Speaking of hand-picked, I found the idea to scrap the primary and go with a closed-door convention, plus the process that led to picking Jackson as Cooch's ideal running mate, fascinating and yet hilarious. Someone please tell me there's a book coming about this.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republican_Party_of_Virginia_convention,_2013First, the political inbreeding...
WikipediaIn 2008, incumbent Lt. Governor Bill Bolling made a deal with then-Attorney General Bob McDonnell whereby McDonnell would run for governor and Bolling would run for re-election as lieutenant governor in 2009, and then Bolling would receive McDonnell's support for his own candidacy for governor in 2013.
The deal was widely known and as such, Bolling was effectively running for Governor since 2009, and in April 2010, Bolling filed the necessary paperwork to run in 2013.
"I'll let YOU be Governor first, then YOU let ME be Governor." Like there's no one else who needs to be involved. "What could possibly go wrong?"Then, the backstab...
WikiVirginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, elected alongside McDonnell and Bolling in 2009, stated that he intended to run for re-election as attorney general in 2013, but did not rule out running for Governor.Then, the hatchet-job...
In December 2011, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli told his staff that he would run against Bolling for governor in 2013; the news went public, and in response, Bolling issued a statement accusing Cuccinelli of putting "his own personal ambition ahead of the best interests of the commonwealth and the Republican Party." This infuriated Bolling and set up a primary. Cuccinelli's announcement came two days before the  annual statewide conference of Virginia Republicans, at which Bolling and his staff expressed being upset with Cuccinelli's decision.
WikiIn June 2012, the party's State Central Committee, which had new members since the committee previously voted to hold a primary, reversed course and voted 47-31 to select a nominee via convention in 2013, igniting much controversy among party members. The switch was a major blow to Bolling's candidacy, as Cuccinelli supporters were more ardent and involved in the party and thus more willing to travel to a day-long convention.
Proponents of the reversal said a convention would prevent Democrats from meddling in the selection (Virginia does not register voters by party, making primaries open to voters regardless of party). Primaries are also run by the State Board of Elections and taxpayer funded; proponents said a convention, which is funded by the party, would save the state money.
Convention proponents also argued that nominees selected by convention historically perform better in the general election than nominees selected by primary, and that conventions allow candidates to present their cases within the party, preventing candidates from tearing each other down via negative advertising seen by the general electorate.
Opponents of the reversal said a convention would disenfranchise military voters who are unable to physically attend a convention, and would cost the party too much money.
Bolling called the switch "unprecedented and unfair".
So, rather than close the primaries off to the state's individual party electorates, and rather than eliminating hack ads, THIS is what they came up with?Then, the circus!...
WikiAccording to the rules, candidates for lieutenant governor and attorney general were allotted seven minutes each to speak before the delegates. The most notable speech was that of E.W. Jackson, who electrified the crowd in an impassioned speech in which he rejected the label of "African-American", declaring, "I am not an African-American, I am an American! I am tired of the hyphenation. No more hyphenation!"
"F Yeah! OUR kinda guy! He'll be a huge hit with the African-American Bible-thumpers! Wait, I mean, the AMERICAN Bible-thumpers! Wait, I mean... oh, you know who I'm talkin' about! Those Americans we haven't gerrymandered yet!"Finally, the Battle Royale!...
WikiChaos and conflicting statements went around the convention during the second, third, and fourth ballots in what appeared to be a stop-Jackson movement by the [2012 GOP committee chairman Pete] Snyder campaign.
Snyder received the endorsements of tea party activist Jamie Radtke, and from [state delegate Scott] Lingamfelter after his elimination, during balloting, which the campaign posted on flyers around the Coliseum. In the fourth round of balloting, flyers were distributed on the floor falsely claiming that Cuccinelli, [AG candidate Mark] Obenshain, and [Prince William County Board Chairman Corey] Stewart endorsed Snyder for the fourth ballot.
All three of those campaigns denounced the flyers, and Stewart endorsed Jackson, even taking a lap around the floor with him to show his support.
Shortly after 10:00 pm EDT, after eight hours of voting and four ballots, Pete Snyder went to the stage and motioned to withdraw his candidacy and nominate E.W. Jackson for lieutenant governor by acclamation. After a loud "aye" from the delegates, Jackson took to the stage, and after a short victory speech, was joined by Cuccinelli and Obenshain, as the 2013 Republican ticket was presented.
This had to be the biggest and best organizational fustercluck, at least since the Iowa 2012 GOP caucus count and delegate selection. I still don't know who won that mess.
Whenever the Virginia GOP closes ranks to the point that a candidate can call somebody a "Macaca" and receive expected laughter and/or applause, is there any wonder what comes out at the other end? One phobic loser after another, who cry their message has been distorted by the rest of the world on the outside. Hopefully, they'll learn someday.