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Bolling Announces….

By Greg L | 27 November 2012 | RPV, Virginia Politics | 21 Comments


…that he will not run for Governor in 2013 tomorrow.  That leaves only Tareq Salahi (provided he meets filing requirements) as the only opponent to Ken Cuccinelli for the Republican nomination for Governor.  The RPV Advance will become one big Cuccinelli victory party.

Bolling has been polling way behind Cuccinelli, usually by about 30 - 40 points in most polls I’ve heard and with an enthusiasm gap this large going into a convention his path to victory was beyond difficult.  Bolling is a good guy who has done a fine job as Lieutenant Governor, it’s just that the Republican base loves Cuccinelli.  Really loves him.

Given the timing of this announcement it is still possible that Bolling could announce he will run for re-election as Lieutenant Governor once again, and so far neither my sources nor any reporting indicates that is going to happen.  It would seem unlikely Bolling would choose this path, as the downsides of once again pulling back from a nomination contest after it became clear there was no path to victory could be significant.  A simple exit would probably best preserve Bolling’s political opportunities in the future.

With the expected disappearance of a Governor’s race during May’s Republican Convention that would have certainly drawn a very heavy conservative crowd, campaigns for Attorney General and Lieutenant Governor are going to be recalibrating a bit.  While Cuccinelli wasn’t supporting any of the candidates for these positions while he had his own race for the nomination to focus on, it’s possible he may decide to rest his thumb on the scales of the convention a bit in order to ensure he’s running with a ticket he likes.

Meanwhile, the news has Democrats deeply perplexed.  With an open field to run in, Cuccinelli has just become a stronger, better financed candidate in the general election, and plenty of Democrats aren’t that thrilled with the prospect of Terry McAuliffe being their nominee.  Not Larry Sabato seems to be starting a campaign to draft former Congressman Tom Periello to challenge T-Mac in the upcoming Democratic Party primary, which would be a fascinating matchup if he got the nod.

The next few weeks are going to be pretty interesting as this all sorts out.  One thing I know for sure is that Bolling’s hospitality suite at the Advance is not going to be the biggest party in Virginia Beach this weekend.

UPDATE: The mainstream media has picked up on this, but so far only the Washington Post recognized that we had the story first.

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  1. Brian L. said on 27 Nov 2012 at 10:36 pm:
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    Yuck. Bolling’s people were the ones that were big on the “We need tax increases to balance the budget” message amongst the Fairfax GOP a few years back. Party loyalty or not, I ain’t voting for any Republican that’s pro-government confiscation.

  2. Shaun Kenney said on 27 Nov 2012 at 10:56 pm:
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    So will Bolling run for a 3rd term as Lt. Governor?

  3. Greg L said on 27 Nov 2012 at 11:02 pm:
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    I haven’t heard that, and doubt he will but I suppose it’s possible. Tomorrow we will find out.

  4. Citizen-Veteran said on 27 Nov 2012 at 11:04 pm:
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    Bill Bolling is an outstanding Virginian. He has served the Commonwealth as a champion - and he has so much more to offer us. Will it be at the state or national level?

    The problem for conservative Virginians is a wealth of choice. Bill and Ken deserve backing - but not for the same position. We don’t need that struggle in 2013 - and Bill Bolling is a class act. Bill Bolling deserves our respect and thanks.

    I’m delighted to support Ken for the future. Now, I want to find the next step for supporting Bill Bolling.

  5. Larsele said on 27 Nov 2012 at 11:06 pm:
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    That will have a negative effect on the suites at the Advance. Glad I had other things to do. Like show up at Cuccinelli office at 11 AM tomorrow. ;-)

  6. Jordan Labiosa said on 27 Nov 2012 at 11:27 pm:
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    CNN Reporter Peter Hamby just tweeted: “Bill Bolling will drop his bid for Virginia governor, GOP sources confirm. Ensures clear path to nomination for Ken Cuccinelli.”

  7. Charles said on 27 Nov 2012 at 11:57 pm:
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    I kind of wish he had run for the Senate seat, instead of Allen. He might well have been able to beat Warner.

  8. Red, White ans Blue said on 28 Nov 2012 at 12:07 am:
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    Very good news, The last thing we need is more in- fighting and giving the dems more fodder. I am still trying to get over the fact Obama won VA, We need to turn this around and Ken Cuccinelli is more than a fittng candidate.

  9. Ron said on 28 Nov 2012 at 12:17 am:
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    Is no one worried that we’re going with a fundamentally less electable guy? All of my friends (admittedly many are libertarians) agree that our path to victory is to emphasize fiscal conservatism. Cuccinelli is all about being socially conservative, isn’t he?

