2013 Elections / Local / Politics / Virginia

BFD: Marcus endorses McAuliffe

BoydMarcusI can recall meeting Boyd Marcus only once, at one of the Blogger’s Days that LG Bill Bolling hosted (before they decided it would be a partisan event and excluded me and others). To say he was revered amongst the Republicans there would be an understatement.  So when the email came yesterday announcing that Marcus had endorsed Terry McAuliffe for governor, my mind immediately pulled a Joe Biden: this is a big f***ing deal. Maybe not to the general public but certainly to those who play inside baseball.

This AP story gives some of the background of Marcus, as does this RTD piece. I think we all remember Jim Gilmore’s “No Car Tax” campaign slogan. Marcus was the architect of that. Marcus’ firm represented his old boss, Eric Cantor.  The firm will dissolve now, with partner Ray Allen buying out his shares.

Democrats are giddy and Republicans are furious, as Bob Lewis points out. I’m just really, really amazed. Rare is the day when a party operative switches sides, especially like this. In fact, I’m having trouble thinking of any comparable situation. Honest party operatives will have disagreements with candidates – and will let them know of those disagreements – and will often sit on their hands when they have a truly awful candidate. But crossing over to support a candidate of another party and burning all of the bridges behind him is almost unheard of.

That Boyd Marcus did so is not just a rejection of Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, but rather a rejection of the entire Republican Party.

And that makes this a BFD.

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14 thoughts on “BFD: Marcus endorses McAuliffe

  1. I don’t think it is a rejection of the Republican party per se. I would make the point that it is a clear rejection of the GOP State Central Committee which is long overdue after the way the L.G. was treated.

  2. Politicians are creatures of convenience. Consider Sydney Kellam Democrat, supported a Republican then back to Democrat. Tom Moss Democrat to independent to Democrat. The list is endless.

    • I think you’re missing a big point: Boyd Marcus isn’t a politician. Politicians make moves related to their own craven desires for election, which is what Moss did. Kellam was just like any other Byrd Machine Democrat: supported Ds at the local and state level, while supporting Rs at the national level. But even they did not give up their jobs to support candidates of the other side. (Did you read the links?)

      Marcus changing sides is the equivalent of James Carville and his wife, Mary Matalin, swapping sides. It just doesn’t happen, which is why this is such a big news story, with even the national press taking note.

  3. I agree it is big. The difference between a politician and a political operatives is a difference with out a distinction. He may disagree/dislike the AG but there is no guarantee he or anyone won’t be back in the Republican or Democratic fold fold as soon as it is convenient or fits his current belief system. Another case is our current Clerk of Court in Norfolk. Operative or elected official many(not all) will choose to be on the presumed winning side be it for ideological, political, or financial and personal reasons,

    • The difference between a politician and a political operatives is a difference with out a distinction.

      Sorry, but that is absolutely not true. There are significant differences between the two – and your failure to recognize that is why you continue to miss the point. So far, every example that you have given are politicians, not political operatives.

      I’m guessing you had never heard Boyd Marcus’ name before – and you wouldn’t be alone in not having heard it. I emailed a Dem I know about this at the time it occurred – she hadn’t heard of him, either, and she’s been involved for a long, long time.

      With few exceptions – like Carville/Matalin I mentioned – political operatives are known to insiders – hence the term inside baseball – but not to the public. There’s no going back to the other side for them. It simply does not happen. That Marcus has sold his business, where he represented Eric Cantor, among others, is indicative.

      • There are a handful of operatives here in Hampton Roads that switch from side to side on local races. If you consider partisan affiliations of non-partisan candidates, that list gets a lot bigger. Nearly all of them specialize in something though. With the exception of corporate PR people like Dave Iwans, you really don’t see general consultants switching sides.

  4. It is true I am long rusty having not been able to engage in the eternal sea of politics for well over a decade and a half. However, my comments are more nuanced then they may appear to the surface. Deals are struck all the time by operatives an those elected. Dante I believe detailed a whole circle of Hell to politicians an those who support/guide/operate them. I know you refer to yourself as a former candidate offering your skills and savvy but would you at any point in your career have considered yourself an operative??

    • Deals may be struck, but that doesn’t change the fact that operatives rarely change sides. I think your being away the last 15 years means you remember a different time in politics than the hyper-partisanship that exists today.

      I don’t consider myself an operative – I’m far too independent-minded. It’s where I was before I was a candidate and even more so today.

  5. Please be aware that I am rather depressed from the news of the day from Syria to these endless wars. I enjoy your views on local politics and even voted for you when u ran for treasurer.. I have an inkling into how some leaders think I believe but I am more and more weary of how the political system works. God Bless

    • I appreciate that you voted for me.

      My focus will always be on local and then state politics, because I believe that we have far more influence in those environments than in the national sphere. Even that national talking heads are starting to realize that the closer government is to us, the more it affects us. Witness Maddow’s call for folks to subscribe to local newspapers and her broadcast from Elizabeth City the other night. What happens locally and at the state level is just so important that, while I have an eye on national issues, I can’t expend too much energy on them.

      Any improvement of our political system starts at the bottom.

  6. Vivian: Well, 13 legislators in Maine the other day refused to join the Lunatic Fringe and quit the Republican Party instead of joining the Lunatic Fringe. What you are seeing is the beginning of the end. The Republicans chose to cater to the Lunatic Fringe, and when they lost, they decided that their candidates weren’t insane enough to win, and decided to go full Schizophrenic.

    Instead of catering to dying segregationists longing for “the good ‘ol days” before they die, Insurrectionist Traitors, and what can only be termed Robber Barons, maybe the Republicans need to do some extensive psychotherapy on it’s Party members in order to save their Party. Barring that, it will continue to be the party of psychos, and will go down as such in the history book explanation of why it died as a Party.

    Charles: not sure what you mean about Syria. I fully support the right of a Nation to suppress Insurrections. Our Nation has such a no-holds-barred requirement written right into the Constitution. No tool should be taken off the table during an Insurrection. For instance, if the Tea Traitors start a Civil War, and start shooting at us, I would want a President IMPEACHED DURING A CIVIL WAR if he failed to use chemical weapons against the rebels if it would save AMERICAN lives. With all of the Tea Traitors working in Strategic facilities, it’s even probable that those facilities could be taken by Rebels. I support nukes from boomers against those facilities if taken, collateral damage be damned. Better to lose a few hundred thousand or a few million than a hundred million AMERICANS. As far as chemical weapons, there are whole towns of Tea Traitors just itching to participate in a Civil War, and others that will fully support the Rebels with aid and comfort. Chemical weapons are fast and cheap. That’s why were were going to use it on towns bypassed on a march to Moscow through Eastern Europe, they prevent enemy towns from attacking the rear or the flank. I’ll have no sympathy for ANY Republican should the Tea Traitors start shooting at us.

  7. Pingback: Quick hits 9/10/13 | VIVIAN J. PAIGE | All Politics is Local

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