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September 15, 2008


James Atticus Bowden

Thanks for the commentary. Loyalty is a one-way street for too many Establishment Republicans.


You make excellent points, Chris, as you have before on this subject. Where is the GOP establishment to stump for Jim Gilmore? I have linked to you.


I completely disagree about the how the anti-Gilmore stuff started. This has been brewing since he left the governors mansion. Its like this all over the state right now and even worse in some areas outside of NOVA. NOT just with TD supporters.
Gilmore has managed to upset both sides of the party not only the establishement Republicans. Tom Davis Republicans are just a very small group that do not like Gilmore. Allen Republicans, Marshall Republicans, McDonnell Republicans, even some Bolling Republicans, and you name it Republicans do not like Gilmore. I have met very few committee people that do like him. That is his biggest problem. In many places no one has seen or heard from his campaign period. Don't expect people to take you or your campaign seriously when you cannot raise any money or show up at events. It is my opinion this is the most disasterious Republican campaign in modern history here in Virginia.

This race is over. The biggest question is how to we prevent this from happening again in a winnable Senate race?


Jim Gilmore is pro-choice. Going along with the killing of unborn babies is abhorrent to me. I will vote for him as the lesser of two evils, but I can not give him money or campaign for him. Whine all you want, but I can recall Mike Farris for Lt. Gov. and Oliver North for Senate among others where "John Warner" Republicans refused to support them and wouldn't vote for them. Pro-life Republicans have voted for pro-choice candidates in the past, and the reverse hasn't always been true. Now I see "establishment" Republicans not supporting JIm Gilmore for other reasons. Please no more lectures to social conservatives about being single issue voters, etc.


I generally agree with your analysis. However, I do not believe that this starts and ends with Tom Davis Republicans in Northern Virginia.

While Northern Virginia may be cool to Jim Gilmore's candidacy, it appears from polling that the same attitude can be found in other parts of the Commonwealth. Gilmore is not beating Mark Warner in Virginia Beach or other key population centers.

Also look to Gilmore's fundraising. Where is his base support from Richmond or his network from his years as a state-wide official and former RNC chairman? One Congressman is not going to deny a state-wide candidate their ability to raise campaign funds.

While Davis and Gilmore may not see eye to eye, it seems that Davis is only taking a pragmatic view point towards the 11th District.

Do you believe that McCain, Palin, and Fimian are capable of pulling Gilmore across the victory line in the 11th District? I do not. In fact, Gilmore is the drag on the chance of having Republican victories in the 11th CD.

There is a basic level of credibility that a candidate must bring to the table on their own. Their key groups of supporters, donors, etc. From FEC reports, its hard to see that Gilmore has even this group well-defined, motivated and actively supporting his candidacy. If he does not have that basic level of support from Richmond, why would Fairfax provide it?

I agree that we need to support him, but the causes of his current standing should be focused on the candidate himself.


The man is a jerk. My personal experience: I've extended at least 3 personal invites to his campaign contacts, personal email and his secretary at his law firm to speak to my GOP group. He never returned my call or via email. In addition, everytime I see him (at least 5 events) he never seems to want to really. It's just 3 seconds of "Hello I'm Jim Gilmore running for US Senate" then he moves on. I will never phonebank for, canvass for or donate money to his campaign

D.J. McGuire

Relax, Chris, it's worse than you think.

See, a lot of people in RPV are (a) moderates, or (b) social conservatives only (or first). Gilmore, by contrast, is an economic conservative first. Moderates don't like him because he took a hard line on taxes; social conservatives are upset at him over the abortion stuff, but many of them are also comfortable with tax hikes, and thus their anger at Gilmore is compounded.

For both groups, a tax-hiking Democrat is actually preferable to Gilmore; they just don't want to admit that to anyone, so they play this "he's a jerk" game, when in reality they couldn't care less what kind of person he is.

J. Scott

If Gilmore wants to right the ship maybe he ought to be touting that national security experience/Homeland Security/ Gilmore Commission a bit more focused.

