Caveat Emptor – “Let the Buyer Beware” – is a phrase Republicans in Virginia should remember, especially as one of our prime snake-oil salesman tries to turn himself ino a “winning” product.
I speak of Ed Gillespie, the former Virginia GOP Chairman who gave us an unconstitutional tax increase (and generated the fury that lost the party its State Senate majority in 2007), the former Bush advisor who sold us the bank-bailout (never mind that the worst of the Great Recession came after it was passed), and the general consultant who helped run Mitt Romney’s campaign into the ground.
Now Gillespie wishes to be Republican nominee for US Senator? Last I checked, the fourth time was never the charm.
Gillespie has managed to “fall upward” for years with the same strategy: insist that only “moderate” candidates can win, then vanish when said “moderates” lose anyway.
We last saw this dog-and-pony show in 2012, from the Romney campaign, trying to disqualify Newt and Santorum.
Who gave us the glorious Romney disaster of 2012? Gillespie was his general consultant.
Five years earlier, Gillespie’s short tenure as Chair of the Republican Party of Virginia saw widespread reports that he tried to strongarm conservatives against running, then stiff-armed them for party funding or support after they won the nominating contests.
He also came out strong in support of the unconstitutional tax hike known as HB3202. That was such a good law that it was later overturned by the Virginia Supreme Court.
By the time voters vented their rage at the idea (the GOP’s Senate majority was lost, and their House of Delegates majority almost halved), Gillepie had already moved on to the Bush Administration, where he would spend his time defending the TARP bailouts and the Bush administration’s financial management.
Four years later came the Romney debacle, yet even that wasn’t enough to keep Gillespie from the Republican State Leadership Committee.
Now, in 2013 RSLC had only one job: win races in Virginia, supposedly Ed’s home state, since Christie had NJ locked up.
Ed spent $20 million, and went 0-for-2. Three million went to Mark Obenshain, and the rest was for Ken Cuccinelli.
Note the missing name: E.W. Jackson, conservative nominee for Lieutenant Governor. Never mind that the race was competitive well into the fall, polls were tied in September and that Jackson won the critical endorsement of the state’s Police Benevolent Association. Gillespie had declared the LG race unwinnable, and that was that. Given that EW spent about $1.50/vote, even $1 million would likely have tipped that race, giving Republicans at least one win.
But that would have meant Gillespie’s only-moderate-model would have been made even more laughable, so naturally, that didn’t happen.
Now this tax-hiking, bailout-loving, big-government Washington establishment man wants Virginia Republicans to believe he is a conservative and the candidate who can beat Mark Warner.
He is, in point of fact, neither. It is better for conservatives to take the long view, and nominate a conservative who is different from Warner and who will hold him to account with well-stated disagreements.
The establishment argument that no one but their chosen candidates can win has been disproven by those candidates’ own failues. It’s time for new blood, new ideas- and representation with minimal DC pedigree.
Gillespie’s record is too-Washington-heavy, and too littered with failure, to win Republicans’ support for the nomination.