The 2013 race for governor of Virginia will take center stage in the coming months as the press grasps for political news post-Presidential election (and because the press, with a hands-off policy regarding the Obama administration, has nothing else to cover). The eternal tool Terry McAuliffe will almost certainly be the Democrats' nomineee.
So the GOP has a real opportunity here. In one corner for the nomination, we have Lt Gov Bill Bolling, a common-sense, practical Republican with a mild & pleasant demeanor. In the other corner we have Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a Tea Party firebrand who has opted to spend his time as attorney general advising state colleges and universities they lack the legal authority to protect gay employees from discrimination, fighting UVA over a climate change study, and passing out lapel pins to his staff with a doctored state seal, covering the bare breast of the Roman goddess to make it 'family friendly.' The odds of Cuccinelli uttering an Akin-esque comment, whether it relate to abortion, gay rights or illegals are approximately 80%, and the odds of him fulfilling the worst caricature, the worst stereotype of a national Republican are 100%.
So here we stand. A golden opportunity to reinforce a negative image of the Republican Party, or an opportunity to give people a second look at the party. Remember, this isn't a midterm where there's lots of other races to cover--many eyes will be on this race. I'm not terribly confident things will go the right way.