliffe nullifies that quite thoroughly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 13

  23. Ron Beasley says:

    @Mikey: To some extent you are right but the real problem I think is that social conservatives are simply unable to think they might be wrong – it’s in the bible you know. The Republican Party is between a rock and a hard place – they can’t win with the social conservatives in control but they can’t win without them for at least another decade.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  24. jeffrey pelt says:

    McAuliffe is a scam artist, like Corzine or Rattner, but he is protected as has been Mozilo or Blankfein, or any of the other bigwigs, who were parties to the subprime crisis. Green Tech and before that. Global Crossing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  25. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “You clot, my comment you quoted was a very precise and accurate summation of the information this site has provided on McAuliffe. ”

    Actually, what I quoted was “Personally, I think most Democrats are bad.” Below you will find the full context from which I trimmed that.

    “So far the OTB party line has been “Cuccinelli is bad, and here’s reasons A-Z, with more to come. Oh, yeah, and McAuliffe’s bad, too.”

    Personally, I think most Democrats are bad, so McAuliffe sounds like a generic Democrat to me from what I’ve read about here. Fortunately, I recall a few details about him from his previous efforts and other web sites.

    You will notice that, following all rules of English usage, particularly those pertaining to quotation marks, your summation ended at the conclusion of the first paragraph, which is why it was then enclosed in end quotes.

    The next paragraph is quite clearly not meant to be a summation of anyone else’s thoughts, but a statement of your own. That is why you did not enclose it in quotes, and why you started it with the word “personally.”

    I suppose it’s possible that your understanding of written English is so feeble that somehow you managed to construct a series of sentences that directly contradict the meaning you intended to give them. But while you are a bad writer and a worse thinker, I don’t believe that even you are quite that dim.

    Which, alas for you, leaves only the possibility that you are lying about your motivation, and that you are just as bad a liar as you are a writer.

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  26. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    So you are saying that Doug(who says that he will never vote for a Democrat) and James (who says he is a loyal Republican) actually are McAuliffe supporters? That’s bizarre even for you, Jenos.

    The authors here are intelligent and skilled enough that the omission of any commentary of any substance on McAuliffe whatsoever

    The bottom-line really is that if you are liberal on social issues and conservative on economic issues, there really isn’t much to criticize McAuliffe on. Contrary to what you imagine, McAuliffe is no flaming liberal. But hey, maybe you do some research and write your own critique of McAuliffe. Take all the time you like.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  27. rachel says:

    @wr: I don’t think he’s a liar; I think he’s mentally impaired.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  28. jeffrey pelt says:
  29. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @wr: That you get so wrapped up in a sarcastic aside shows that you are either desperate to avoid the actual substance of my comment, too stupid to recognize that it was sarcasm, or both.

    In your case, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was “both.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 10

  30. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Since there was no substance to your comment — aside from “waaah! waaaah! bad blog is being mean to conservatives! waaah! — and there was absolutely nothing that comes close to the level of sarcasm, I’m back to thinking you’re as incapable of conveying a thought in English as you are of coming up with one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  31. anjin-san says:

    @ wr

    Jenos is not even bringing the annoying any more. He’s just kind of pathetic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  32. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @jeffrey pelt: I have no idea what you *think* your link says, but I just went through it and it is entirely related to Mr. Cuccinelli’s tax cut plan and doesn’t speak at all to Mr. McAuliffe’s economic policies. How precisely do you think it is an argument either for or against Mr. McAuliffe’s economics?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  33. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    In 1997, Terry McAuliffe invested $100,000 in a company called Global Crossing.

    When Global Crossing went public in 1998, McAuliffe sold the majority of his shares for either $8 million or $18 million (reports differ, and McAuliffe has not made this information public).

    In January 2002, McAuliffe sold off his remaining Global Crossing stocks. Within days of McAuliffe’s bailing, Global Crossing went bankrupt, and investors lost $54 billion dollars. That is, investors who weren’t Terry McAuliffe.

