Oh, to be a fly on the wall in the Commonwealth of Virginia…if this doesn’t sound like Republican Lt.Gov. Bill Bolling is seriously considering running this fall in an independent bid for the Virignia Statehouse, what does? From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling recently had an unexpected visitor to his cavernous corner office: Ken Cuccinelli, the attorney general.
“He sat right where you’re sitting,” said Bolling, referring to the red-and-green striped settee into which I had just settled. “We spent about an hour together. It was a frank and candid conversation.”
During their unannounced Jan. 21 meeting — it was requested by Cuccinelli — Bolling said he and the man who outmaneuvered him for the Republican gubernatorial nomination discussed the subject that has rent them asunder: the campaign ahead.
Losing has liberated Bolling, loosening his image and his tongue. The loyal Republican who deferred to others defers no longer. Bolling is especially direct in expressing his distaste for the negative image the GOP projects and the just-say-no issues promoted by its new titular leader: Cuccinelli.
This is an uncharacteristic role for Bolling — he is refusing to endorse Cuccinelli and will decide by mid-March on an independent candidacy that could sink Cuccinelli’s — and it is generating attention from an unlikely quarter.
Terry McAuliffe, the presumed Democratic nominee for governor, met privately with Bolling on Jan. 10. That widely reported tete-a-tete sparked Cuccinelli’s interest in a get-together of his own with Bolling.
The rendezvous, on which Cuccinelli’s political staff did not comment, suggests the usually steely nerved Cuccinelli may be somewhat nervous that Bolling’s discontent this winter portends disaster this fall, draining away the votes of more moderate Republicans and election-deciding independents.
Democrats at both the state and federal level have to be salivating their chops at the prospect of a three-way battle for the Statehouse; polls from just a few weeks back pointed at such a possibility:
- In a head-to-head battle between former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe and current Va. AG Ken Cucinelli, McAuliffe leads 33-30 w/31 percent undecided
- If outgoing Lt.Gov. Bill Bolling mounts an outside challenge, McAuliffe & Cucinelli would be tied 27-27 w/Bolling drawing around 9 percent of the vote
Considering the moves AG Cucinelli made in rigging the Republican Party rules to effectively give himself the Republican nomination(by changing the rules from a statewide primary, which would’ve favored Bolling, to a party convention, which favors Cucinelli), it would be a major case of karmic justice if the Democrats’ were to win the Virginia gubernatorial election this fall…