This really cannot be overstated: a victory for Ken Cuccinelli in this fall’s race for Virginia Governor is crucial not just to Virginians, but for the whole country. Conservatives outside Virginia who have been wrapped up in the Obama administration’s scandal-du-jour, or who are focused on House and Senate races that are more than a year away, must take note. The time for them to get involved is now.
HILLARY’S DRY RUN
Here is a shocking statistic: Terry McAuliffe has raised over $400 million for Bill and Hillary Clinton. As former Clinton advisor James Carville told Politico, “I don’t know how to break this to you, but Terry and the Clintons are very, very close. It’s not a secret.” The Washington Post reported that Democrats see T-Mac’s Virginia campaign as “the ground floor of a would-be Hillary Rodham Clinton presidential run — with his Virginia operation serving as a farm team in a critical swing state and donors believing they can curry favor with her by helping McAuliffe.”
In an article earlier this year (H/T Jim Geraghty) Politico gave the world a heads-up that the McAuliffe campaign would serve as a training ground for Hillary’s staff and fundraisers.
Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign begins this year in Virginia.
She hasn’t said anything about 2016, but Terry McAuliffe’s 2013 gubernatorial campaign is serving as a testing ground for Clinton’s clout, operatives and donors.
In fact, McAuliffe and some of his top allies have suggested to big donors and consultants that supporting his campaign is a way to get in on the ground floor of Hillary 2016, several donors and operatives told POLITICO.
He’s stocked his campaign with top-tier talent likely to be involved in any Hillary Clinton presidential effort, including campaign manager Robby Mook, senior adviser Patrick Hallahan and bundlers such as Jonathan Mantz and Jackson Dunn.
Defeating Ken Cuccinelli would be a big win for the Clintons. If McAuliffe loses, Hillary’s stock goes down and doubt and uncertainty about the sophistication of her team will increase. Plus, naturally, a Cuccinelli victory means that Hillary wouldn’t have the assistance of the statewide network of donors and supporters that typically adhere to the sitting governor. If we want to stop Hillary, we first have to elect Ken Cuccinelli.
ADVANCING THE CONSERVATIVE AGENDA
No state-level conservative politician has done more, and been more effective, at promoting principled conservative opposition to federal overreach than Ken Cuccinelli. From leading the fight against Obamacare to battling with the EPA, Cuccinelli has been a champion for our causes. A loss (especially to the “used car salesman” Terry McAuliffe) would rightly be viewed as a repudiation of those causes, and would have the immediate effect of sidelining Cuccinelli and halting the good work he continues to do.
Perhaps equally troubling would be the body-blow a Cuccinelli loss would deliver to conservatives within the GOP. As Geraghty notes,
So if you’re one of those folks who believe that Mitt Romney was a RINO squish, and that Republicans always lose when they nominate RINO squishes, then you really, really, really need Ken Cuccinelli to win this year.
If Ken Cuccinelli [loses] and simultaneously, Governor Hug-Obama-After-a-Hurricane-and-Move-Left wins in a landslide up in New Jersey . . . the message to the rest of the Republican party will be pretty clear. What you fervently believe — conservatives win, moderate squishes lose — will be refuted in the eyes of many Republicans.
We have to work hard to make sure that doesn’t happen.
TURNING A KEY SWING STATE FROM PURPLE BACK TO RED
Prior to 2008, Virginia had not voted for a Democrat for president since 1964. Now it has done so twice, and has Democrats holding both U.S. Senate seats. If current patterns hold, demographic shifts across the state–but especially in Northern Virginia–bode well for future Democrat candidates. And the Virginia Republican Party has of late been distracted with internal divisions over nominating contests and, even more recently, Governor Bob McDonnell’s cascading scandals.
This is not a recipe for future success in presidential years. If Virginia becomes a reliably blue state that means the battleground where the GOP can credibly win the presidency is shrunk even further. Virginia matters for every presidential election in the foreseeable future.
WHAT TO DO?
Conservatives from states outside Virginia who care about advancing our causes need to help advance Ken Cuccinelli. To do that, Cuccinelli needs to be a priority for activists from across the country. I’m not saying that things like primary contests for 2014 Senate nominations and protests against Obamacare and the IRS are unimportant. They are, of course. But the most immediate and important thing conservatives can do now is to defeat the Clinton machine in Virginia. That means traveling to Virginia, getting online and involved in the Virginia social media landscape, motivating fellow activists to do the same and–above all–donate money to the Cuccinelli campaign. Remember, Cuccinelli is running against the guy who turned selling the Lincoln Bedroom into a lucrative art form. McAuliffe is awash in cash. The only way Ken will be able to keep up is if each of you dig into your pockets and give what you can.
Do it now. Our future is truly at stake.
Cross-Posted at Virginia Virtucon.