Jim Gilmore Is Running For President Because, Well I Really Don’t Why

Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore tells a political reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch that he will be running for President:

Former Gov. Jim Gilmore says he is running for president and plans a formal announcement in the first week of August.

Gilmore, 65, Virginia’s governor from 1998 to 2002, broke the news late Tuesday in an exclusive telephone interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

He said he does not think any other Republican candidates have addressed what he considers the vital national security and economic concerns facing the nation.

“I don’t think we’re addressing the threat to the country,” Gilmore said. He added: “I bring to the table experience that others don’t have.”

Gilmore, a former U.S. Army intelligence officer, was governor during the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon. He later headed the Gilmore Commission, a congressional panel that advised Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush on domestic capabilities for terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction.

The former governor said he is particularly concerned about “the emergency internationally,” citing not just the so-called Islamic State, but Russia’s ventures in Ukraine and China’s moves in the South China Sea.

He also said he believes President Barack Obama’s economic policies have undermined what should be a “foundation of strength” for the nation.

Govs. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and John Kasich of Ohio are expected to enter the GOP contest this month. In August Gilmore would become the 17th prominent Republican in the field, not counting Mark Everson, former IRS commissioner under President George W. Bush.

This isn’t the former Governor’s first run at the White House. He made bid back in 2008 that lasted for all of seven months and ended even before the Iowa Straw Poll. Since then, he’s acting as something of an elder statesmen in Virginia Republican politics and working in the private sector.This time around, Gilmore hasn’t shown up in any polling on the national or state level, although to be fair that is largely probably because pollsters aren’t including his name in the mix of candidates that they are asking about, so it’s hard to say exactly where he fits in to the mix of seventeen candidates who will be in the race by the beginning of August. It’s safe to say, though, that he will probably be somewhere near the bottom of the pack, and the fact that he’s announcing so late — indeed, late enough that he obviously will not receive an invitation to the first round of debates — makes one wonder what the point of all this actually is.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Quick Takes, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Liberal Capitalist says:

    so now that’s 17?

    Is there a link that’s tracking the full list of GOP candidates?

  2. J-Dub says:

    Gilmore, a former U.S. Army intelligence officer, was governor during the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon. He later headed the Gilmore Commission, a congressional panel that advised Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush on domestic capabilities for terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction.

    He advised President Clinton after the 9/11 attacks? Timeline seems a little off.

  3. gVOR08 says:

    @J-Dub: What do you mean? Dubya Kept America Safe ™. 9/11 must have been on Clinton’s watch.

  4. Tony W says:

    Never heard of the guy….but why not?

  5. stonetools says:

    The original post is a restatement of Scott Taylor’s question: why are so many Republicans running?
    My stab at an answer: the conservatives simply do not know what they want. The conservative economic programme has been shown not to work ( See Republican Administration, 2001/2008). The neocon foreign policy ended in disaster ( See above). The so-con agenda has been largely rejected, even by many young Republicans, and increasingly, by big business.
    The result is that the conservatives are in a state of complete policy confusion, which makes things ripe for the appearance of many people claiming to speak for the conservatives and offering up their version of what true conservatism should be. Each candidate is hoping that their message will strike the right note and catch fire among the confused and uncommitted Republican electorate.Gilmore may be just as likely as anyone else to catch fire, so why not give it a shot?

  6. gVOR08 says:

    @stonetools: I suspect it has more to do with campaign finance. I don’t know enough about it to be sure how exactly, but apparently you can make a pretty good living, directly and indirectly, off running for president. Stealing someone’s comment about a year of living in Red Roofs, apparently that’s an OK tradeoff for the public attention if you’re enough of a narcissist.

    Plus, if you’re not serious, you can probably get away with going upscale. I read that Ben Carson travels to speaking gigs (for which he’s been paid 20 mil), but is mostly at home and deals with the “campaign” staff mostly in Sunday AM phone calls. And I doubt Jeb! Bush? is staying in Red Roofs.

  7. al-Ameda says:

    Okay, that’s it – I’m giving my dad a call. Why shouldn’t he run?

    He’s 92, watches FoxNews all day, he hates Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer (although I’m not sure he can tell Nancy and Barbara apart).

    His only flaw is that he doesn’t like gay marriage, but he’s not obsessed with the issue. I think he’d poll at 1.2% to 1. 3%. Certainly, as a retired police officer he’d be a logical choice for Secretary of Defense or Director of Homeland Security in a Republican administration.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    “I don’t think we’re addressing the threat to the country,” Gilmore said.

    Somehow or other I don’t think addressing the issues of American right wing terrorism and money in politics will get him very far in today’s GOP.

  9. Michael says:

    This is the man who forces Virginians to pay nine hundred million dollars every year to make up for his failed Personal Property Tax Relief Act. Virginia levies a tax on cars, boats, trailers, and motorcycles and then pays a portion of that tax for us. Lunacy, but then, he IS a Republican.

  10. Franklin says:

    “I don’t think we’re addressing the threat to the country … citing not just the so-called Islamic State, but Russia’s ventures in Ukraine and China’s moves in the South China Sea.”

