Jim Gilmore Explores 2008 Bid
Add Jim Gilmore to the 2008 White House spelunking society.
James S. Gilmore III, a former Virginia governor and chairman of the Republican National Committee, announced today that he would form a committee to explore a presidential bid in 2008, saying the Republican field lacked a “committed conservative” capable of making a credible campaign for the White House.
“A void exists,” Mr. Gilmore said in an interview. “There is just no conservative right now who can mount a national campaign.”
Mr. Gilmore, 57, was governor for one term, all that Virginia allows. He also served one year as chairman of the Republican National Committee before being forced out by the White House after clashing with Karl Rove, the president’s chief political adviser.
While Mr. Gilmore is not particularly well-known nationally, he and his associates argued that there might be a path here for a little-known candidate who could corral support of the party’s critically important conservative wing.
While John McCain and Mitt Romney are both trying to position themselves as the main conservative candidate in the race, both face obstacles. McCain has alienated the Religious Right in countless ways in has annoyed fiscal conservatives with McCain-Feingold. Romney is a Massachusets Mormon.
With another former Virginia governor, George Allen, almost surely out of the running after a disastrous re-election campaign, Gilmore has a shot. He may not be well known to the public but he’s well known to the party apparatus from which he must put together a team and do his initial fundraising. He’s definitely a longshot, though, and isn’t the most charismatic guy in the world.