35 years ago, a struggling young political staffer named Mark Warner was fired from his job in the finance department at the Democratic National Committee. As the legend goes, his boss who fired him- DNC finance director Terry McAuliffe- told Warner he wouldn't amount to much with his attitude and work ethic. As detailed in his TV ads from his 1996 Senate race, Warner then attempted and failed to start a couple of companies- and ended up homeless and living in his car before he made hundreds of millions of dollars in the telecom industry.
In 2008, when Terry McAuliffe first floated running for Governor of Virginia at the DNC Convention, people close with Warner reported that he was enraged with the idea- even more so then Brian Moran or Creigh Deeds.
Fast forward to 2013. Terry McAuliffe is now the Democratic nominee for Governor in a very important election. What does Mark Warner say about the man who once fired him, taunted him and helped lead to him being homeless for a while?
This ad really highlights the difference in this election. While Democrats are putting some ugly history behind them, Republicans are fighting over much smaller issues. In 2009 when Ken Cuccinelli was running for AG, Bob McDonnell allowed his chief political consultant to also work the convention campaign against Cuccinelli. Cooch took offense and was a jerk to McDonnell the rest of the cycle. There's little doubt in my mind that the reason Cuccinelli decided to crash McDonnell's anointing of Bill Bolling was his personal offense at the way he was treated in 2009. Meanwhile Bill Bolling- who was a close ally of Cooch in the Senate and even got one of his few NoVA endorsements from Cooch in 2005 when he ran against Sean Connaughton- then took personal offense to Cuccinelli running against him. That was made even worse when Cuccinelli worked to defeat Bolling friends from the State Central Committee to change the method of nomination from a primary to a convention. Now Bolling has done everything he can to undermine the Cuccinelli campaign and according to what Terry McAuliffe has been telling donors since March- is sitting in Terry's "back pocket" with his endorsement of T-Mac to be announced whenever Terry wants it.
Sort of looks almost silly versus a guy like Warner who comes together with his nominee even when it is a person who once led to him becoming homeless?
Win or lose- (Yes, he could still win) after this election Ken Cuccinelli would be smart for a little personal reflection. His behavior over the last 20 years has offended so many people on his side of the aisle that Ken is the biggest obstacle to his own success in this election. His relationship with Democrats is much worse than other politicians with similar ideologies- again because of his personal behavior. If Bill Bolling were the GOP nominee Mark Warner would probably be sitting on the sidelines because of his history with T-Mac. But Ken's behavior and attitude has united the opposition to him- both from Democrats and within the GOP. Ken's only path to win now is a public rejection of the Democratic nominee.