    There. I have now officially contributed more specific information about Terry McAuliffe here in four sentences than all the authors combined in the past year or so.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  34. PJ says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    In 1997, Terry McAuliffe invested $100,000 in a company called Global Crossing.

    And? The company raised a lot more money in 1997/1998 than what McAuliffe invested. This after all was during the dot com era.

    When Global Crossing went public in 1998, McAuliffe sold the majority of his shares for either $8 million or $18 million (reports differ, and McAuliffe has not made this information public).

    And? What’s the issue? He invested early, the company went public, and he sold most of his shares. Actually, if he had held on to them until 2000 when the stock reached its high at $61, he would have made even more. Others made a lot more on Global Crossing and other companies during this time, and others lost a lot of money too. In what way is McAuliffe responsible for people losing money on Global Crossing?

    In January 2002, McAuliffe sold off his remaining Global Crossing stocks. Within days of McAuliffe’s bailing, Global Crossing went bankrupt, and investors lost $54 billion dollars. That is, investors who weren’t Terry McAuliffe.

    How many stocks did he still have in 2002? What kind of proift did he make from those sold in 2002? In late 2001, the stock price had fallen to 82 cents, the IPO price had been $19. They could be argued to be worthless and he sold them off, you don’t need any kind of insider information to see where the company was heading.

    There. I have now officially contributed more specific information about Terry McAuliffe here in four sentences than all the authors combined in the past year or so.

    Why didn’t you give us a link to his Wikipedia page instead of just copying a paragraph from it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  35. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @PJ: First up, I paraphrased, not copied. Second, those are all excellent questions. Why don’t you ask the authors here who have spent so much time talking about the race, but haven’t bothered to bring up one single detail about the leading candidate?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  36. PJ says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Actually, your wikipedia copying skills makes you qualified for a job as speech writer for Rand Paul.

    Edit:
    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Agree, you paraphrased. Your skills are too advanced to be a Rand Paul speech writer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  37. PJ says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    You brought up Global Crossing. Somehow you thought it was an issue, but you seem to be unable to answer why it would be.

    He invested in a company.
    The company went public.
    He sold his shares. (Too early).
    The company, like a lot others during that time, tanked.
    He sold the rest of his worthless shares.
    People and companies made a lot of money or lost a lot of money.

    Not sure why anything of this is McAuliffe’s fault?

    Or do you have something against capitalism in general?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  38. Grumpy Realist says:

    @PJ: When Jenos brings his same mad financial skills to analyzing certain splendid Republican failures *cough* the myriads of companies Mitt Romney managed to loot the pension funds of–then I’ll start believing in his integrity.

    Until then, am going to have to assume that Jenos is so mind-boggingly stupid that he thinks Failure In Business == Fraud. The exact sort of person that no company would ever want as an investor because any fall in the stock price will be followed by screeching and threatened litigation. After all, no business should ever go throu a hard period, house prices should always rise, and the stock market should always increase.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  39. PJ says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    First up, I paraphrased, not copied.

    You:

    In 1997, Terry McAuliffe invested $100,000 in a company called Global Crossing.

    Wikipedia:

    In 1997, McAuliffe invested $100,000 in Global Crossing, a Bermuda-registered telecommunications company providing fiber-optic networking services worldwide

    You:

    When Global Crossing went public in 1998, McAuliffe sold the majority of his shares for either $8 million or $18 million (reports differ, and McAuliffe has not made this information public).

    Wikipedia:

    Global Crossing went public in 1998. The following year, McAuliffe sold the majority of his holding for a $8 million profit (other accounts have said his profit was $18 million).

    You:

    In January 2002, McAuliffe sold off his remaining Global Crossing stocks. Within days of McAuliffe’s bailing, Global Crossing went bankrupt, and investors lost $54 billion dollars. That is, investors who weren’t Terry McAuliffe.

