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.