Everybody’s Going to Ed Gillespie’s BBQ

Everybody’s Going to Ed Gillespie’s BBQ

(Hint: It’s not the George Allen kind)

A Case of Bad Timing

Ed Gillespie will probably be the 2017 Republican nominee for Governor.

He’s endorsed by all the best people.  His campaign raised $1,918,440.80 for the reporting period beginning on July 1, 2016 and ending on December 31, 2016.  His cash on hand is $1,860,392.89.  No other major Republican candidate appears ready to enter the race.

Much is at stake in the 2017 election.   Without a Republican Governor, state government becomes fraught with the possibility of Democrat hanky-panky.

Beyond getting the Republican nomination, there are hurdles to Mr. Gillespie becoming the 73rd Governor of Virginia.

Timing can be everything in politics and Ed’s timing is off.

Donald Trump’s election was not an aberration.  Americans have long vented their political frustrations by voting for insurgent presidential candidates:  Huey Long (who planned to run in 1936, but was assassinated in 1935), George Wallace (1968 & 1972), John Anderson (1980), Ross Perot (1992), John McCain (2000) and Bernie Sanders (2016).  By capturing the nomination of a major party, Donald Trump finally gave frustrated voters the ability to elect a President.

Ed benefitted from this anger in 2014 when he shocked popular and well-funded Senator Mark Warner by nearly beating him.

Why was Donald Trump, an unconventional candidate, able to best sixteen Republicans for the nomination and then defeat Hillary Clinton, a better informed, organized and financed candidate?

The answer is middle-class Americans were white-hot angry about political grid-lock in Washington.  They perceived lobbyists, special interests and campaign money to have skewed the Federal government so that it no longer works for ordinary Americans.   This acrimony will carry over into the 2017 Virginia election.

Although Ed is popular with elected officials, party leaders and activists, he will be viewed skeptically by voters who see conventional politicians, insiders and lobbyists as minions inhabiting the swamp they elected Donald Trump to drain.

When Virginia Republicans really need to win, is the Post-Trump election year of 2017 the time to run a former Hill and White House staffer who made millions of dollars lobbying on behalf of special interests as the Republican candidate for Governor of Virginia?

Who’s Got the Better Resume?

Assuming the party nominees are Mr. Gillespie and Dr. Northam, Dr. Northam has key bullet points on his candidate resume Mr. Gillespie lacks.

Dr. Northam is a native Virginian and speaks with a hint of the Tidewater accent.

He is a graduate of Virginia Military Institute where he was President of the Honor Court.  After VMI, Dr. Northam graduated from Eastern Virginia Medical School and did his pediatric residency at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. He served eight years in the Army and treated soldiers wounded in Desert Storm.   Leaving the Army in 1992, Dr. Northam joined the staff of Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk.

Virginia has a large retired and active duty military vote.   Being a VMI graduate means something south of the Occoquan.   Service in the U.S. Army Medical Corps treating soldiers will resonate with the roughly ten percent of Virginians who are veterans or on active duty.

Mr. Gillespie does not list military service on his website.

Dr. Northam entered politics in 2007 when he won the 6th District Senate seat.  He was re-elected in 2011 and defeated E.W. Jackson to become Lieutenant Governor in 2013.  Mr. Gillespie has never won elected office.

Dr. Northam will argue he is qualified to be Governor by his service to the country, to the community as a physician and to the people of Virginia as an elected official.   Mr. Gillespie’s career involves mostly partisan and Washington Beltway politics.

Mr. Gillespie has far greater political experience than Dr. Northam.

Although Ed Gillespie has shown extraordinary abilities at the highest levels of national government, does anybody believe the Democrats won’t play up the candidates’ other stark career differences in television ads starting in late August?

Mr. Gillespie’s Success Will Be Used Against Him

Between 2013 and 2015, Hillary Clinton collected 21.6 million dollars giving speeches to just one company, Goldman-Sachs.  Would anybody dispute Goldman-Sachs was paying, in advance, for favors needed later had she won?

The House and Senate lobbying reports for the “bi-partisan” public affairs firm Mr. Gillespie founded with former Democratic White House Counsel Jack Quinn, Quinn-Gillespie and Associates, shows clients routinely paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for a few months’ work.

With a firm led by titans from both political parties, Quinn-Gillespie could lobby any issue for any client, foreign or domestic.    Need a protectionist tariff to help your business (U.S. steel companies)?   Need help fighting a protectionist tariff (Canadian lumber)?  Need help when your firm is caught smuggling illegal immigrants to work at your plants for lower wages (Tyson’s Foods)?   Need relief against pesky regulators after your firm is fined millions for securities law violations (Price-Waterhouse)?  Need favorable energy policies and tax breaks (Enron)?  Quinn-Gillespie and Associates to the rescue!

Enron paid Ed’s firm $700,000.

Ed left the firm to in 2007 to replace Karl Rove in the Bush White House.

I applaud Ed’s founding a successful business and fighting for his clients, and I don’t fault him for being paid well.  But, didn’t the Clinton speaking fees controversy in the 2016 presidential campaign show us the very bad optics of turnstile public service and big money influence politics?

