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The Juvenile Antics of "My Turn" Politics, by Mary Walsh
Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling announced last month that he was suspending his campaign for governor.
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Gov. McDonnell and Lt. Gov. Bolling were indeed elected by wide margins and so was Attorney General Cuccinelli. In fact, Cuccinelli's vote count exceeded Bolling's by 17,344. This tidbit was left out of the email. The tally was Gov. McDonnell: 1,163,651 votes carrying 58.61 percent, Lt. Gov. Bolling: 1,106,793 votes carrying 56.51 percent, and Attorney General Cuccinelli with 1,124,137 votes carrying 57.51 percent.
NOT SO SURPRISED
Apparently, Bolling was surprised by Cuccinelli's decision. Really? Didn't Bolling ask for Mr. Cuccinelli's endorsement as soon as the ink was dry on his pact with Gov. McDonnell for his endorsement the next time around? Didn't Cuccinelli say he would let the people of Virginia decide who their nominee would be in the next four years? For all Bolling's convention vs. primary angst, he himself was nominated during the Republican Convention of 2009.
The whine wails on: "In addition, I know how divisive conventions can be,
This is a lame attempt at escaping responsibility for Bolling's own decision to withdraw from the race and shift it to the imaginary possibility of friendships ending over support of different candidates. Bolling seemed happy enough to run when the convention nominated him in 2009.
In an interview with The Richmond Times-Dispatch [Nov. 28], Bolling notes that he'd been pinning some of his hopes on the coattails of a Romney victory. Goodness! Candidates should run on their own merits and not count on coattails a year hence. Coattails should be gravy, not the main course. In the same interview, Bolling asserts that he cannot "in good conscience endorse [Cuccinelli's] candidacy for governor." I don't think Cuccinelli has changed much in the last four years since Bolling ran with him on the ticket. What has changed is the competition. Bolling complains about the rules and the other candidate, and he's picking up his bat and ball and going home. These are the hallmarks of a sore loser.
Spare me the drama of this style of party unity. One of the greatest problems in the Republican Party when it comes to candidate selection is the "it's my turn to run" attitude. This is perhaps the most dysfunctional mentality within American politics--running because "it's my turn."
It is sheer lunacy to have a candidate run because "it's my turn." Those candidates lose, and there's a long list of them. Forget about "my turn"; that's British protocol. Prince Charles is still waiting.
Put the right person up for the job. Petulant politicians must understand that sometimes the answer is no. Live with it. There's more to life than politics.
Mary Walsh is a freelance writer