I had a lot of respect for Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling. HAD. Bolling is so desperate to win his party’s nomination for governor in 2013 that he is sinking to levels usually reserved for the most radical Democrat. Hypocrisy, and dishonesty, is of no concern when you want to win an election.
Bolling, who has previously been nominated for the Virginia Senate and for Lt. Governor by convention, now argues that conventions are evil. Because active duty military personnel serving abroad cannot attend a convention, Bolling is NOW crying foul.
Three years ago we had troops serving in Europe, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, and at other locations throughout the world; just as we do today. Naval personnel are deployed all over the globe. Virginia has a proud tradition of military service, so of course many of those soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines are Virginians. Yet, I don’t recall any such shirt tearing by Bolling when he accepted his party’s nomination for LG in 2009. So why now?
Today the State Central Committee of the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) meets in Richmond. Among the items on their agenda is to change the method of nomination for Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General in 2013 from primary to convention. Last October the State Central Committee opted for a primary. However, the make-up of the committee has changed during this year’s round of District Conventions.
OK, so why does Bolling oppose a convention now?
The conventional wisdom, and one to which Bolling obviously subscribes, is that Bolling will lose a convention to AG Ken Cuccinelli. Yep, he probably will. Cuccinelli is, justifiably, very popular with the party’s conservative faithful – the same people who tend to turn out for mass meetings and conventions.
Bolling has served Virginia well in the legislature and as Lt. Governor. He simply faces tough opposition. Does that mean he should stoop to hypocrisy?
I am reminded of a past Lt. Governor, John Hager. Hager served as Lt. Governor and was sorely abused by his opponent, former Attorney General Mark Earley, while seeking the party’s nomination for governor. While Hager, always a gentleman of the first order, lost the nomination, he exited that stage with his head held high and continued to serve the Commonwealth and his country.
I expect that, regardless of the State Central Committee’s decision today, Cuccinelli will wage a tough, honorable, and conservative campaign. The Attorney General has not been pushing for the State Central Committee to change its method of nomination. Recent polls show that Cuccinelli holds a commanding lead over Bolling if a primary was held. Bolling’s recent behavior indicates that regardless of the nominating method Virginia Republicans can look forward to Bolling doing anything to become governor of the Old Dominion.