Stay tuned for Part II: Problems at Poarch Creek


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  • My dad and fellow ’68 Keydets don’t claim Northam as one of their own.

    I remember the lack of class Ralphie showed by not shaking Rev. E. W. Jackson’s hand after their debate in 2013.

    • Rob Blackstone

      Can you imagine the fallout if a Republican had refused the shake the hand of his black opponent?

      • it would have been thermonuclear

      • Reinhardt Reganbacker lll

        Really? Flynn is out possibly because he may have lied.

        But, what about one of the biggest con jobs of all times? Conndoleezza Rice, National Security Adviser under the failed Bush 43′ regime. 3000 People died on her watch. And yet, she was promoted to SOS.

        And yet, Flynn is out for lying? What a frekin con job. Imagine if the media had done the right thing and held Rice accountable for her absolute, total incompetence?

        Flynn accountable, Rice not accountable, got it? Next time you want to “imagine” please do so with Rice.

    • AnninVA26

      Why don’t the Keydets support him?

      • Because if you look at the Mission Statement of VMI, EVERY alum most closely embodies the platform of the GOP. Particularly that of the RPV. Sen. Norment actually is a Brother Rat of my dad’s

        • AnninVA26

          Thanks. I can assure you that there are Brother Rats who love him, sadly.

    • David Dickinson

      That is video that MUST be shown on political ads against Northam.

    • Sbn

      Until that sentiment can be quantified, it’s purely anecdotal.

      It’s on his resume, it will resonate with the avg voter who merely looks at a flyer and pushes a button.

    • Turbocohen

    • Reinhardt Reganbacker lll

      I couldn’t agree more with you about not shaking hands. It’s bad. But can you agree with me?

      Ed Gillespie has always refused to shake hands also. You see, Ed Gillespie has not, and will not, ever shake hands with Virginia’s middle-class and poor. Those are the hands Ed refuses to shake.

      If you want a carpet bagger governor, who will have Dominion Lobbyist Jim Beamer, and Dominion CEO Thomas Ferrell ll on speed dial, by all means, The Ed is your guy.

      I don’t much care for barbecue, it can cause upset stomach and diarrhea.

      • I don’t have a horse in the Gov’s race yet. I sure won’t be voting dem, however.

      • John Massoud

        That is nuts. I’ve personally witnessed Gillespie shake the hands of many working class folks.

  • Rob Blackstone

    “He’s endorsed by all the best people”

    That’s highly debatable. I’m sure he’s got the support of all of the establishment flunkies, but this is VA so most of those people are terrible.

    • Connie S.

      And pray tell, what activists endorse Enron Ed? Enron Ed, whose big-gov bailout of big-banks was the final straw and led to creation of the Taxed Enough Already (TEA) Party?!

      Where are accolades of what a conservative Enron Ed is?! What a farce his globalist candidacy is!

      They know he won’t win the general because all us Trump voters will stay home. We populists will not bother turning out bcause a globalist Republican is really not much better than a globalist Denocrat. But big Wall Street cronyists don’t care: they’ll take one for the team. Better a Democrat get in then a populist who wants to drain the swamp in Richmond.

      #SaveTheSwamp #VoteEnronEd

  • AnninVA26

    We live in a blue state – getting bluer by the day – Ed is more of a compromise candidate. He’s a good person. ANYONE who has an association with McAuliffe should not be trusted. McAuliffe is a NY scoundrel and Northam is guilty by association. I never heard him stand up to anything McAuliffe attempted. I’ve heard some people say Northam is a “moderate” democrat. No thanks…I’ll take the “moderate” republican any day of the week.

  • ameri…canwork

    How will Enron Ed address
    Executive Order 24?

  • Turbocohen

    White Democrat Racist Ralph Northam Refuse To Shake Ordained Minister EW Jackson’s Hand

    Where was Jesse Jackson and the NAACP?

  • Turbocohen

    White Democrat Racist Ralph Northam Refuse To Shake Black Ordained Christian Minister EW Jackson’s Hand

    Where were good liberals like Jesse Jackson and the NAACP? Where did they march in the streets?

  • Rocinante

    Ralph does have to wear the progressive suit, that could undo the advantages listed above.

  • Rocinante

    Here I thought I was going to get a chance at that famous Pete Snyder Barbecue.

    • Jeanine Martin

      It really is the best pulled pork EVER.

      • Franklin Fogle

        Carolina, or sweet?

  • Johnny J.

    Gillespie is just another global elitist type I’ve grown to detest over the years; Big deal that he’s a nice guy. I would rather have a non establishment creep, who worked for real Americans, as the Republican nominee.
    I’ll never vote for Gillespie in the primary, however, I will hold my nose and tap the screen for him in the general. I just hope over time, I will be able to distinguish between him and the last occupant in Richmond, especially when it comes to illegal aliens.

  • Downstater

    During the Lt. Governor’s race, practically the only word out of Northham’s mouth was “LGBT…” ….on and on, “LGBT that” and “LGBT this”…real pandering.

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