  10. Greg L said on 28 Nov 2012 at 12:27 am:
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    I can’t imagine a libertarian thinking they’re going to pick Bolling over Cuccinelli. https://vimeo.com/9666557

  11. Scout said on 28 Nov 2012 at 6:33 am:
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    How many times over the years has Bolling veered off rather than take on a potentially strong candidate? Once RPV decided on a convention, Bolling was probably going to get flattened. In a primary I think he would have had a chance, but even that would have been a toughie.

    Guess the blueing of Virginia will continue apace. Both men are problematic candidates for the GOP, but Bolling would have had an easier time shedding some of his past positions that are so hard to sell to the citizens at the polls. Cuccinelli will try, but lacks some of the practiced chameleon capabilities of BB.

  12. VRC said on 28 Nov 2012 at 6:50 am:
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    Ron, Cuccinelli is very close with Campaign for Liberty and the Pauls. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him pull an endorsement from ol’ Doc Ron.

  13. Howard Roark said on 28 Nov 2012 at 7:49 am:
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    Greg, thanks for keeping us informed on this and for the updates on the County auditor mess. I checked InsideNova this morning and their two top stories are about the Dumfries Christmas parade and the “citizen satisfaction” with the County government. They’ve already checked out and gone home in advance of the paper closing next month. I agree that Jeremy Borden at the Post is doing a great job. I hope the Post keeps him around here for a while.

  14. Loudoun Lady said on 28 Nov 2012 at 11:09 am:
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    If Bolling wants to run against Mark Warner in 2014, why would anyone back him? He has now backed out of a nomination process twice because he didn’t think he could win within his own party. Does Bolling believe that this “next in line” mentality still should dominate the politcal landscape, and will he back out yet a third time if someone dares to run against him for the nomination?

    It’s time for a new crop of leaders to emerge.

    We need a strong candidate to run against Mark Warner. Who is on the horizon?

  15. Doug Brown said on 28 Nov 2012 at 2:34 pm:
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    From the WPost:

    “Many Democrats and some Republicans believe Bolling would have been the stronger general election candidate, with more potential appeal to independents and swing voters.”

    I think Republicans should nominate who the Democrats think is the stronger candidate.

    Bolling is an honorable guy, but there was a reason why he was Romney’s guy in VA.

    Republicans need to start offering real alternatives to the Democrats and alternatives who have the ability and really believe in those principles and positions which distinguish Republicans from the Democrats.

    Here’s a little different take, i.e., different from the Post and the Democratic Party on the danger of not conservatives to the Republican party but moderates:


  16. Wineplz said on 28 Nov 2012 at 4:27 pm:
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    Funny, I never figured Tareq Salahi for a Republican, fiscally, socially, or otherwise. From what I’ve been able to gather about that goon (when I first saw him crash the WH party and realized he was the heir-apparent to Oasis winery), the man sued his own mother for full ownership of the winery, drove it into the ground, didn’t pay employees, contractors, and overcharged customers who were planning weddings and other big functions at the winery. If he can’t run a well-established family business in a booming market segment, then he certainly has no business trying to run any form of government. He’s only in it for the fame, political clout, and money.

  17. Drake said on 28 Nov 2012 at 4:46 pm:
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    Periello can’t even win his own congressional district. Ben Is Full Of It On This one.

  18. Jeff Hunter said on 30 Nov 2012 at 8:47 am:
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    Someone explain to me how Bolling is dropping out because the Convention process would divide the party but is now mulling an independent run?

  19. Mary Ann Kreitzer said on 30 Nov 2012 at 2:35 pm:
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    Bolling is turning out to be a spineless whiner who, because his backroom deal with McDonnell to be next governor (”my turn! my turn!”) wasn’t honored by those who weren’t a party to it, is doing whatever he can to sink Ken Cuccinelli. I am sickened by his behavior and hope he ends up out of politics for good. We don’t need any more finger-in-the-wind, spineless Republicans. We already have too many. Bolling reminds me of my kids when they were teenagers. He’s an embarrassment to the party at this point. Ken has a proven record of being able to win in a liberal district and he is one of the most articulate and courageous politicians I’ve had the honor to know. Somebody give Bolling a blowpop sucker to keep his mouth busy.

  20. Rick Boyer said on 1 Dec 2012 at 12:18 am:
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    The whole flap over Bill Bolling pulling out of the Governor’s race and threatening to run as an independent has stoked emotions on both sides. To me, it reveals the blatant hypocrisy of folks who savaged Virgil Goode for running against Mitt Romney (never mind that Virgil’s differences with Romney were very significant, and we’re all told that Bill Bolling actually is a conservative and not that different from Ken Cuccinelli).

    But what’s more important to me than which individual is right or wrong, is that this whole flap sets out in sharp relief two of the greatest things WRONG with the modern incarnation of the Republican Party – certainly at a national level and perhaps even more exaggerated in the Republican Party of Virginia. I think each deserves our attention.

    1.We tend to idolize individual politicians. I believe our Founders would have warned us against this. We ought to look to the American people for direction, not to self-anointed leaders. Perhaps this was best expressed by one longtime Republican activist who stated that with Bolling’s withdrawal, she would just retire from politics.
    Are we serious? Are our years of effort really so tied up in the worship of a single man or woman that the person’s defeat leaves us without a cause for which to fight? There is no candidate out there, Bolling, Cuccinelli or otherwise, who deserves that level of idolatry. Many of us in the “party activist” ranks are the folks most susceptible to the clearly false idea that “Congress stinks, but MY Congressman is a great guy.” This attitude of “politician worship” leads us to judge what is right or wrong on the basis of our preferred politician’s actions, instead of judging our politicians with an honest yardstick of objective right and wrong; that is, we measure truth by a man instead of measuring a man (or woman) by the truth. That’s why it’s “wrong” for Virgil Goode to challenge Romney, but “right” for Bolling to do the same thing to Cuccinelli. We become a nation of men, not of law.

    2.We look at public office as something to be “deserved” because the politician has “paid his dues,” or “put in his time.” Now “it’s his turn.” This attitude is cancerous. In truth, public office is a high honor, and more importantly, a sacred trust. PUBLIC OFFICE IS NOT SOMETHING A POLITICIAN DESERVES; IT IS SOMETHING HE HOLDS IN TRUST, RESPONSIBLE TO SERVE THE WISHES OF THE PEOPLE WHO PUT HIM THERE. No one “deserves” four more years on the taxpayer dime because they have already been granted twenty. No one “deserves” a promotion to the highest office in the state because he has been blessed to hold the second-highest. It is destructive to believe that I, as the citizen, owe some allegiance to an elected official because he’s been there. We are not far removed from the “divine right of kings” theory.
    As a party, we MUST reverse our thinking. Our elected officials are NOT our rulers; they are our servants. Being on the taxpayer dime is a privilege, not a guarantee of tenure for life and automatic promotion. They are our REPRESENTATIVES. WE are the rulers; THEY are the servants, who serve at our pleasure. We owe them nothing; they owe us everything. We have lost all concept of government of, by and for the people, and we must reverse our thinking.
    How do we address both these problems? By a paradigm shift in our thinking. Today we view a “Party” as a group of folks bound together by a blood oath to “elect Republicans,” and then to serve and re-elect those incumbents basically for life. If we are to move forward, we MUST view a “Party” as a group of folks bound together by a basically shared set of IDEALS, PRINCIPLES – sworn to find folks who subscribe to those ideas to support at election time, to hold them accountable once elected, and to REPLACE THEM if they “become destructive of those ends” for which we elected them, as the Declaration put it. WE MUST BE DRIVEN BY IDEAS, NOT POLITICIANS.

    What are those basic ideas? For simple starters, our elected officials MUST believe in Life and Liberty. They must stand without apology for the simple understanding that unless we ALL have the right to life, everything else is but window dressing. The “Republican” state senator who bottles up pro-life legislation in committee, who “reaches out to single women” in a craven bid for power, with the lives of innocents as the 30 pieces of silver he trades for votes, is as shameful as the openly pro-partial birth abortion Democrat. Secondly, our officials MUST understand the government is too big, and be committed IN PRACTICE to making it smaller. Not “smaller growth,” but making it smaller. Almighty God only demands 10 percent; government already demands 40-50%. How DARE we consider “raising revenue” or raising debt ceilings? EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN THIS COUNTRY IS ALREADY IN DEBT $250,000! It is UNCONSCIONABLE for a Republican, yea for an American, to support allowing unelected groups of bureaucrats to have the authority to tax us. Yet our Governor, Lieutenant Governor and most “Republican” Congressmen and state legislators supported the creation of unelected taxing authorities. We used to have one of those; his name was King George III. We had to fight a war to get rid of him. A politician who votes us back to 1775 shouldn’t get another chance!

    If we will swear our allegiance to Life and Liberty, and make our politicians run the gauntlet of Principle before they “earn” our votes, we will, as party activists, rebuild the trust in this party that 2012 proved we have so manifestly lost. If we continue to put “Truth upon the scaffold and Man upon the throne,” we deserve the contemptuous title of “party hack.” We are, like it or not, accountable for the votes we cast and the folks we help elect. If they betray our Ideals and we wink at it, we too have become Judas. We too have broken faith with the folks who trust us, as activists, to present them with leaders who earn their trust.

    This “Bolling’s Charlie Crist moment,” as Richard Viguerie puts it, is a Moment of Truth for us as a Party, and as its activists. Will we be content to be hacks, or will we determine to be a new breed of freedom fighters, rebuilding from the ashes of 2012 the dream our Founders bequeathed to us. Forget Bolling vs. Cuccinelli; I call us to choose – Are we in service of Men, or in service to Liberty? IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO BE BOTH!

  21. Ronald said on 1 Dec 2012 at 8:26 am:
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    I voted for Virgil Goode

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