Memo to Chris LaCivita


Forgive the self-promotion, but it’s central to the point

Coby Dillard, vice chairman of the Norfolk Republican Party, said Cuccinelli’s campaign reminds him of the mistakes the GOP made during the 2012 presidential campaign when it repeatedly attacked incumbent President Obama.

“We didn’t tell them why they should vote for Mitt Romney,” he said, referring to the Republican presidential nominee. “There’s so much focus on Terry McAuliffe, the campaign almost forgot to talk about Ken Cuccinelli. He’s not able to build a coalition outside of the hard Republicans who were going to vote for him anyway.”

I’d like to think that’s a accurate assessment; one that’s nothing new. Even my non-politically inclined friends have said to me that they wise the candidates would talk about ideas instead of about each other.

So, for this bit of honest assessment, I-and Tom Davis, and Corey Stewart, and Shaun Kenney, AND Ed Rollins (most of whom have been doing this for much longer than I have, in much more responsible positions than mine)-earned this from you:

Responding to the criticism, Chris LaCivita, a senior Cuccinelli strategist, said, “It’s uncommon but not unheard of for what I consider to be poseurs to attack a campaign before it’s over.”

“It ain’t over yet,” he said. “We won’t concede, and shame on those who do.”


This outlines the problem with the professional consultant class-and in full disclosure, I had that as a career goal at one point in life-sometimes they spend some much time trying to pretend the sky isn’t falling that they refuse to hear the people who tell them “no, it really is,” because, removed from the aura of the candidate, and being on the ground where the actual voters are, that’s what they see.

If you read the whole article-which you should-you’d see some common themes:

  1. Cuccinelli has no central message,
  2. He needs one badly
  3. The McDonnell ’09 coalition-which included Republicans, Democrats, Tea Partiers, and independents!!!-no longer exists.

Forgive me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it your job to worry about, mitigate, and fix those things, instead of not only lying to yourself, your candidate, the Republicans who clearly see what’s going on, and the electorate at large? Shouldn’t you be concentrating on that, instead of disregarding people who a) are going to vote for your candidate, and b) are trying to help?

And if I’m wrong, on any of this, please tell me I am, and why.

If my advice, thoughts, and-yes-criticisms aren’t wanted, consider them not given. Clearly, I’m not getting paid for my work in the party, so that has to mean I don’t know what I’m talking about. I could tell you exactly why you’re losing the black vote-and to the chagrin of many, would do so for free!-but, all things considered, you probably feel that you’re “where you need to be” with black voters.

Keep that impression. Let me know how that works out for you.

In all seriousness, if I didn’t know Cuccinelli personally, you probably would have given me a real good reason to sit home, and watch this whole thing come crashing down on Election Day. But I’m bound by position to not do that, so I won’t.

Just know that the people you write off as “poseurs” are the ones who are doing the work that you probably forgot how to do a long time ago.

Good luck. You’re gonna need it for these last few weeks.

  • J.R. Hoeft

    Today brought more focus on McAuliffe’s negatives and very little mention on what Cuccinelli will do to advance Virginia. And, calling your allies “poseurs” is certainly not going to help advance ones cause.

  • Daniel Cortez

    Ouch and well stated Sir.

  • Alton Foley

    That should leave a mark… But probably won’t.

  • Alton Foley

    That should leave a mark… But probably won’t.