Gilmore Reaps What He Sows…

Former Governor and potential GOP senate nominee Jim Gilmore and his allies put the screws to Tom Davis last December by selecting a convention to pick the 2008 GOP nominee to replace John Warner.  Seems like Davis is getting the last laugh…and if not Davis, then certainly Lowell seems to be.

The WaPo reports that the candidacy of Delegate Bob Marshall is showing surprising strength. The article goes on to talk about how Marshall is showing unanticipated strength, especially in rural areas that were thought to be the backbone of a Gilmore effort.

An unbriefed observer may think “how can a 9-term delegate even begin to run even with a former AG and Governor?”

Good question…and although I think Gilmore will win the nomination, let me suggest some fertile ground where Marshall should be able to make hay.

1. Marshall is actually to the right of Gilmore in the Right-to-Life realm. Gilmore’s position essentially dovetails with Roe v. Wade, where a woman has the right to an abortion in the first trimester. Marshall is against abortion almost completely, although I think he does not oppose it if the life of the mother is in danger-sort of the Cuccinelli position.

2. Gilmore did not get the car tax eliminated, he changed the car tax calculation once he was elected, and state spending rose under him. Despite his protestations to the contrary, Gilmore bathed in the IT-explosion money that was coming into the state pre-2001 and the related filled state coffers. Gilmore talked a good game as a fiscal conservative, but did not really walk the walk.

3. The personal touch, where Marshall is a clear winner…

First off, Marshall is a sense a throwback legislator. As the WaPo story puts it:

Marshall, despite what some regard as his extreme views, is well-liked by moderates and even Democrats, who admire his collegiality, intellect and principled stands, even when they’re not popular. Marshall also charms his colleagues in a way that Gilmore does not.

An example of Marshall at work…when Bob first ran in the GOP primary back in 1991 in the new 13th district, he was going door-to-door when he caught my father puttering about in the yard. They started talking, and the subject hit abortion. My father is pro-choice, but as a physician has a scientific and also a libertarian perspective on it. Marshall could have gingerly extracted himself from a conversation with my father on the matter when it came up…instead they talked for at least thirty minutes. No minds were changed, but Dad came away thinking Marshall was bright and doctrinaire with out being domineering or insulting.

Gilmore acted as if any act of opposition was an act of treason or of evil. His popularity in the GOP has been based solely on the fact that he won elections, and not on any degree of personal magnetism or being liked. Now it looks like some of those nasty eggs he lobbed at other people are not hatching in ways he did not anticipate.

As noted, despite all this stuff, Gilmore will likely win a sizeable majority in the May convention. Of course, if the Tom Davis folks back Marshall to put the screws to Jim Gilmore, and if delegates who were done wrong by Gilmore at some point vote for Marshall, and folks who are unhappy they still pay a car tax vote against Gilmore, it could get interesting.

Funny thing, though…Gilmore would surely crush Marshall in a primary, the same primary he sought so fervently to avoid.

Well, as the good book says, that which ye sow so shall ye reap…


5 thoughts on “Gilmore Reaps What He Sows…

  1. Pingback: Gilmore Reaps What He Sows…

  2. “and folks who are unhappy they still pay a car tax vote against Gilmore”

    This is the most laughable thing, but I hear it over and over again. Last time I checked. Gov. Gilmore brought forward the idea, implemented the idea, and did all he could, to include pressure Gov. Mark Warner to say he himself was going to eliminate the car tax in his first or second year of his Governorship, when he was running for office.

    I guess being Governor of Virginia is not quite like being the leader of say Russia, where you have the power of Vladimer Putin?

    Your argument is that people are mad at Gov. Gilmore for not eliminating the tax completely? You are saying Virginians don’t realize that Chichester, Potts, Gov. Warner and all the Democrats they teamed up with prevented the complete phase out of the tax? Or, that Gov. Gilmore willed 9-11 to happen and bring about the recession that truly took the pressure off Gov. Warner to fulfill his pledge to not only not raise taxes, but eliminate the car tax itself?

    How stupid do you really think every one is on the subject?

    The only people mad at Gov. Gilmore are those who wish they can get their hands on that $950 M per year dedicated to actual tax relief for Virginians, and put it into their own pork barrel politics, or favorite programs that get them re-elected. The other group is the Democrats that know for a fact that Gov. Gilmore’s policies helped the working class people 10 times more than any govt. program cooked up by them.

  3. I don’t think anyone is stupid, on the subject, but I do think they are human.

    I have yet to hear or read of many politician elected to office primarily on one issue and did not accomplish it who did not suffer a rebuke at the ballot box the next time they ran.

    Politics is equal parts “gettin’ it” and then “doin’ it”. Gilmore ran on Ending the Car Tax, had control of at least one house of the General Assembly throughout his term, he had two general assembly sessions prior to 9/11 holding the Governor’s mansion and both houses…and he didn’t get it done.

    Everytime Mark Warner or his advocates gets on the stump there will be some variation of “how’s that car tax doing for you?”

    You can attack Warner for raising taxes, but I doubt folks are going to hold him responsible for the fate of the car tax. You can blame Chichester and a host of other things, but with new residents coming into the state and an electorate that responds to short sound bites and YouTube postings I have my doubts that they will take the time to listen to a comprehensive explanation that points to someone else being at false for Virginia still enjoying a car tax?

    Yep, I think Gilmore is vulnerable on the Car Tax, and that an effective explanation of why it wasn’t his fault is going to be really hard to sell. If folks want a scapegoat, he is the handiest one to take a whack at.

  4. Bwana:
    Apparently, you are going to bring out the full board of the Gilmore faithful. The type response that Spank the Donkey is referring to is exactly what you are saying in that if you disagree with Gilmore then you are commiting heresy against them. Look, basic perception IS that Gilmore promised to get rid of the car tax and did’nt, just changed the formula. Are people necessarily mad at Gilmore for this, no however, the financial mess and lack of fiscal restraint during the Gilmore Administration set up the Warner tax increase and to some degree, the budget brewing today…did others play a part in that absolutely, but the thirty second sound bite might be all Delegate Marshall needs to prove his point. While AG and Governor was Gilmore known for involving himself in the inter-party fights that we get tend to get into, absolutely and that did nothing to endear himself to a fair number of the otherwise GOP faithful.
    Does this knock him out of the GOP Nomination, not at all, but it creates some negatives to be overcome by the Gilmore campaign.
    It definately is shaping up to be an interesting convention.
    Take care Bwana,


  5. This is to Spank that Donkey:

    Sir, are you aware that the Gilmore adiministration made big box corporations pay their taxes early so that the state treasure could appear more flush that it was? In other words, instead of paying taxes at the end of the 2nd Quarter, the Gilmore administration made them estimate what they would make for the 2nd Quarter and them told them to pay it at the beginning of the quarter. Paying taxes based on expected revenues? That was only done so that the car tax reduction could be implemented at 70% based upon fictitious revenue in the state coffers. That is crazy. Gilmore couldn’t beat Walter Stosch in a GOP nomination battle for that Senate Seat. They both live in Henrico County.

    Bob Marshall is more conservative that Jim Gilmore and he will not be beholden to the K street lobbyists. Gilmore would allow himself to be pimped out at every turn and he would run up the Federal Budget Deficit by borrowing Trillions more to fund the daily operating expenses of the U.S. Government. This is what lost the GOP majority in Congress. Gilmore and his faux conservativisim will meet its end with Bob Marshall this Summer. Bank that in your wallet, then pull it out and bow down to me when it happens.

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