It’s like something out of the Marx Brothers. Every time the GOP runs an establishment candidate and loses, the solution offered by the Republican establishment and analysts in the press is for the Republicans to run more establishment candidates.
John McCain loses? Well, here’s the solution – Mitt Romney! Mitt Romney loses? Well, here’s the solution – Jeb Bush! Turns out what the Republicans needed to win was a conservative, nationalist inconoclast, Donald Trump.
Ed Gillespie is a good guy and would have made a good governor. But he is as establishment a Republican as you can be. Former RNC chair, lobbyist, etc., etc. The Republican base was not going to turn out for him, and it didn’t. That’s why he lost.
Gillespie broadcast the “Trump” message, but people knew he was faking it. Start with his failure to bring Trump into Virginia. How can you convince people you are supportive of someone’s ideas if you are afraid to be seen with the someone?
People in Washington look at politics from a static perspective. Some are saying Virginia is a now a blue state. Democrat wins, take a snapshot – looks tinted blue. But what about democracy? What about the power to convince? What about running a passionate conservative who might change people’s minds and make Virginia vote red?
That’s what was missing. Gillespie was not a legitimate bearer of the populist message. Voters will respond to a good argument, and conservatism is a good argument when properly made. And yes, that includes Hispanics and blacks, despite the media’s efforts to pigeonhole them as fated to unthinkingly vote as a bloc against the people the media cast as racists.