Sadly, three days after a game-changing statewide election in Virginia, attorney general and failed Republican governor candidate Ken Cuccinelli is showing his true tea party colors by refusing even to talk to Democrat Terry McAuliffe — the man who beat him at the polls — and blaming everyone for his loss except for the one person most responsible — himself.
Cuccinelli, fulfilling the stereotype of sore loser, blames the state and national Republican parties for “abandoning him” and scorns the big-money campaign contributors who avoided his campaign like the plague it wast.
“Ken is proving that, without a doubt, voters in Virginia made the right choice Tuesday,” says Len Harding, a long-time Republican strategist in Washington. “Yes, the GOP in large part stayed away from him because he represented a segment of the party that we want to distance ourselves from.”
Cuccinelli, a favorite of the rapidly declining tea party and its rabid-right views, came under fire for his extremism and for his role changing the state party nominating system from a primary to a caucus that allowed him and other tea party types to control the action and top the ballot with him and E.W. Jackson, the flamboyant tea party pastor who went down in flames in the Lt. Gov. race against Ralph Northam.
Several Republicans have told us that they walked away from Cuccinelli because of the caucus process and because of his strict adherence to tea party extremes.
“Virginia is changing and the nation is changing and the Republican Party has to change to survive,” says GOP voter Katherine Rawlings of Richmond. “We have to stop living in the past.”
McAuliffe has already met with outgoing governor Bob McDonnell and promises to work with Republicans and even keep some around as governor. According to several reports, Cuccinelli, however, is avoiding any contact with the governor-elect.
“Ken is a bitter, angry man who holds grudges,” says one GOP campaign worker who left the campaign early because, he said, “the Republican candidate for governor was not who he claimed to be.”
In post-election comments, Cuccinelli has promised to “continue the fight” for his extreme right-wing views.
Long-time political watchers say, however, that Cuccinelli will finish out his term as attorney general under an ethics cloud and return to private law practice in Northern Virginia.
“He’s finished,” says political analyst Calvin Reeves. “His 15 minutes are up.”