The people in politics and government who know Cuccinelli best are his fellow Republicans. How intensely do they dislike him? Let me count the ways:
Exhibit A: Bob vs. Ken: Last week, Bob McDonnell announced that he’s going to spend the next week touring the state, touting his accomplishments — essentially campaigning for himself rather than Cuccinelli, his party’s choice to succeed him. Anyone else find that a little odd?
Not that McDonnell’s endorsement would be worth that much these days anyway. But by the same token, having him on the road across the state is just one more distraction from Cuccinelli’s own campaign.
The two of them are basically taking turns trying to throw each other under the bus —
Cuccinelli trying to erase the smell of the Jonnie Williams Star-gate scandal by calling for a special session of the General Assembly to enact a gift ban — which McDonnell rejected; and McDonnell blaming Cuccinelli for the cost of his attorneys, appointed after Cuccinelli, having enjoyed his own gifts from Jonnie, recused himself.
Exhibit B: Ethics Fumble: Speaking of Cuccinelli’s gimmicky, last-minute call for a special session on ethics…well, normally when your candidate is running for governor, other officials in the party fall into line behind the guy. But definitely not in this situation. Instead, Republican House leaders thought this would be a good time to slap their nominee in the face with a big “Hell no!”
In case that didn’t hurt enough, how about having one of his own running mates, Mark Obenshain, also reject the idea? OUCH!
Exhibit C: Bill vs. Ken: Is there any question at this point that LG Bill Bolling hates every single microbe in Ken Cuccinelli’s guts? I could easily fill a page quoting all the times Bolling has found a way to undercut Cuccinelli every since the AG stabbed him in the back by grabbing the nomination for governor with his little tea party-infested convention. So let’s just settle for one quote today that sums it all up:
Exhibit D: The Assistant AG vs. the AG: Final example for today is Cuccinelli’s former assistant suing him for wrongfully firing her. Samantha Vanterpool says she was fired “after comments appeared online that called the attorney general and Virginia gubernatorial candidate an ‘egomaniac’ who was ‘NEVER in the AG’s office and solely uses the position for self promotion.'”
Yes, this is yet another rich story to mine. Cuccinelli’s own assistants recognize him as a useless “egomaniac” and he is so paranoid and thin-skinned that he fires one of them after suspecting her of posting anonymous comments on-line. There’s something fundamentally Nixonian about the guy.
Now, please observe, I have — probably for the first time — gotten through an entire diary about the man without saying a single word about his extreme positions on the issues. Because while such positions certainly matter a great deal, it is also important for a governor to be able to get along with people, get them to cooperate and work together.
Cuccinelli’s ability to deal with people is well demonstrated by the fact that those who know him best clearly like him least and feel no obligation to follow him even for selfish political reasons. During his years in Virginia politics, he has burned many bridges and built precious few.
But at least he won’t need any “on the job training”!