Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

Keeping a close eye on developments in the 2008 U.S. Senate races

Monday, November 19, 2007

VA-Sen: Jim Gilmore Looks Terrible Right Out of the Gate

To help kick off his Senate, um, campaign, Jim Gilmore released an announcement video:

MyDD's Beeton dubbed the video the "Worst. Announcement. Video. Ever." Although I haven't seen every single announcement video ever, I'm inclined to agree. Beeton touches on some of Gilmore's video's style issues: "Gilmore's video is dark, the camera is static and Gilmore looks shifty, uncomfortable and bored." Very true. Now, let's run through the actual text of Gilmore's announcement video, every single cringe-worthy sentence.

These are challenging times for our country. We're threated by terrorism, concerned about a difficult war, stuck in traffic,
Holy cow! Did Gilmore actually list "traffic" as the number three challenge for our country behind terrorism and Bush's Iraq War (which he only refers to as "a difficult war" without using the word "Iraq")? The traffic in Virginia must be really bad. Like, terrorism bad.

dissatisfied with how our children are educated, and too often our culture seems more interested in the latest doings of tabloid celebrities than the debates that could decide our country's future.
Damn Virginia voters caring more about Paris Hilton than the real issues. Good for Jim Gilmore for taking a stand against against those particular Virginia voters.

Of course serious problems and crises are nothing new for America. But today I'm sorry to say we also find too often that our leaders just aren't up to the challenge. America has a lot of work to do and doesn't have the right leaders to do it.
Our leaders "aren't up to the task" and we don't have "the right leaders"??? Well, who are Virginia's leaders? President Bush, whose job Gilmore unsuccessfully tried to get. Virginia's senior Senator John Warner, whose job Gilmore is unsuccessfully trying to get. These are Virginia's leaders. Is Gilmore saying John Warner isn't "up to the task"? Is Gilmore bashing John Warner? If not, to which "leaders" is Gilmore referring?

It would be easy to be disheartened; but, you know something, there are a lot of causes for hope, too. We're the greatest country in the world, not because of our politicians, but because of our people
Our people who are "more interested in the latest doings of tabloid celebrities" than real issues? Are these the people you're proud of, Jim? I thought those people represented a challenge for our country. Maybe there are different people.

and our great institutions. And, as far as I can see, our institutions are very much intact and can be built upon. These institutions instill in every American a sense of fair play, a desire for equal justice, economic opportunity, and a deep love for a land of liberty called the United States of America.
OK, now what does all of that have to do with you, Jim?

We haven't lost what's down deep in all of us and what really keeps us together despite all the problems that seem to have descended on us of late. The kind of leaders we need would build on these strengths rather than add to our troubles.
I see Gilmore's platform now! "Strengths good; troubles bad; vote Gilmore!" It's a winner!

I'm running for the United States Senate from Virginia because I want to be one of those leaders who call on the spirit that's common in all of us
You want to be one of those leaders? You're not already one of those leaders? Cuz, bad news, Jimmy, Mark Warner is already one of those leaders. No training necessary.

and use it to restore our country for the benefit of our people and in the eyes of the world.
Did something happen to the perception of the United States "in the eyes of the world"? Who let that happen? It was probably one of those fake leaders who Gilmore says isn't "up to the task."

I'm a veteran, having served our country in Army Counterintelligence
No joke here. Thank you for your military service.

and I'm a former law enforcement official. I can offer Virginians unparalleled experience and a strong and steady hand in the Senate. I was Governor of Virginia when our nation was struck on September the 11th and I helped Virginia deal with the aftermath of the attack on the Pentagon.
Ummm, Jim, just physically being there the moment an attack happened is not a qualification. It's really sickening when Bush or Giuliani or, now, Gilmore say "I was there when it happened, so I'm qualified."

It was a time of great challenge. It was also a time when Virginia and America came together to work for the common good.
Do we not work together for the common good anymore? Has the nation become polarized? How -Rove- did -Bush- that -Cheney- happen?

That's the type of leadership we need today to address the vital issues facing the citizens of our Commonwealth.
Vital issues, like the horrible traffic I hear so much about.

Issues like national security, transportation, education, and immigration. On all these issues, our leaders have let us down and we badly need new hands at the wheel. And in the last year, we've unfortunately seen that these failures are not just unique to one political Party.
Again with the leaders letting us down. How bad of a Senator does Jim Gilmore think John Warner is? Or is he referring to another leader for Virginia? Jim, clue us in. Oh, and if Gilmore is looking for a policy advisor on immigration, I know a guy who might have some advice for him.

