Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli may have lost the governor’s race in 2013, but don’t expect him to fade into the pages of history.
Although initially low-profile after his loss — when he delivered a combative concession speech and declined to call the winner — the Republican has taken on a few, quite public, causes in recent weeks. The latest: He’s started a law firm, Virginia Self Defense Law, focused on Second Amendment cases. The slogan? “Defending those who defend themselves.”
Not only that, but the firm’s bargain-basement prices have generated lots of attention: For less than 10 bucks a month, you, too, can retain Cuccinelli as your lawyer.
Then there was Cuccinelli’s role as lead counsel on Sen. Rand Paul’s lawsuit against President Obama and others over the NSA, announced just a couple of weeks ago.
And no better way to make headlines than to be among the few Republican leaders to actually call for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to resign from his Republican Governors Association chairmanship. He may not have meant it as a story-generating quote, and some of his decision could be lingering bad blood, given Cuccinelli cast some blame on establishment Republicans for not doing enough for his Virginia bid. Regardless, even tea-party firebrand Ted Cruz says he likes Christie, and called Bridgegate “nonsense.”
A number of post-defeat politicians have managed to do quite well for themselves after losing. Take former Rep. Allen West, who lost in 2012 but went on to start an Internet-based network, maintain a Fox News contract, and run a litany of projects. “By losing his spot in Congress, West may have failed upward,” National Journal‘s Shane Goldmacher and Ben Terris noted.
Cuccinelli is not the richest of men; he earned $194,398 in 2012, on top of his $157,350 attorney-general salary. So it’s a good thing for him that he’s able to find post-public-life employment. It may be even better that the employment is actually very much public.