Ted Cruz, Supervillain; and Other Impacts of the Shutdown in Virginia

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 3 2013 8:53 AM

Ted Cruz, Supervillain; and Other Impacts of the Shutdown in Virginia


Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Virginia's GOP gubernatorial candidate, Ken Cuccinelli, was trailing in polls before the shutdown started. Democrats have pressed their advantage by linking the crisis in D.C. completely to Cuccinelli's party and ticket. Thus, a long-planned Cuccinelli appearance with Ted Cruz is turned into a negative hit, and a way to bring up a sort-of-related Cuccinelli shutdown threat. (In 2006, Cuccinelli said he'd have taken negotiations "right to the brink, over the brink" rather than approve a tax hike that ended up going through.)

Effective on its own, but it's not on its own. E.W. Jackson, the preacher who talked his way into the lieutenant governor nomination at the state GOP convention,* happened to get a prime camera-friendly spot at a 2011 rally for the Republican version of the spring 2011 continuing resolution. He was behind Rep. Mike Pence as the congressman warned Tea Partiers that the Democratic Senate might try to dodge the spending cuts Republicans wanted. If they tried it, said Pence, "I say shut it down." Jackson joined in on the chant of "cut it or shut it!"


The Jackson campaign's response to this underscored the difficulty Republicans have in flipping the onus for shutdowns. Yes, Jackson was at this speech—but his opponent, Ralph Northam, "was all for shutting the government down just last year in regards to the Silver Line for the Metro!" Great point—Northam and Virginia Democrats negotiated harder for a piece of public transportation that Northern Virginians wanted, and there actually wasn't a shutdown.

*The party's choice to hold a convention instead of a primary made Jackson's nomination possible. In 2012, as a U.S. Senate candidate, Jackson lost the primary with a result in the low single digits.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics



The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10


Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 11:51 PM Should You Freeze Your Eggs? An egg freezing party is not a great place to find answers to this or other questions.
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.