Virginia’s High-Octane GOP Ticket

by John Fund

The battle lines are drawn for the November election in Virginia, with Democrats seeking to portray the GOP ticket that emerged from the party’s state convention this weekend as “extreme” and “all Tea Party, all the time.”

Republican Ken Cuccinelli, a leader in the anti-Obamacare movement as the state’s attorney general, was already a focus of Democratic attacks as the presumptive Republican nominee for governor. Now Democrats think they can discredit E. W. Jackson, the minister and lawyer the GOP nominated for lieutenant governor after four ballots this weekend.

Jackson is indeed a strong cup of tea. He told delegates on Saturday he was “not an African American, but an American” and vowed to “get the government off our backs, off our property, out of our families, out of our health care and out of our way.”

The Huffington Post is already circulating a video in which Jackson railed against “an unholy alliance between certain so-called civil rights leaders and Planned Parenthood, which has killed unborn black babies by the tens of millions. Planned Parenthood has been far more lethal to black lives than the KKK ever was. And the Democrat Party and the black civil rights allies are partners in this genocide.”

Some establishment Republicans I spoke with on Saturday are concerned that Jackson will alienate Northern Virginia moderates with his views. But Jackson supporters say that their man, a graduate of both the Harvard Law School and Harvard Divinity School, is just the jolt of excitement that will turn out traditional non-voters.

Dave “Mudcat” Saunders, a Democratic political strategist who specializes in turning out the “Bubba” vote, says a Cuccinelli-Jackson ticket may not be a political mistake.

“Politicians, overall as a trade, are in the bottom of the outhouse,” he told the Washington Post. “And the reason is, they talk out of the side of their mouths, most of them. . . . . The fact that Ken Cuccinelli’s talking out of the front of his mouth and not the side of his mouth, I think, is refreshing to everybody, whether you agree with him or not.”

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