    Huh? The other Republican candidates have been talking about this stuff quite a bit, actually. In fact, so has the current Administration and everybody else with a mouth.

  11. Franklin says:

    @J-Dub: It probably shouldn’t have the word ‘later’. The commission operated from 1999 to 2003, meaning it did jack squat to prevent the 9/11 (2001) attacks.

    I also don’t understand the qualification that he was a governor of a state that had an attack in it. So the *u*k what? In what way should this affect my opinion of him?

  12. Franklin says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    Is there a link that’s tracking the full list of GOP candidates?

    I don’t think the Internet is big enough for that.

  13. michael reynolds says:

    He’s got Gilmormentum.

  14. gVOR08 says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:
    Someone in a previous thread linked to these guys. They list 31 declared GOPs, most of whom you have never heard of and never will unless you follow the link, and four “potential” which at the moment includes Gilmore. They also list 32 Dems and a bunch of third party and independent candidates.

  15. de stijl says:

    The big problem with both parties is that they don’t get blowback and unintended consequences and local power vacuums and who will fill that empty space in foreign policy and military actions – especially when it comes to internal conflicts.

    It is a lesson that was ill-learned in the aftermath of WW2. Germany and Japan surrendered completely and the populace acceded to our will. This no longer happens, and yet we cannot seem to imagine a world where we don’t get the final say after we’ve defeated a country’s regular military forces. We think we’ve won. All the movies and the History Channel documentaries and the folklore tell us we’ve won the battle, so we’ve won, but we actually haven’t.

    The Ds think that if they enter a situation with good intentions then good results will occur. “We are ameliorating current harm and strife. We are protecting innocents.” Humanitarian interventions are the weak spot. Rwanda haunts them. Libya results.

    Rs think that if “we take the kid gloves off” we would totally “win” every conflict we enter. We have the biggest, bad-assiest military the world has ever known and if we fail to “win” then we’ve been stabbed in the back by weak-willed, wobbly domestic political enemies. They are consumed by Will and “The Next Time We’ll Win.” Kicking the ass of someone who sasses us is their weak spot. “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb-bomb Iran” results.

    We, as Americans, are exceedingly arrogant. For a short period we got away with it, but the world moved on and we did not. Korea was a lesson we did not pay attention to.

    We have a warped version of “victory” baked into our brains by our mythology of WW2 (which the Soviets actually won, btw; we won the Pacific Theater but it was a sideshow, and we were the Western Front diversion in the European Theater. We believe the story that we were the bad-asses in WW2. But, really, we were the anvil and the Soviets were the hammer.)

    This plays out in the present in the way we think about other nations and the people, especially those we want to invade, destroy and conquer, or just generally bend to our will. We have agency and will and patriotism and national pride, but they do not. If we declare ownership, we own you.

    We fail to understand that they will always act in their own self-interest for reasons we fail to understand in ways we fail to expect, not in defiance of us, but in a manner that is perfectly prudent and reasonable and patriotic in their own circumstance.

    No Iraqi or Afghani thinks about, or cares about, one whit of American pride. Why on earth would they? Would we in their place?

    The Ds have a surplus of misplaced empathy and the Rs have an utter lack of empathy.

    Gilmore is just the eleventy!!1! billionth Republican to complain that we need to take the kid gloves off. His differentiation from the the other declared candidates is zero. I couldn’t pick Gilmore out of a police line-up. I will earn as many electoral votes as he will. I will earn as many delegates to the Republican Presidential Convention as he will.

  16. Tillman says:

    This time around, Gilmore hasn’t shown up in any polling on the national or state level, although to be fair that is largely probably because pollsters aren’t including his name in the mix of candidates that they are asking about, so it’s hard to say exactly where he fits in to the mix of seventeen candidates who will be in the race by the beginning of August.

    It’s not like you can have a ballot in mind with seventeen different names and keep them all in check. I swear I glossed through the quoted article on his announcement imagining he was the crazy dude eating in the restaurant in the third episode of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and that’s not a flattering (or fair) association to thrust on the newest clown who thinks he can out-clown the rest of them.

    We haven’t hit California gubernatorial recall election 2003 yet in terms of clownage, but once Ann Coulter throws the shriveled, sliced-off end of a man’s pinky finger she keeps as a metaphysical source of affirmation and power into the ring, it’ll be too late for the rest of us we’re getting there.

  17. wr says:

    @Tillman: “We haven’t hit California gubernatorial recall election 2003 yet in terms of clownage, but once Ann Coulter throws the shriveled, sliced-off end of a man’s pinky finger she keeps as a metaphysical source of affirmation and power into the ring, it’ll be too late for the rest of us we’re getting there.”

    Well, we don’t have the squeaky-voiced porn star in the race yet…

    As for why is Gilmore running, I think it’s more a matter of once Trump is in, why not?

  18. ernieyeball says:

    He’s got Gilmormentum.

    Hope it’s not Gary Gilmorementum.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Gilmore

  19. de stijl says:

    @ernieyeball:

    Or Gary Glittermentum.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Glitter

    (I had no idea who Gary Glitter was before I heard “Clash City Rockers”)