Credit Cuccinelli Campaign for Keeping It Close Amid Negative Ad Avalanche
The news, obviously, is that Terry McAuliffe won the Virginia Governor’s race — but it was a win where he was holding on at the end; holding on as the Cuccinelli forces did the only thing they could after getting badly outgunned on TV: use President Obama’s late appearance to make the race a referendum on “Obamacare.” Smart play — and the only play after getting buried in negative advertising.
Still, this late tactical move by Cuccinelli was well executed as they were handed a gift from the increasingly unpopular President. Why show up in Virginia parallel to the Sebelius hearings and all of the negative chatter about Obamacare? It’s mystifying why McAuliffe would even want him there. They obviously calculated they needed him to meet turnout objectives. But still — McAuliffe paid a price for the Obama appearance.
As the finger-pointing is just getting started about having ‘abandoned’ Cuccinelli (he was), the Cuccinelli campaign operatives who sat there day after day after day in the bunker getting pummeled deserve credit for hanging in there. Like a football game, where the leading team just can’t put the other team away, the Cuccinelli guys ‘hung around” and looked for the opportunity they needed.
Yes, they lost — and its a big “L” on the win/loss scorecard. But ‘losing’ in a big league race in this manner — where they went down swinging and kept it close despite being financially abandoned — is no sin.