It's time for a change.
If it's time for a "change," why would Virginians want the same old guy who already failed in Virginia, like, a decade ago and who is of the same political Party as the current retiring Senator? Jim, how is that change? (Jim caught on; "change" is a word that tests well, so he uses it even though he'll change nothing whatsoever. Nothing.)

We could do better and we have to. [Cue schmaltzy music.] Virginia's legacy of solid principles and values is ingrained in me. Family, patriotism, justice, free enterprise, defense of our nation.
Is a never-ending supply of pablum a Virginia value too?

These are Virginia values, the ideals of my youth, and the hope of our future.
I hear Jim is also pro-strength and anti-troubles! He's our guy!

I'm not going to be about labels and "us against them."
Yeah, that's because, lately, your label sucks in Virginia as the election results clearly illustrate!

I'm about applying these great principles for the good of Virginia and the good of the nation. That's who I am and that's why I'm running, to represent Virginians, all of them, in the United States Senate.
I'm pretty sure Gilmore refers to Virginians as "all of them" instead of something inclusive like "all of us" - a real man of the people that Gilmore is.

Compare all of this with Mark Warner's bright, upbeat video that actually lists actual accomplishments as Governor:

We started up with a deficit, but we ended with a surplus. Virginia was named the best managed state in America. We were named the best place to do business and the best place for a child to learn.
The choice is clear, even if Jim Gilmore's rationale for running isn't. (By the way, if Gilmore thinks he can get through the campaign without using the words "Bush," "Iraq," or "Republican," like he tries to do in this video, he has another thing coming.)


Blogger Matthew said...

Guru, with the traffic issue, Jim Gilmore is trying to play to Northern Virginia... the problem is, the Virginia Department of Transporation (VDOT) was destroyed under the watch of George "Macaca" Allen and Jim Gilmore... the car tax cut was fiscally reckless and screwed this state that I live in... he's an idiot for even bringing up the traffic issue... Mark Warner and Tim Kaine have had to rebuild VDOT... and it is functining once again.

Gilmore doesn't mention his party because he cannot win as a Republican in Northern Virginia... Tom "Devolites" Davis will soon figure that out. I will use a phrase from NLS... What time is it? TIME FOR TOM DAVIS TO RETIRE!

1:10 AM, November 20, 2007  
Blogger VA Blogger said...

Actually, to Virginia voters traffic is far and away the single biggest state issue. In Northern Virginia, it doubles all other issues (education, illegal immigration, taxes, etc.) in terms of the most important issue. Its more than just an inconvenience; its a quality of life issue. Time you spend in your car on the way to work is time you're not spending at home with your family.

As for NoVa, Matthew, you may want to tell Tim Hugo, Ken Cuccinelli, Jill Holtman Vogel, Mike Frey, Pat Herrity, and Tom Rust that they can't win in Northern Virginia seeing as how... they all just did. And given how close some other races were up here, its a far cry away from saying Republicans can't be competitive. If Democrats had swept the region in '07, we'd be having a different conversation. They did not.

7:34 AM, November 20, 2007  
Blogger Matthew said...

VA Blogger, Gilmore will not win this seat. This much we know. He is out of touch with Nothern Virginia. Ken Cuccinelli is in a recount.

8:58 AM, November 20, 2007  
Blogger Matthew said...

VA Blogger, I meant that Gilmore, as a Republican, cannot win a State-wide seat of this level of importance. Sure, those names that you mentioned earlier won their seats, but those are districts that are set up specifically for them to win.

9:02 AM, November 20, 2007  
Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

"Actually, to Virginia voters traffic is far and away the single biggest state issue. In Northern Virginia, it doubles all other issues (education, illegal immigration, taxes, etc.) in terms of the most important issue."

Again, va blogger, do you have REAL polling data to cite on this, or are you just making up more stuff? (Or do you have a two year old poll comparing traffic to Kent Conrad?)

9:46 AM, November 20, 2007  
Blogger Neal said...

Jim Gilmore of Virginia is basically the Republican version of Jim Florio- the unpopular Democratic Governor of New Jersey. The biggest difference is Florio raised taxes to balance the state budget- pay for school funding in the inner cities. Gilmore gave a tax cut which lead the state in a deficit. Florio ran for the US Senate in 2000 lost in the Democratic Primary to Now Governor Jon Corzine- the ex CEO of Goldman Sach spend 60 millions dollars of his own money in the primary.

