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The campaign for governor of Virginia is already in full tilt headed into the spring, spawned, in part, by the release of Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's new book, The Last Line of Defense. Cuccinelli is the likely Republican candidate for governor in the 2013 race.
Eager to portray him as an extremist, five Northern Virginia Democrats organized a dramatic reading of passages from his new book Tuesday. Even though it was just released this week, the book has already taken a central role in the campaign for governor. It's selling like hotcakes.
"If I'm the publisher of this book, I'm ecstatic right now," says Mark Rozell, professor of public policy at George Mason University.
But while the book is certain to sell many copies, it could be used as a weapon against the Republican candidate, he adds. The book claims politicians use programs such as Social Security and Medicare to trap people into a cycle of government dependency and that the Obama administration is made up of the biggest set of lawbreakers in America.
"What's good for book sales, what's good for the publisher, what's good for royalties might not be good politics in the end," says Rozell.
Meanwhile Republicans are criticizing Democratic candidate for governor Terry McAuliffe for locating a new business outside of Virginia. GreenTech, McAuliffe’s electric car company, chose a site in Mississippi to build its new plant. Republicans say that adds to their narrative portraying the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee as a carpetbagger.
"One of the challenges that McAuliffe has in this race is whether people see him as an authentic Virginian or not," says Kyle Kondick, analyst at the University of Virginia Center for Politics. "The attacks on McAuliffe on this business question kind of maybe get at some of those criticisms as to whether or not he’s actually a tried and true Virginian.”
Waiting in the wings is Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, who is considering running for governor as an independent. Bolling told reporters at the Virginia Capitol Correspondents dinner last week to mark their calendars for a big announcement on March 14.