Gilmore drops out

Jim Gilmore got out today. From his release.

I am today withdrawing my candidacy for the Republican nomination for President. It has been a positive and rewarding experience for me, for my family, and for my supporters.

It has become apparent to me that the combination of my late start, and the front loaded nature of the primary schedule, have made it impractical to continue to pursue this path towards further public service.

Perhaps he is just a bad candidate? He ends it:

In the coming weeks and months, I intend to remain active in the Republican Party and in the public debate. I will be forming a state political action committee to assist Republican candidates in the General Assembly. Additionally, I will be actively looking for other opportunities to continue in public service in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Sounds like he will run for Senate or Governor.

Iowa Lincoln Day Dinner: Is Jim Gilmore an idiot?

Krusty has a great write up of the Iowa Lincoln Day dinner. So does Kavon at Race42008.  I can’t add much to their reporting, so I will get it be.

However, I will note that Jim Gilmore continued to look like an idiot. And I’m not referring to his flop of a line about "Rudy McRomney". Instead, I am talking about his ham-fisted attack on Fred Thompson:

He jabbed Fred Thompson for only playing a prosecutor on TV.

Up… No. Fred Thompson’s first acting experience was playing himself in the 1985 movie Marie, dramatization of a dangerous prosecution of political corruption in Tennessee.

So Governor Gilmore. You were a prosecutor. Fred Thompson was too. He did something so heroic it got into the movies. You, Governor Gilmore, failed on the car tax, turned the state over to Democrats, and failed as RNC Chair.

The Fight for the Right

I woke up and saw this article at the Christian Broadcasting Network (recall, Pat Robertson’s operation). They report that Jerry Zandstra, President of the Michigan Pro-life League and a member of Sam Brownback’s Exploratory Committee, attacked Romney for flip-flopping on taxes:

If this were the only flip in Gov. Romney’s budding candidacy, fiscal conservatives could attribute it to him seeing the light and, echoing Churchill, gaining a brain. Perhaps he has learned that new taxation only leads to a decline in jobs and the overall economy. But this is not Gov. Romney’s first flip nor is it likely to be his last in his run for the White House.

Also note that Brownback’s latest pro-life IA hire came out of the gate with an attack on Romney. And then I saw Duncan Hunter attack on Romney about needing all that money to look like a conservative:

Hunter said he wouldn’t need to raise that kind of money because "most of that money goes to pay for consultants that help them look like they are conservative and I am conservative already."

Gilmore has also gone after Romney.

Why is everyone piling on Romney? First, they probably detect a little blood and they are sharks. Second, Romney is positioning himself as the "winnable conservative". Romney will have more money than anyone else who is positioning himself on the right. Romney (and Democrats) will attack McCain because McCain is the front-runner. But everyone else in the field, with the exception of Giuliani, has to go through Romney for votes. No one is going to say, "I can’t support McCain, so I’m for Jim Gilmore." They might say, "Romney is not conservative enough for me, so I’m supporting Brownback." And that is what everyone else, especially Brownback.

In other words, McCain is convincing people he "right enough and right for today", while Romney is going to be occupied convincing people that he’s "righter than John McCain and everyone else, or at least good enough." And everyone else just has to do "righter than Romney."

Very hard for Romney. He has to thread this carefully.

Jim Gilmore flirts with with a run by attacking Romney

Jim Gilmore, former RNC Chair and Governor of Virginia attacked Romney, according to the NYT:

Mr. Gilmore said he had always been what he described as an unvarying Ronald Reagan conservative. In what appeared to be an attempt to distinguish himself from other candidates, particularly Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, he said: “I didn’t run some place and pretend I was a liberal and run someplace else as a conservative. I just didn’t do that.”