    Wikipedia:

    McAuliffe sold the rest of his shares in January 2002. The company filed for bankruptcy that same month, causing investors to lose over $54 billion

    You spent some time rewriting those Wikipedia sentences. Would it have been a lot quicker just to quote it all and add a link to the article?

    My other question is this: How old were you when you first was told that you couldn’t just copy text and pretend that it was yours? When did you learn to rewrite the texts first?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  40. Mikey says:

    Here is the Washington Post’s fact check on a Cuccinelli ad about McAuliffe’s investment in Global Crossing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  41. PJ says:

    @Grumpy Realist:

    When Jenos brings his same mad financial skills to analyzing certain splendid Republican failures *cough* the myriads of companies Mitt Romney managed to loot the pension funds of–then I’ll start believing in his integrity.

    If that happens, they will have to replace all thermometers in hell.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  42. Mikey says:

    @Ron Beasley: That’s probably true and it doesn’t bode well for the future of the GOP. There are still plenty of Republicans who think if the Tea Party can just get rid of the RINOs and put in True Conservatives, the GOP will come back stronger than ever. They seem to be oblivious to how poorly the Tea Party and True Conservatives are viewed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  43. PJ says:

    @Mikey:

    They seem to be oblivious to how poorly the Tea Party and True Conservatives are viewed.

    A Fox News only diet will lead to severe fact and truth deficiencies….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  44. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Feel free to point out how incorrect I am.

    I wonder if he meant for people to actually take him up on that….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  45. Stonetools says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Don’t know if there is enough bandwidth.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  46. I disagree with much in this article, but the key thesis is nonetheless completely and utterly true: Ken Cuccinelli was a TERRIBLE candidate! Simply put Doug is absolutely correct that Cuccinelli just was not likeable enough to win (not to put a jinx on the election, because if turnout does follow the trend of sinking voter participation a low turnout election could spell a Cuccinelli upset). I agree with Tea Partiers on 99% of most things because they really only care about fiscal issues, but their tactics on the proper way to go about things, but neither are the establishment’s tactics the right way to go about things by merely being a more efficient alternative of the Democrats. Republicans need to pick winning fights and ignore losing ones. Case and point is the last day of campaigning on Monday when Cuccinelli seized upon the failure of Obamacare. Republicans have been gifted a golden goose that just keeps laying eggs! So lets use it stop fighting amongst each other and start to use this cudgel to beat the Democrats. I know many people have been polarized by Ted Cruz but what he did has been vindicated and I do not think it took away from the roll out of the Obamacare law it actually put a spotlight on the law. If Republicans want to gain a majority in 2014 and the Presidency in 2016 Obamacare and balancing the budget are their tickets, nothing else and I repeat NOTHING ELSE! So Republicans, conservatives, libertarians or anyone who believes in small government lets band together and not fight each other, in order to take down Obamacare!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  47. Rob in CT says:

    @A Young Republican:

    nothing else and I repeat NOTHING ELSE!

    *snicker*

    Never gonna happen. You need the fundies, and the fundies will have their anti-abortion, anti-birth control, anti-gay, etc planks in there come hell or high water.

    Even if you succeeded to limiting the issues under discussion to just the PPACA and the budget, you need more than repealing the PPACA and vacuous balanced-budget pretense. You need a viable replacement that preserves the parts of the PPACA that people really like and if you intend to balance the budget you need a plan that actually ads up and has reasonable assumptions (e.g., no fair assuming 10% annual GDP growth or somesuch nonsense). If you think the public wants to go back to the status quo ante 2008, you’re delusional. But then, looking at your post, you sound kinda delusional.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  48. wr says:

    @A Young Republican: “I know many people have been polarized by Ted Cruz but what he did has been vindicated ”

    Yes, because nothing says fiscal conservative like throwing away 26 billion dollars on a political stunt.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  49. @Rob in CT:

    Why do I find that people can be so mean on these comment boards. Thanks for calling me delusional I really appreciate the insult :) You can repeal the whole of Obamacare, please stop calling in the PPACA that is absolutely ridiculous. Obama wanted, Obama got it, and now it is his baby.