Regarding Gilmore- Is their a wealthy family values Conservative Businessman who is willing to spend his own fortune in a primary against Gilmore.

11:31 AM, November 20, 2007  
Blogger VA Blogger said...

Actually, Mike Frey won a Fairfax Country wide office and Herrity won a magesterial district, neither of which were gerrymandered. Ken Cuccinelli's district voted for Kaine and Webb. Tom Rust's district, as well as Dave Albo and Jeff Frederick (neither of whom faced a tough challenge) all voted for Kaine, Webb, Byrne, Deeds, and John Kerry. And Ken Cuccinelli will maintain his victory after all the votes are re-counted.

I was the first person to say that Jim Gilmore is an embarrassment of a candidate and couldn't beat Mark Warner.

S2G--Yes, I have polling data to back that up. Unfortunately, its the private property of the organization I worked with during the 2007 campaigns, and I would be breaking the law by sharing it with you. However, I can tell you in Northern Virginia, traffic is far and away the number one issue statewide. If you'd like to disagree with me.... I don't really care.

12:03 PM, November 20, 2007  
Blogger Matthew said...

Guru, this might be one case where I am closer in agreement with VA Blogger; transportation is a big issue in Northern Virginia (I don't know whether it doubles the other issues as VA said... he'd have to provide data on that). People are tired of clogged highways, too few subway cars that always breakdown, etc... the thing is, George Allen and Jim Gilmore made such devastating finnacial and personnel cuts (that impacted the institutional knowledge) to the Virginia Department of Transporation that I don't think Gilmore would want to run on this issue... Mark Warner will point this out right away... he has the wind at his back right now, so I really don't think it will be necessary... because I think that most people still remember the wreckless fiscal disasters that make up the Gilmore years.

12:10 PM, November 20, 2007  
Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

"S2G--Yes, I have polling data to back that up. Unfortunately, its the private property of the organization I worked with during the 2007 campaigns, and I would be breaking the law by sharing it with you."

How conveeeeeeenient. James Bond can't share his imaginary polling data.

I have no doubt that traffic and transportation issues are major in Virginia, especially in NoVA. Like I said, I lived there for a while and know that firsthand. But to say that it doubles education or is the single biggest issue in the state without any polling data that you can show is juuuust enough to get you laughed out of the room. (va blogger, you didn't write the text of Gilmore's announcement video, did you?

2:23 PM, November 20, 2007  
Blogger VA Blogger said...

Only you could be dumb enough to confuse me with a Gilmore supporter.

2:34 PM, November 20, 2007  
Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

va blogger - again, you make stuff up. Where did I call you a Gilmore supporter? Point it out.

I (obviously jokingly) asked if wrote Gilmore's text because of your defense of traffic's inclusion as a top priority along with terrorism.

But I never call you a Gilmore supporter. So please point out where I do.

2:57 PM, November 20, 2007  
Blogger VA Blogger said...

I'm defending it because you scoffed as if including traffic as a top priority is another sign of Gilmore's idiocy. I'm pointing out the reality of the situation, not defending Gilmore in the slightest.

4:16 PM, November 20, 2007  
Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

That's not what I asked. I asked you to point out where I call you a Gilmore supporter. Please, point THAT out.

4:57 PM, November 20, 2007  
Blogger StealthBadger said...

One reason I'm suspicious of the polling data VA Blogger cites is because we can't see what questions were presented, how they were phrased, what options were given, when the poll was taken, the sampling, probable error, yadda yadda. Even the time of day of the calls would be important, because if it was M-F after normal business hours, you're damned right traffic would be the most important issue - because most respondents would have just gotten out of it.

Happy Gilmore also neglects to mention that even though he was governor on 9/11/2001, Mark Warner was the governor three months later, leaving Gilmore very little time to do anything to burnish his 9/11 credentials* (For non-VAers: Gilmore wasn't eligible to run because incumbents can't run for Governor), and had his work cut out for him un-doing all the damage Gilmore did. I don't think Gilmore is popular enough among voters who don't remember him (or that enough people who do remember him have died) to completely offset that.

Since Gilmore IMHO does not fail the least-common-denominator test for a Republican candidate in Virginia (that being "could the candidate win an election against former governor Chuck Robb?" Ollie North is still the sine qua non in that regard), and thus won't count him out of the election completely - which means I'll be doing activisty stuff for Warner.

* Much like Mr. Giuliani, no?

7:14 AM, November 21, 2007  

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