Friday, January 22, 2021
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Cuccinelli’s Take on Republican Presidential Candidates

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The Republican Party is busily promoting its brand by running public media events, often billed as "debates," like the affair recently sponsored on Labor Day (don't overlook that irony) by hard-right Senator Jim DeMint from South Carolina. Since most of us, even Republican political junkies, were otherwise employed, er, occupied, on Labor Day, and missed it, Virginia's Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, has kindly provided us with his take on the event, as published on his web site the "Cuccinelli Compass: a grassroots update" (a masthead moniker I personally think brilliant, as I will subsequently explain).

The five participants were Bachmann, Cain, Gingrich, Paul, and Romney; Governor Perry was missing because he was attending to the wildfires presently consuming Texas. They were taken on stage separately for 22 minutes in alphabetical order, and were each asked the same questions by Senator DeMint, Congressman Steve King, and Professor Robbie George from Princeton (a conservative professor, no less); no media "personalities" were involved, which prevented the usual grandstanding, crossfire, and what Cuccinelli referred to as "gotcha" questions. Personally, I think maybe DeMint is on to something here, especially in the early, get-to-know-you phase of a campaign. The set-up allowed listeners an in-depth view of each candidate, and that is how the Attorney General analyzed them, with a surgical precision laced with, if not humor, a certain disarming frankness, which affords us a view of his internal compass as well