    As for the popular parts like insuring preexisting conditions that is a simple fix in either the tax code (tax credits) or forming high risk pools subsidized by the taxpayer (kind of like flood insurance in flood prone areas, because if you didn’t know flood insurance would not be affordable in many areas if were not for tax payer subsidies).

    And why do you assume that I wat to assume there will be 10% growth rates, now that is delusional. When it comes down to it the only thing which will balance the budget is entitlement reform. And I know your going to say this is delusional as well, very well be stubborn and pig headed and have no vision.

    Eventually (soon) programs like Social Security and Medicare will be fiscally unsustainable and will have to be fixed because we will not have the ability to borrow the money necessary to fund these programs due to higher interest rates. So no I am not delusional a balanced budget is not a pipe dream but will soon be a matter of fiscal reality unless you wish to suffer 10% or higer inflation every year.

    As the fudamentalist I do not agree with you on two things. First peoples attitudes even social conservatives are starting to lighten up to the idea of gay marriage. This will be a non issue by 2018 if not 2016. Simply put no one will care, because it is more of tolerance issue than anything. As for abortion this can be a winning issue for your so called fundies as long as they are willing to compromise a little and first start with just allowing abortion in the first trimester. Poll after poll shows huge majorities supporting bans in the second and third trimesters. And when you sit down with people and really explain the medicine and science behind abortion hearts and minds tend to change very fast. This is an issue I do not think will hurt Republicans if articulated by the right person like Christ Christie who changed from adamantly pro-choice to very pro-life but you would not know it with the chorus on the right hating him right now (that will quickly change though)

    I would like to believe I am not delusional but reasonable I am sorry for calling you pig headed, but to be so condescending is inexcusable.

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  50. @wr:

    How did he throw away 26 billion dollars? Because the government did not spend any money for those days? The government does not create economic growth there are no spending multipliers. Every dollar government spends is either a dollar taken from private hands from current taxes or borrowed from future taxes. Individuals and busineses adjust as necessary to these realities.

    Name me one thing the government produces of any value which can grow over time in value? Nothing it produces nothing. The government is a reflection of society it takes money from us, because we allow it to and then spends it as we see fit (or that how its suppose to work). The government provides things that private parties cannot provide society, like the miltary, the police, fire departments, in some cases road systems (many would not have built without government assistance, toll roads only go so far). I do not see how Ted Cruz wasted 26 billion dollars and how was his filibuster any more of political stunt than Wendy Davis’s filibuster, Nancy Pelosi walking around the capital after Obamacare had been passed, the democrats dog and pony show after everytime one of their beloved government program’s funding is cut? He was trying to prove a point that Obamacare is bad for our nation and I am prety sure he has now been vindicated and few million and soon to be more people definitely agree with him.

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  51. Rob in CT says:

    @A Young Republican:

    Awww.’

    please stop calling in the PPACA that is absolutely ridiculous

    LOL. The PPACA is the name of the legislation. You can call it Obamacare if you want, I don’t mind, but I call it the PPACA. Shorter to type, as a matter of fact, and accurate. To the substance, your quick fixes don’t sound very impressive to me. Good luck selling them to the public.

    My 10% growth rate quip was about one of Paul Ryan’s fantasy budgets that included ridiculous economic growth assumptions. Every time a Republican puts together a “plan” to balance the budget, it turns out to include that sort of hilarity, because they absolutely refuse to raise taxes or admit that failing to raise taxes means significant cuts to Medicare and/or Social Security. If you take revenue off the table, the result is a ton of cuts to popular programs. Given that the budget is ~75-80% Defense, Medicare & Social Security, it therefore follows that significant cuts would have to be applied to popular things, and the GOP hides this as much as they can. Hence fantasy growth rates and whatnot.

