}

Saturday, February 20, 2016

The forgotten clown has quit

A week ago, the former governor of Virginia, James Stuart "Jim" Gilmore III, quit the race for the Republican presidential nomination. As he stumbled off the Republican Clown Bus, he was greeted by a chorus of… silence.

I have absolutely no idea why Gilmore ever entered the race in the first place. As the 17th and final clown candidate, he had no shot at getting any of the money, staff, or endorsements that had already been soaked up. He was never even a long shot, something that was evident to me from the very beginning.

In fact, every time I’ve mentioned him it’s been a mixture of mocking condescension and amusement (like in a post from December), because I never took him seriously. At all.

The day before he dropped out, I wrote about the results of the New Hampshire Primary:
[Ben] Carson’s 2.3% places him so low that the other candidates will have to be careful they don’t trip over him lying on the floor. But—what about Jim Gilmore?! He was bunched with all the other nobodies still in the race, all of whom had dropped out or are truly fringe candidates, collectively getting an embarrassing 1.8% of the vote. So, what’s HE waiting for? Carson may be hoping for a divine miracle to save his campaign, but Gilmore? I doubt even that would be enough.
Clearly there was no divine intervention. His departure was so unnoticed that the Washington Post articled linked to above was written, not by the paper’s political reporters covering the Republican campaign, but by their local politics reporter. Ouch. Even in his departure he couldn’t get taken seriously as a candidate.

The only thing I got wrong about Gilmore’s campaign is that I said I thought he’d drop out before the first votes were cast—or did he? Gilmore got a mere 12 votes in the Iowa caucuses and 133 in the New Hampshire primary—fewer votes than were won by some candidates who had publicly dropped out.

I saw the news that Gilmore had quit the day after it was announced, and only in passing, because that was also the day that it was announced that Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was dead. So, on the day I might have written this post, he was upstaged yet again.

I almost feel sorry for Jim Gilmore—he never had even the remotest chance of winning the nomination, and his inglorious departure was inevitable. Yet, as I said way back in August, he was “just another radical right fundamentalist Christian—as if there weren’t already enough of them running for the Republican nomination…” And that’s why I don’t actually feel sorry for him—at all.

But, at least there’s one less Republican clown to keep track of. That’s a good thing.

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