From a reader:
I’d like to add my own frustrations to those of the distinguished EFM bloggers who’ve decried the seemingly suicidal desire some misguided conservatives have to shrink the size of the Republican Party’s tent until it no longer can hold up any candidate with even the most remote chance of winning. It has especially come to my mind recently with the broken-record message of Jim Gilmore’s campaign. It’s become almost laughingly predictable whenever Jim opens his mouth that he’s going to mention how this country needs a leader with a proven, true conservative track record (which in his mind, means Jim Gilmore, and Jim Gilmore alone.) I say it’s almost funny because I fear that Gilmore’s insistance on defining a conservative within such incredibly narrow terms will in fact hurt the party.
I actually lived in Virginia during Gilmore’s 4 year term, and while I can say he always made his conservative views well known, he was also a really crappy Governor. He was so obsessed with making sure the personal-property tax (the so-called “car tax”) was eliminated, he forgot there was more to being governor than getting rid of one tax. His administration was, at best, so-so. I’m glad to see he isn’t even showing up on the Zogby polls in New Hampshire. Hopefully he’ll eventually realize that in addition to conservative principles, this country’s new President needs to be someone who has developed real leadership skills, including (gasp!) consensus-building when warranted. Perhaps someone who has built his career by going into tough situations and making the decisions required to turn them around. Someone exactly like Governor Romney.
I wasn’t in Virginia during Governor Gilmore’s tenure, so I can’t vouch for this reader’s characterization. But I do think it’s worth noting that he thinks abortion should be legal in the first 8 or 12 weeks. Some “true conservative!”