    Social Security will be fine with minor tweaks. The Baby Boomer retirement wave will have its impact – this has been well-known for a while now. Then it receeds. The appropriate response is to tinker around the edges as needed.

    Medicare is basically the whole ballgame, long-term, and that definitely needs to be dealt with. I, and damn near any other Democrat you choose to speak with, agree that Medicare cost growth (indeed, medical care cost growth in general) is THE problem, fiscally.

    As for your fundies compromising, heh, I’ll believe that when I see it. Fundies don’t really do compromise. You are correct that *if* they were willing to bend on abortion, there are majorities to be found in the middle. Of course, we’re talking about folks who don’t even like birth control, let along first trimester abortions. Plus, the middle ground you’re aiming for (1st trimester ok, restrictions thereafter*) is often occupied by Democrats (admittedly, moderate/conservative Dems).

    Your economics views are simplistic in the extreme, and your love for Ted Cruz marks you as gullible. This may be “mean” for me to say. I won’t give you a faux apology about it.

    * – which I should note I personally reject such a compromise position as insufficiently flexible, given how real-life pregnancies go. There are significant issues that are typically only discovered at the 18-20 week mark, which is when important screening work is done (requiring followup, which eats more time, if there are potential issues).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  52. Rob in CT says:

    By the way, I missed this gem before:

    I agree with Tea Partiers on 99% of most things because they really only care about fiscal issues

    This is what I mean about you being delusional. This isn’t even close to true. It’s not in the same general area as the truth. The Tea Party is the GOP base renamed, and is choc full of social conservatives. If you think otherwise, then why exactly was Cuccinelli the nominee? Why to Tea Partiers elsewhere keep putting up candidates with extreme SoCon views? Maybe because those are their views?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  53. Rob in CT says:

    So, as expected the Dems took Gov & Lt.Gov. However, the Attorney General race looks absurdly close (figures from WaPo, just now):

    Mark Herring (D) – 50.0% – 1,098,895 votes

    Mark Obenshain (R) – 50.0% – 1,098,948 votes

    Wowza. The chatter I picked up in the liberal blogosphere was basically “watch out, the Attorney General race matters too but lots of people aren’t paying as much attention to that one” mixed with a fair amount of fear of an Obenshain victory. As of this moment, he’s got the lead (53 votes!).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  54. @Rob in CT:

    Can you provide the link please?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  55. @Rob in CT:

    Yes it may largely be made up of the Republican base, but few true Tea Party candidates ever talk about social issues. Cuccinelli really was not part of the Tea Party and never has been he actually kind of pissed of some of these grass roots people early in the campaign most likely sealing his fate.

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  56. Rob in CT says:

    Newer link:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/obenshain-herring-in-dead-heat-in-virginia-attorney-generals-race-recount-expected/2013/11/06/f3d49976-46b0-11e3-b6f8-3782ff6cb769_story.html

    Obenshain has a 186 vote lead, pending a recount.

    few true Tea Party candidates ever talk about social issues

    No True Scotsman! Hah.

    Tea Party candidates talk about social issues constantly. When they do, apparently you hand-wave that away as not “true” Tea Party stuff. Excuse me while I roll my eyes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  57. Mikey says:

    Old GOP whine: “We can’t get elected because we don’t nominate True Conservatives!”

    New GOP whine: “It’s the Libertarian’s fault!”

    Believe me as a resident of Virginia: there’s a lot more to what happened yesterday than a libertarian pulling 6% of the vote. The nomination process, which social conservatives pushed to a convention rather than a primary in order to exclude moderate Northern Virginia Republicans, was just the start. The government shutdown, which was mostly blamed on the GOP (since it was their fault) didn’t help, and it further hurt Cuccinelli because it distracted from the one thing that could have pushed him to victory: the Obamacare mess. But instead of being able to hammer McAuliffe with that for five weeks, he only had about two.

    So he lost a relatively close election to a deeply flawed carpetbagger with zero experience in government besides bundling money for the Clintons. And that’s not Robert Sarvis’ fault at all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0