You want to convince the pro-lifers in Chesapeake, make the campaign about Obama/Warner and proposed defense cuts and limited appropriations for the military. These cuts will hit the Eastern Virginia region hard if Obama wins and Warner is in the Senate to endorse massive defense cuts that will certainly come.

Ask yourself where BilL Clinton cut in the 90's to reduce the deficit. Defense and Military.

Alter of Freedom has an great post about this. If Virginians vote pocket-book economics they will reject the team of Obama and Warner and preserve the Virginia economy.

60 billion in spending in Virginia could simply go away with the stroke of a few pens.


Great points Chris. Let me give you a Marshall supporter view on all of this. At the state convention, a Gilmore supporter asked me how and why Marshall supporters were so energized. Being a Marshall supporter, I quite frankly was speechless. I didn't know how to answer it other than to query, Marshall is more exciting? Since Gilmore is the nominee, I of course support him with my vote. But I don't really want to do more simply because, I'm not excited. The question is why not? After all, as you point out, Gilmore is a decent economic conservative vis-a-vis pork barrel Republicans. Over time, I've given it consideration and here's what I think Gilmore's current problem is.

Looking at his web page, it is vanilla moderate Republicanism that fails to address the issue of change. In terms of "Why I am running . . ." there is no halcyon cry to meaningfully cut the size of government, get government out of our lives, or preserve individual liberty and freedom. In fact, he said he's not going to get into "labels, and 'us against them'." If you intend to fight, it is us against them. You have to punish "them" and make them feel ashamed for opposing you.

The issues page offers scant distinction between him and well, the past 7 years. He's not proposing to do anything exciting. It is here that he must really set himself apart. Much of his issue statements are vague though there are nuggets to be expanded upon. He needs to come out and tell Warner and Washington, D.C., "Warner, you’re not going to be hired and Washington, you're fired!" He needs to tell us that the founding fathers are back in town and we're fighting the British. He needs to tell us that government isn't going to centrally plan our lives anymore when he gets in. He must accuse Warner of central planning and violating our rights. Those are fighting words and rile the base.

What I see in Gilmore press releases is milk toast. Warner doesn't support the right to work. *Yawn* How about, "Warner wants to take away our right to hire and fire employees and replace it with government control. He wants to limit employee choices. He wants to create an impenetrable barrier in police departments by stopping the firing of bad workers through union control. Let him go and he'll start doing that to small businesses. That's not what unions are for and Warner knows it. He's hiding the truth from you so he can get the camel's nose in the tent. If I’m elected, I’ll not only stop those like Warner, I’ll increase your freedoms." But why is the right to work issue so prominent? Why is drilling so prominent? How about a detailed economic plan?

And, where is "Palin power for Gilmore" on his page? Gilmore needs to steal that mantra for change like McCain did. No, he needs to rip it out of Warner's hands. Only then will Warner cry for a debate. But he can't do that without a message. His speeches, though smooth, lack fire in delivery. The first hint of a good attack was Gilmore’s recent attack against Warner’s promise breaking tax increase. But at the end of the commercial, all we see is, “Drill now”, “keep us safe”, and “pay less”. There was a disconnect in the video. Gilmore barely distinquishes himself. See? Where is his promise to cut taxes, cut spending, and cut the size of a bloated federal government? Where is a specific “Here’s how I’m going to get government out of the small business so you all can achieve the American Dream”? Where is limited government? That's the rally cry for Republicans everywhere.

How about a quote from Franklin on his web page: “It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one tenth part of their time, to be employed in its service.” Gilmore could respond, "Dear God, please let us find such a hard government!"

Sorry for the rants...just a few thoughts to throw out there on why Gilmore may be having trouble. I've heard a few good speeches from him but not enough specifics to get folks excited.


I think I am probably best described as a pro-life, moderate Republican. That makes me one of the people set up to be ambivalent about Gilmore. I'll vote for him (I don't like tax hiking Democrats, D.J.!), but I won't go out of my way to help him, either. I feel bad admitting that. But thanks for posting some food for thought.

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