Bolling praises bipartisanship at UVa
Mainstream leadership will position Virginia for growth and success, but Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling said Monday that he is still deciding whether he will accept the challenge and responsibility of providing it as the state’s next governor.
Speaking in the Charlottesville area for the first time since the close of this year’s General Assembly session, Bolling, who was elected lieutenant governor in 2005 and again in 2009, pointed to the recently-passed statewide transportation package which garnered support from legislators on both sides of the aisle, as an example of the kind of bipartisan compromise he would facilitate.
Bolling delivered his remarks before about 400 University of Virginia students in political expert and professor Larry Sabato’s class.
If he jumps in, Bolling would create a three-way race for governor, facing Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Terry McAuliffe. Bolling has set a self-imposed deadline of March 14 to announce his intentions.
In his introduction of Bolling, Sabato said if Bolling does decide to run for governor, he would bring credibility, respect and experience to Richmond. Sabato cited Bolling’s leadership and connections in the National Conference of Lieutenant Governors as one example.
“He has served as chair of that group, he knows the [lieutenant governors] all over the country and number twos have a way of becoming number ones,” Sabato said.
“Or fading forever into political oblivion,” Bolling quipped, prompting a round of laughter from the students.
Bolling reiterated that he thinks McAuliffe’s challenge in getting elected is that many people don’t know him and some see him as an outsider to Virginia politics.
“On the other hand, you’ve got Mr. Cuccinelli. His problem is that people do know him,” Bolling said, eliciting another round of laughter from the students. “I think his challenge is that he has to redefine himself if he’s going to have any realistic chance of reaching a more moderate, mainstream voter.” But Bolling said his moderate tone shouldn’t been seen as abandonment of his conservative values.