A seemingly innocuous endorsement in Virginia's gubernatorial race touched off a nasty round of recriminations this week, courtesy of Terry McAuliffe's allies. A conservative ad campaign in the Commonwealth is urging voters not to allow Democrats to "Detroit" the state. Perhaps Virginians should be equally as concerned about the Left's importation of toxic, Chicago-style intimidation politics, which appear to be seeping across the Potomac. Via Mary Katharine Ham, whose write-up of this controversy is hilarious and excellent:
High-powered Terry McAuliffe supporters made a furious attempt over the weekend to reverse a Washington area business group’s endorsement of Republican Ken Cuccinelli II for governor, with state legislators warning that “doors will be closed” to the group if it sticks by its choice.The pressure exerted on the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s political arm, Tech PAC...suggests that McAuliffe’s campaign is worried that a Cuccinelli endorsement could undermine the central premise of the Democrat’s campaign — that he, an entrepreneur who started his first venture at 14, is the pro-business candidate and that Cuccinelli, a social conservative popular with the tea party, is too extreme for the state’s centrist business leaders. The reasoning behind the NVTC TechPAC’s nod — Cuccinelli had detailed responses to questions in candidate interviews, three board members said, while McAuliffe was uninformed and superficial — bolsters the view that the Democrat’s breezy style doesn’t sit well with some Virginians....
Several people with knowledge of the proceedings said they were shocked at his mishandling of the endorsement process itself — and his misread of the serious and thoughtful approach to the issues that the council was expecting to hear from both candidates...E-mails obtained by The Post make clear that the lobbying effort on McAuliffe’s behalf was intense. “I urge you to stop any endorsement of Cuccinelli,” state Sen. Janet D. Howell (D-Fairfax), told PAC leaders Friday in an e-mail. “The ramifications of his being endorsed will be huge within the Senate Democratic caucus. .?.?. The response [from legislators] will be frigid and doors will be closed [when the council seeks help with its legislative agenda]. Achieving the goals of NVTC will be difficult to impossible.”
Cuccinelli impressed the board’s majority as a serious, detail-oriented candidate while McAuliffe seemed to wing it, according to three board members present for the interviews who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak frankly. “Terry was his normal, flamboyant self,” said a board member present for both interviews. “He didn’t want to get pinned down to any details. He didn’t give any details. He was all about jobs, jobs, jobs — ‘I’m just going to take care of the situation when the time comes. I’m just going to do it.’ It was all [expletive].” Cuccinelli, by contrast, the person said, “was precise. He was thoughtful. He thought through all the issues. He had a clear position on all those issues, and he didn’t agree with the council on all the issues.” Two people present said that in response to a question about how he’d accomplish his goals as governor, McAuliffe told the PAC board that as an Irish Catholic he’d be adept at taking people out for drinks and doing whatever it takes to get things done. McAuliffe is well known as a schmoozer, but he seemed to badly misread his methodical audience with that answer, several of those present said. On a question about whether Virginia should stay in something called the “open-trade-secrets pact,” Cuccinelli gave a thoroughly researched response, the person said. But McAuliffe answered, according to the source: “?‘I don’t know what that is. I’ll have to look it up later.’
McAuliffe stumbles badly: http://t.co/2FjkxVrQ4T— Larry Sabato (@LarrySabato) September 16, 2013
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography