The trailing extremist Ken Cuccinelli (R-VA) is officially sending out distress signals as he shakes up his campaign staff in the final push of his campaign.
Perhaps trying to quell anxiety around his trailing polls as his opponent Terry McAuliffe opens a 7 point lead against him, Cuccinelli’s campaign announced that staff members were having their roles “redefined”, according to Hampton Roads. For example, the duties were “clarified” for campaign manager Dave Rexrode and senior adviser Chris LaCivita. Some of Rexrode’s duties will now be handled by a “veteran Cuccinelli campaign hand”. (Campaign spin: It’s not Ken who can’t be sold to the public, it’s the fault of the folks selling him.)
Hampton Roads/Pilot Online reported:
Sources familiar with the Cuccinelli campaign who spoke on the condition of anonymity say things haven’t reached panic mode. “They are circling the wagons, trying to rescue the campaign,” said a Republican familiar with the inner workings of Cuccinelli’s operation.
The campaign is denying trouble, but the bottom line is that a winning campaign would not “redefine” or “clarify” the roles of senior staff. In fact, the campaign manager and senior adviser are often the top two positions of a campaign. This restructure is meant to place the blame for Cuccinelli’s poor showing on his campaign staff.
Cuccinelli’s biggest problem is Ken Cuccinelli. His extremism has caused Republican business people and Republican women to flee his campaign. A Republican strategist dumped him only to embrace his Democratic opponent Terry McAuliffe as the best choice for conservatives. Cuccinelli wants to ban oral sex. He was turned into a national joke on The View.
If those things weren’t enough, Cuccinelli also has a long list of ties to the very company with whom the current embattled Republican governor had a possible criminal relationship.
The last time I wrote about a last minute shake up in a campaign staff, I was told by angry conservatives that it meant nothing. That was in September of 2011, and the staff defection was indeed a screaming alert of trouble. Yep, Michelle Bachmann lost her bid for the Republican presidential nomination, only to be brought under federal investigation later for her campaign finances, potential bribery and alleged wire fraud stemming from her presidential campaign.
You don’t see last minute shake ups in campaigns that are going well, for obvious reasons. A last minute shake up is a distress signal. While Cuccinelli isn’t being abandoned like Bachmann was, this last minute change up is not the sign of a winner.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.