Doug Thompson


Virginia governor’s race: Tea party extremism vs. Obamacare

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Terry McAuliffe (left) and Ken Cuccineli

Terry McAuliffe (left) and Ken Cuccineli

Ethics-challenged Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli — out of money and running out of time — turned over the weekend to the only thing left for a rabid-right candidate to do in a desperate try to win a governor’s race that many think he has already lost.

He is stepped  up his rants to attack Obamacare even harder and warn anyone gullible enough to listen that a national health care program is, somehow, the real issue in the Virginia governor’s race.

President Barack Obama, in Virginia Sunday to campaign for Democrat Terry McAuliffe, pointed out that Cuccinelli is a tea party extremist who supported efforts to use hatred of Obamacare as leverage to shut down the government and drive the nation to the brink of financial default in October.

Which argument will win?  We will know in 36 hours, after the polls close at 7 p.m.Tuesday in the Old Dominion and the voters have their say on whether or not Virginia is a true “swing state” in these politically troubled times.

Some may find it ironic that Obamacare, the federal government shutdown and the extreme fanaticism of the tea party are the issues of choice in the closing hours of a state race that should be focused on the economy, jobs and other more pressing issues.

Neither candidate, however, has spent much time on state issues.  Cuccinelli, of course , is normally busy defending his questionable acceptance of free lodging at a mufti-million dollar waterfront mansion at Smith Mountain Lake and other lavish goodies from scandal-scarred Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams so maybe he doesn’t really want to talk about what he does for — or against — Virginia.

McAuliffe has never held public office, lives in Virginia because he made his name in Washington as a master fundraiser for former President Bill Clinton and as chairman of the Democratic party.  He’s a fairly successful businessman with investments in a lot of companies but little of his operations or activities had much to do with Virginia.

These are the only two real choices in a tough governor’s face that has left most Virginians in both parties scratching their heads and asking “how the hell did this happen?”

How indeed.  The bottom line for Virginians in this year’s governor’s election is a choice between two transplants with nothing really tangible to offer the Old Dominion:  Ken Cuccinelli from Edison, New Jersey or Terry McAuliffe from Syracuse, New York.

A third candidate in the race is Libertarian Robert Sarvis.  He’s the only Virginia-born candidate, having entered this world in Fairfax in 1976.  He’s a lawyer and software developer who will probably pull about 10 percent of the vote and most of that will come from those who might have gone for Cuccinelli who can then blame his loss on something besides his own extremism.

Several hardcore Republicans in Floyd County, Roanoke and surrounding areas have said they will vote for Sarvis only because they can’t stand to cast a vote for Cuccinelli.  So they will vote for Sarvis knowing full well that such a vote helps McAuliffee and is, in the end, considered a vote for the Democrat by many of their fellow Republicans.

If the polls are right, McAuliffe will win easily with a seven-to-fifteen percent margin over Cuccinelli, who is predicting he will come through and win with an upset.

It’s almost over.

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4 Responses to Virginia governor’s race: Tea party extremism vs. Obamacare

  1. Jim P November 4, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    You say a vote for Sarvis is a vote for a democrat. I say no, it is not. Sure, it may help a democrat win this race, but think more to the long term. Increasing the vote for a non-republicrat this time round may wake up people to the idea that we do actually have a choice and that this country is not a one party country after all.

  2. Sarah November 4, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Yes it is Jim P. Sarvis is more Dem then Rep…HE DOES NOT stand for what we need in office right now…

  3. Sarang November 4, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    No surprise that a lot of the race has avoided state issues — most of the money funding both the Cuccinelli and McAuliffe campaigns are coming from outside the state:
    http://votersedge.org/virginia/2013/november/state/candidates/governor/3-ken-cuccinelli-ii

  4. Jim P November 6, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Nobody stands for what we need. Anyone who does is too smart to run. But we do need someone from outside the main party if only to wake people up to the possibility of reform.