It may be hard to face reality after last night’s Halloween parties, trick-or-treating and festivities, but a glance at the calendar today reveals it’s November first, which means a few
things. Thanksgiving is coming up, Christmas is around the corner, Election Year 2024 is all-but upon us and the time for dawdling on the sidelines is dwindling to nothing.
Here in Virginia, November means odd-year elections for the Old Dominion’s legislature, with every seat in both the House of Delegates and the State Senate up for grabs. Two years ago, Republican governor Glenn Youngkin and his Republican colleagues Winsome Sears (Lieutenant Governor) and Jason Miyares (State Attorney General) kicked the Democrats out of power in Virginia’s executive offices, and the GOP also took a slim majority in the State House.
This year, Republicans are going for complete control in the state capital. Achieving it won’t be easy and the scoreboard will either further or squelch rumors that Youngkin himself might be a (very) late entrant into the 2024 presidential race. In an article titled “Virginia elections could launch Youngkin national run”, Sarah Bedford wrote at the Washington Examiner recently: “Youngkin hopes to replicate some of the success of his 2021 playbook, which some Republicans have called ‘the Virginia model,’ for General Assembly races this year. That has some GOP activists and donors whispering about a late entry into the 2024 presidential race.
“Youngkin hosted some of the Republican Party’s biggest donors at a retreat last week in Virginia Beach, where he reportedly pressed them on the importance of sweeping Virginia legislative races next month. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an appearance at the retreat and later told CBS News in an interview that donors discussed a desire to see Youngkin run for president. ‘By the way, I would include myself amongst the people who think he would be really good in that place, that he's a very capable leader and someone who understands the American people,’ Pompeo said.
“A strong Republican performance on Nov. 7 may not come soon enough to help Youngkin break into the presidential primary, however. The filing deadline to participate in the New Hampshire primary — the second nominating contest, falling after the Iowa caucuses — will have passed by Virginia’s Election Day.”
This is common sense, pure and simple. It takes a lot of time, energy – and money – to run for president, none of which Youngkin will have an overabundance of once the November 7 election is finished, regardless of the outcome. All the rest is speculation, which doesn’t mean a whole lot these days.
Here’s a hard dose of reality, anti-Trump dreamers: Glenn Youngkin is not going to be president in 2025, and the biggest reason why he won’t reach that height is because he won’t be on the ballot for the Republican party – or run as a Democrat, an independent, a “No Labels” loser or as the representative of any of the other third parties, most of which the average person can’t even name.
And the people who know all the third parties are the ones whose opinions matter least in American politics because, if they consistently vote for people who have no chance of winning, they’re surrendering their justification to object when government policy doesn’t go their way.
Youngkin is a good man, a kind man, appears to listen really well and, by and large, has done a pretty good job of taking divided government in Virginia and accomplishing reasonable things, basic progress towards providing a government most of us who live in the state can be proud of. Youngkin isn’t harsh towards his political enemies and has gotten involved in Republican politics just enough to demonstrate that he’s a team player without being a dictator.
But you know what? The message of good governance alone doesn’t resonate with today’s national-minded voters, the ones who read enough news sources and diversify (there’s that word) their cable news shows to have a pretty good grasp of what’s going on in the country. And it’s not good. The Joe Biden administration, Democrats in Congress and liberal party honks in the states have just about screwed up to the maximum whatever they’re trusted to oversee.
Democrats have been in charge of school boards in big cities from coast to coast for decades, and what resulted from it? Kids (and now adults) who can’t read, do a math calculation to save their lives and are brainwashed, literally since the end of potty training, to accept concepts like “Heather has two mommies” and boys can be girls and girls can be boys – just by saying so.
Oh yeah, official praying in school is bad but it’s okay for freaks and idiots to hold protests over “transgender rights”, Black Lives Matter, the 1619 Project, DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion), “climate change”, and, more recently, that Palestinian terrorists deserve a pass because of “decolonization” … or something obtuse like that.
