I don’t know if this would have helped Ed Gillespie in Virginia, or not.
It seemed Virginia was destined to go to the Democrats, regardless. A combination of the Trump effect, where there is a backlash against anyone perceived to be a Trump surrogate (at this point, that’s anybody with an “R” after their name), plus the voting rights restored to felons by outgoing Governor Terry McAuliffe could have very well stacked the decks.
Steve Bannon, reportedly, was ready to practice his kingmaker skills for Gillespie. So what happened?
According to the Washington Examiner, Gillespie’s camp declined the offer, leaving Bannon furious!
Bannon was also frustrated with Gillespie’s refusal to appear on his Breitbart radio show or do any interviews with the conservative media outlet, the Daily Beast reported.
“Ed Gillespie had no message, was inauthentic, spoke from both sides of his mouth, and at the end of the day, even the deplorables couldn’t save him,” Andrew Surabian, Bannon’s political adviser, told the Daily Beast on Tuesday. “Gillespie campaigned with George W. Bush, [but] ran from President Trump.”
In other words, Gillespie wanted to play it straight.
Gillespie, a former RNC chair and lobbyist, did stand with Trump on the issues. He expressed favor for allowing Confederate statues to stand, going after sanctuary cities, and criticized NFL players taking their protests to the games.
It just wasn’t enough to get him over, and there’s no guarantee a Bannon rally would have helped.
Not to be missed is just how quickly Trump, who recorded a robocall for Gillespie and used his Twitter platform to promote him, turned on him, after his loss.
Trump tweeted out that Ed Gillespie worked hard but, “did not embrace me or what I stand for.”
That’s some real god-king creepiness, there.
That may be why Gillespie felt the need to keep some distance between himself and Trump or his minions.
Chin up, Ed. Though you lost, you still won.