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I’m not much for repeating the fundraising e-mails of candidates, but this one just struck me as a moment worth sharing.

To wit, Stewart’s latest knock on Ed Gillespie:

Ed Gillespie is the establishment’s “golden boy.”

In fact, he served as counselor under George W. Bush, and has since worked as a D.C. insider at a lobbying firm he founded.

Virginians are sick and tired of business as usual and want to see real change in Richmond . . .

. . . not more of the same old guard establishment Ed Gillespie represents.

I am THE anti-establishment firebrand conservative running for Governor in 2017.

I dunno… when one hears the phrase “Golden Boy” you tend to think about Oscar De La Hoya.  Of course, it was “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather who ended that career of glory.

Still, in an era where everyone gets an epithet next to their name, Golden Boy Gillespie sounds pretty good.  Anti-Establishment Corey doesn’t quite have the same ring to it… and it even sounds positive.  Helpful substitutes:

  • Super Stu
  • Shady Stewart
  • Slim Shady Stewart
  • Slimy Stewart
  • Subcutaneous Stewart
  • Corey the Deporter (think Conan the Barbarian)
  • Deportation Corey
  • 287g Stewart
  • Corey the Builder (can he fix it?)
  • Tres Huevos
  • Stewart the Slayer

…or my personal potential favorite:

stewart

Alliteration is hard, folks… but this isn’t even fun.  Since Corey Stewart is putatively the candidate most aligned with Donald Trump for the 2017 gubernatorial contest, the most important question  perhaps is what Chairman Stewart will call his opponents?

  • Little Ed
  • Lyin’ Frank
  • Low Energy Rob
  • Crooked Ed
  • Crazy Rob
  • Goofy Frank

(these are all actual nicknames used by Donald Trump to brand his opponents)

Of course, all this branding and nonsense is taking away from some of the actual issues facing this election.  What is the plan to fix the broken relationship between Richmond and her localities?  What is the plan to link land use to transportation spending?  How do we fix the Six Year Plan?  How do we tackle education spending when Richmond ups the ante then walks away from the roulette table, leaving localities to foot the bill and raising local property taxes as a result?

Stewart is in a good position to answer these questions, as is Wittman — as both have served in local government.  Wagner can see it from the position of the General Assembly… only Gillepsie is at disadvantage here.

…but as Trump has demonstrated, substances matters for very little in the new era of campaigning.  Narrative and social media can go a long way at the national level.  The question is, can a statewide campaign win a nomination contest on narration alone?

We’re about to find out.  It’s gonna be a loooooong 2017, isn’t it?