Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli accused his Democratic opponent, Terry McAuliffe, of having “brought plenty of chutzpah from New York.” The Washington Post reported that Cuccinelli, who is trailing badly in the polls, lashed out at McAuliffe over his attack ads. It quotes Cuccinelli as saying of McAuliffe:
He hasn’t run one ad since the summer or in the autumn about anything except what an apparently terrible human being I’m supposed to be. I shaved my horns just for you all. They’ve been lying through their teeth. I’ll tell you, he brought plenty of chutzpah from New York with him. Never seen anything like it.
McAuliffe was born in Syracuse, N.Y., but has lived in Virginia for 20 years. Cuccinelli’s campaign has endeavored to depict McAuliffe as an outsider, and the ads of at least one PAC have presented as fact unconfirmed reports that McAuliffe considered gubernatorial runs in New York and Florida.
So what does the word “chutzpah” mean in this context? Well, Cuccinelli appears to like the word — his campaign has used it to describe Obama’s actions, too, as the Post notes.
But in this instance, Cuccinelli seems to suggest that unmitigated gall is somehow a quality that has its origins in New York.