For his part, Youngkin has attained pretty decent in-state approval numbers by concentrating his emphasis on economics and pocket book issues like tax cuts and avoiding the highly controversial stuff that engulfs Republicans nationally. Youngkin realizes that pushing for a six-week abortion ban (like Georgia’s detectable heartbeat law) wouldn’t have a prayer of passing the currently Democrat controlled state senate, so Glenn didn’t even try.
But by purposely staying apart from the hot button social issues, Youngkin’s also garnered a reputation for casting aside or ignoring a key part of the Republican message. To his credit, he did launch a major effort earlier this year to compel schools to give parental notice of students who want to change their name or are in the process of altering their gender and identity, and he’s consistently advocated for parental rights, but would this be enough to base a national campaign on?
“Good governance” alone won’t do it, and it certainly isn’t sufficient to counter the candidacies of former president Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. The former leader already has “good governance” on his side from four years in the White House, and the latter has a much stronger claim to the “good governance” mantle because he’s achieved so much in a pretty darn important location. Florida used to be considered a “purple” state, but not any longer.
Can Youngkin do in Virginia what DeSantis realized in The Sunshine State? Next week’s election will go a long way to solving that mystery. Youngkin has been going around putting his personal stamp on many of the Commonwealth’s key races, and, if it goes well, he’ll receive not only the lion’s share of the credit – he’ll get the whole zoo’s worth.
Speaking from experience, local Virginia Democrats have been bombarding the airwaves with ad after ad after ad emphasizing “protecting reproductive rights” (what the heck does that mean, anyway?) while trying to sound “bipartisan” and “moderate” by declaring their allegiance to “common sense tax cuts” and job growth. What a bunch of crapola!
We’ll know in a little over a week’s time how effective Democrats were in trying to sound conservative. We actually count ballots fairly quickly in Virginia, though a few races over the past decade or so have gone down to coin flips or drawing names out of a hat. Yes, that close. It’s part of what makes this commonwealth so attractive for national pundits looking for bellwethers and other signs from the electorate of something to come next year in the big 2024 race to end all races.
Youngkin will remain part of the conversation, but only perhaps as a potential vice president for Donald Trump – or a last minute “White Knight” type-candidate promoted by the eternally disgruntled searching aimlessly for a credible Republican not named Trump or DeSantis. But there are just too many blanks that aren’t filled in to take Youngkin seriously for 2024.
What are his foreign policy views? What are his environmental views? We have some clues on his social positions, but how serious is he about them? Would he go wholesale nuts for cutting the federal budget? Does he want to take on Big Tech? What are his thoughts on the subject of elections integrity and mail-in voting? Which federal departments would he eliminate? Does he believe Federal Law Enforcement and the Department of Justice need a complete overhaul, or just be done away with entirely?
How much to spend on Ukraine? Or Israel? Reup sanctions on Iran? Impose a “pump every drop” energy exploitation policy? Keep dumping hundreds of billions into NATO? What about the southern border – complete the wall? Deport all illegals? Is there such thing as a DREAMER?
Should the January 6 protest participants receive pardons? How would he reform the federal bureaucracy? Would he confront the Teachers’ Unions and push for national school choice and/or homeschooling as an option? What are his philosophies on judicial appointments? Is he ready to not only take on the Democrats, but wage a Trump-like war to defeat them?
I list these not as a criticism of Youngkin, only to advance the point that Donald Trump – and even Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley and several of the other 2024 candidates – have already spent years and months giving responses to questions and presenting policy papers on these topics. Youngkin, by contrast, would go into the race touting his “good governance” of a politically volatile locale, but what else? How would he distinguish himself? That he’s a tall guy and is pretty sharp at basketball? That he’s been governor for a year-and-a-half and likes the landscape? That he can win in a blue state? That he’s thinner and less obnoxious than Chris Christie?
With as quickly as 2023 has gone, it shouldn’t be a surprise that November is already here. Many conservatives and Republicans are still sorting out how to approach the all-important 2024 election, but Virginia votes in less than a week. Will the Old Dominion set a marker for next year? Will Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s influence carry the day? Answers coming very soon.
Joe Biden economy
Biden cognitive decline
January 6 Committee
Build Back Better
Marjorie Taylor Green
2024 presidential election