Okay, so he probably doesn’t. But he is taking my advice. Gilmore said in an interview with The Politico that he is dropping his Presidential bid for lack of money and organization. The question now is whether Gilmore left the race in time to salvage some semblance of a political career, in particular a 2008 Senate bid, after waging what could be considered the weaked bid of any candidate in either Party.
At this point, most people take it as a given that Sen. John Warner is retiring. His fundraising has been abysmal. He has hemmed and hawed. Perhaps most importantly, it appears that he is setting up Rep. Tom Davis, his favorite to succede him, for a bid at a vacant seat. Davis is certain to run for an open seat. If he does so, he will likely get some competition from one or more of the state’s other Republican Congressmen. Davis is a powerful policitian, but in light of the state’s unique system in which the Party may choose its nominee at a convention or by means of a primary, he is far from assured of the nomination. To defeat Davis, conservatives will have to unite behind a single alternative.
During his Presidential campaign, Gilmore raised a paultry $381,000 in the first six months of 2007. By contrast, over the last three months Rep. Themla Drake raised $347k, Rep. Eric Cantor took in over $1 million, and Davis brought in $623k. If Gilmore did such a poor job of fundraising for his Presidential bid, one can’t help but wonder why a Senate bid would be any different.
As a conservative, I would be hesitant to say the least to make Jim Gilmore the conservative alternative to Tom Davis. Congressmen have demonstrated fundraising prowess, a sign that they run to win. If Gilmore wants the nomination, he had better announce his candidacy now, raise a boatload of money in the third quarter, and provide a rationale as to why conservatives should have more faith in him mounting a Senate bid that is more serious than his Presidential bid.