The 2009 Republican Party of Virginia Convention served as a milestone for many Virginia conservatives, as the only true contest anyone really cared about was a resounding success for those who want to see conservative principles rebound in the Commonwealth, and who saw Ken Cuccinelli as the standard bearer for those principles.

Ken Cuccinelli Speech At Republican Party of Virginia 2009 Convention from Joe Budzinski on Vimeo.

For the record, Ken Cuccinelli’s speech for attorney general nomination was much better than the speeches of either of his opponents. They were not even in the same ballpark.

Bob McDonnell was uncontested for nomination for governor; Bill Bolling was barely contested for nomination for Lieutenant Governor; the RPV Chairman race was between a guy who really knew how to give a speech and a guy who sounded like he was reading from his shopping list at Barnes and Noble.

This Convention was all about the race for nomination for attorney general, and Ken Cuccinelli won after the first ballot with at least 51% of the vote over the combined vote totals of John Brownlee and Dave Foster. That race was the only reason I and a whole bunch of people I talked to even bothered to make the trip down to Richmond on a beautiful Saturday, and thank goodness Ken won.

The bottom line message to take away from this event: Conservatives, don’t give up. While it might be too early to say a new day is dawning, the sun is definitely peeking over the horizon. We have a candidate we can go to the well for in the coming months. You might have reservations about Bob McDonnell, but Ken Cuccinelli is someone who can really make a difference for our nation. I will see you all out on the campaign trail.

Besides me and the lovely Linda B, NVTH friends I talked to in Richmond included: ACTivist, Blog Fu, Brian Withnell, Bulletproof Monk, Cathy Mac, Donny Ferguson, Eve Barner, Mark Sell, G. Stone, Jacob, Jane, Loudoun Insider, along with illustrious Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (for whom I was wearing the traditional orange ball cap in solemn camaraderie), and blogfather John of Loudoun. And frankly, the Convention was just so packed with people it was nearly impossible to find anyone so I don’t think I saw a fraction of the people I knew there.

Bad for networking but FANTASTIC for Republican prospects in upcoming elections.

My Twitter comments from the Convention are here. Photos and more comments are below the fold.

By the way, a major highlight of the Convention was a speech by a Virginia Tech cadet which I missed most of. As soon as that video is posted I will link to it. It was not just a “good speech,” it was a seminal event in Virginia political culture. When someone gets it uploaded somewhere it will be a new post here. It is going to be one of the great political video clips of all time.

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Keynote Speaker Sean Hannity reminded us why we need to be involved in politics, why the Democrats currently running our country are so worth opposing, and why Sean Hannity is such a likeable, engaging guy when he is in any venue other than on his TV show.

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You won, guys. All that work paid off.

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This is a key part of the 2009 theme and also for the next few years. The Tea Parties have set the stage.

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Blog Fu was man on point for the blog video coverage. Hats off to you , Mr. Letiecq. That was a lot of work.

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Bob Marshall, who probably would have given Mark Warner a run for his money last year in the Virginia U.S. Senate race, had last year’s Convention gone a little differently.

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Some people I talked to thought the Cuccinelli victory was a message to the “Republican establishment” who supposedly preferred the kinder, gentler option of a different attorney general candidate. Specifically, one person said “Cuccinelli’s victory is a repudiation of McDonnell and Bolling” and opined that the top of the ticket had been pulling for Brownlee – and that this was evidenced in the signage all around the Coliseum where Brownlee was promoted alongside Bolling. Personally, I don’t know that the sign placements signified anything. I do know that Cuccinelli won, which was no small task. Presumably the top of the ticket realizes this.

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You could buy all kinds of cool stuff at the RPV Convention, genuine alpaca products included. For me, that made the experience complete.