The Washington Post is all verklempt. How on earth can we drill home the narrative that the Republicans are in total disarray in Virginia?!
The solution, masterfully noted by Justin Higgins, is simple — interview “anonymous” sources and let them speculate wildly:
“No one’s pushing one particular person,” said a Republican familiar with the efforts. “The message that has been delivered by multiple people is, ‘Ed, just bring somebody in from Trump world who understands Trump.’?”
Now this article quoted anonymous sources no less than 16 times. And the penultimate sentence — the real skull crusher of the entire piece — is that we think things are going pretty well, but gee… can’t we hire someone who understands Trump (insert feelz here).
So here’s the real math.
RNC always runs grassroots operations in Virginia. This will be the third time in four years they’ve done so — it’s called command and control, and they have one job: turn out the base.
As for the talk of bringing in Corey Lewandowski or Mike Rubino, there’s talk… but that’s really all it is — just talk. If it happens, great. If not? No one is bowing out for the sake of watching McAuliffe install his successor… NO ONE.
Fact of the matter is, Gillespie won a primary without breaking a sweat, as evidenced by the so-called dress down that Gillespie campaign manager Chris Leavitt allegedly received.
The alternative? Gillespie blows $4 million putting Stewart away and takes his eye off the ball of defeating the Democratic nominee… and then we’d be criticizing Gillespie’s handlers for winning so handily and allowing that massive waste of resources to happen, too.
Here’s the back and forth that convinces me there’s really nothing to see here:
To date, Gillespie has run a mainstream Republican campaign, the centerpiece of which is a 10?percent income tax cut. He supports gun rights and opposes abortion but has downplayed social issues.
He has avoided the “Southern heritage” issues Stewart nearly rode to victory. While Stewart decried Charlottesville’s plans to remove a Robert E. Lee statue, Gillespie said he opposed removal but thought it was the city’s call. As Stewart vowed to jail “sanctuary city” mayors, Gillespie said he wanted to be a “governor for all Virginians.”
Gillespie was mum on Trump’s travel ban and his firing of FBI director James B. Comey. He has refused to take a position on the GOP health-care plans pending in Congress, although he did roll out a proposal to address the state’s opioid epidemic on Tuesday.
One of my favorite films is the movie Waterloo (1970). In it, there is a scene where Napoleon continues to try to get Wellington — and Irishman, no less — to react in any practical way to Napoleon’s battlefield movements. Napoleon fails to get Wellington to move an inch… and then the Prussians are seen marching from the east.
Napoleon (played masterfully by Rod Steiger) urges his officers to ignore the Prussians and instruct the men that they are French reinforcements, then boils over into a rage:
This Wellington wages war in a new way. He fights sitting on his arse. Well we'll have to move him off it! Where is Grouchy??
For those of you who are students of history, “Where is Grouchy?” would be the excuse for Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo… all because Wellington would not react, and would fight war in a new way.
Here are the facts.
Ralph Northam has moved so far to the left, his campaign cannot move back to the center effectively at all. It would render meaningless all the parts of his soul he had to sell in order to win the Democratic nomination. To be clear, in order to placate Perriello’s 240,000 supporters, Northam has to perch himself to the extreme left. So he has to force Gillespie to make a mistake… to come off center.
…and Gillespie is smarter than that.
Gillespie isn’t going to move, because Gillespie doesn’t have to. As the election comes into sharper focus, Northam will give Trump supporters and moderates alike all the reasons in the world why Terry McAuliffe’s policies shouldn’t be rewarded with a second term.