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Ed Gillespie, Big Business Lobbyist Announces for US Senate

Ed Gillespie
Ed Gillespie, the DC super lobbyist and Karl Rove confidant who served in the George W. Bush White House and as Chairman of the Republican National Committee, has announced he is running for the Republican nomination for United States Senator for Virginia.

Emily Schultheis of POLITICO reports that in his formal announcement Gillespie said he’s running because “the American dream is being undermined by policies that move us away from constitutional principles of limited government and personal liberty.”

Gillespie talked about his family and how he got his start in politics: as a parking attendant at the U.S. Senate during college.

“Over the years, with lots of people’s help and advice, I rose from that parking lot to the West Wing, serving as counselor to the president of the United States,” he said.

He also took some early hits at Warner, criticizing his vote for Obamacare and past support for tax increases.

The health care law “kills jobs and costs families the insurance and doctors they like” and should be “replaced,” Gillespie said. 

“Sen. Warner cast the deciding vote” for Obamacare, Gillespie said. “If I were a Virginia senator, it would not be law today.”

Conservatives, however, remain deeply skeptical of the Gillespie candidacy.

James V. DeLong, author of “Ending 'Big SIS' (The Special Interest State) and Renewing the American Republic,” summed up conservative skepticism in a post on The American Thinker.

What the Republican Establishment is thinking is not clear, assuming it does think, says DeLong. Gillespie's video announcement is big on jobs etc. He attacks Warner for voting for ObamaCare, and he wants to "replace" it, with no further specificity. Immigration is not mentioned. He favors constitutional principle and limited government, good Tea Party buzz words.

But Google search is an unforgiving mistress, notes DeLong and Gillespie's connections with the business establishment, which supports ObamaCare, immigration cave-in, infrastructure pork, and Common Core, will provide rich themes for attacks from Democrats and questions from limited government constitutional conservatives. 

Gillespie, say DeLong, is clearly the Establishment's man in VA, and he can compete only because the Establishment is willing to put up big money, so it is not obvious how he can distance himself.

But if he looks like a Democrat on the key issues -- then why should a "debranded Republican" (Jonathan Rauch's phrase) support him? Why not stay home and put the poor ole GOP out of its misery?

It will be interesting to see if Gillespie can find some answers.

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Thank you, Ed Gillespie, for the 2nd George W Bush term

You helped it come about, Ed, and look what it ended up doing to the conservative movement. And now you want back in power? I guess the GOP decided they need an 'anti-Cuccinelli' candidate after 2013.


Just what Virginia needs. The same man with a different name. One
called Warner. The other Gillespie. But wait...they do part their hair differently.