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The Hubris Of Jim Gilmore

By Greg L | 18 May 2008 | Virginia Politics, US Senate | 18 Comments

The timing of the Republican conventions for the 8th, 10th and 11th Congressional Districts this weekend was set up to allow the statewide candidates for office that would like to speak at these conventions to move from one to the other without rushing too much, ensuring that as many conventional delegates in Northern Virginia get an opportunity to hear from them.  The 8th District opened at 9:00AM, the 10th at 10:00AM, and the 11th at 11:00AM for this reason.  Every campaign understood how this works, and worked well with this design except one: the campaign of Jim Gilmore for Senate.  What happened with Jim Gilmore ended up a complete disgrace.

Jim’s morning started uneventfully at the 8th District, where he and Bob Marshall both gave speeches.  Then Bob Marshall left for the 10th District as he should have, but Jim Gilmore went to the closer 11th District instead.  At that convention candidate speeches were scheduled to start after the first balloting, which everyone who had bothered to contact Becky Stoeckel (another failure by Jim Gilmore) knew.  Sitting in the front row waiting for an opportunity to deliver his pearls of wisdom, while glaring at temporary Chairman Jay O’Brien for being delayed, Gilmore finally lost his patience, stormed the stage, took the microphone away, and launched into a rather lengthly speech.  Many convention delegates were pretty stunned, not only because of this incredible display of hubris and self-importance, but because Gilmore actually ended up delaying the first ballot.  Gilmore almost certainly lost quite a few delegates with this display.

By the time Gilmore made his way over to the 10th District convention, the show was pretty much over.  Gilmore and his staff met with 10th District Chairman Jim Rich where Rich was subjected to an angry tirade by one of Gilmore’s staffers, Jesse, who complained that Rich shouldn’t have let Bob Marshall speak until Gilmore was there.  Gilmore then gave his speech to the thirty or so people remaining, some who were busy cleaning up trying to get out of there, and not terribly interested in listening to someone who shows up wanting recognition after the show was over.

Yeah, Bob Marshall should be punished for following the well-known established rules because they inconvenienced Jim Gilmore whose campaign can’t seem to figure out what the rules are, much less follow them.  If those rules happen to inconvenience Jim Gilmore, he feels he has the right to change them to his own benefit, no matter how many others become inconvenienced as a result.  This is disgusting.

It doesn’t seem as if Gilmore learned a lot from his chaotic presidential bid.  This campaign is just as disorganized and confused, and when faced with the failure of his staff Gilmore’s reaction is far less noble than what was displayed by the elections committee at the 10th District when they confronted their own mistake.  There was no correction and apology, no acceptance of the consequences, only hubris, self-importance and bullying from Jim Gilmore.  Just what we need as a nominee for the United States Senate — another hothead, and one whose moral compass seems to at least be missing, if not cast away.

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  1. ladyxx said on 18 May 2008 at 10:37 pm:
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    Jim Gilmore. What a looser. Will vote for Marshall.

  2. Rick Hendrix said on 19 May 2008 at 8:10 am:
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    That’s not how it happened at the 11th District. I don’t know whether or not Gilmore was lobbying to speak earlier than he was scheduled to, but Governor Gilmore was invited to the stage by Jay O’Brien when the Credentials Report wasn’t ready. There was no storming of the stage.

  3. Shaun Kenney said on 19 May 2008 at 8:59 am:
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    Looks as if Team Gilmore has given up on Northern Virginia in a near-total fashion.

    Of course, everyone there has pretty much made up their minds…. It’s why Marshall was out at the remaining unit committees while Gilmore was preaching to the converted at district committees.

    I may have to retract on whether or not the State Convention is going to be close. I see a lot of desperation in one camp, and a lot of steady activity in the other (activity that doesn’t berate District Chairmen).

    Too bad no one else is talking about this, Greg. Thanks for shining some light on this weekend’s happenings!

  4. Johnson said on 19 May 2008 at 10:42 am:
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    Thank you, all. I knew Gilmore was a loser as Governor. I see that nothing has changed. Marshall has my vote.

  5. James Young said on 19 May 2008 at 11:52 am:
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    I haven’t made my choice in this race yet, and I wouldn’t necessarily dispute anything else you said, but your report on Gilmore’s behavior at the 11th simply is not accurate. Rick is correct. And I was ON the stage. I noted nothing untoward in Gilmore’s behavior. And I defy anyone to tell me the difference between “attentive listening” and “glaring.” With the spotlights, it was difficult to see even the very first row, where the former Governor was seated.

  6. J. Tyler Ballance said on 19 May 2008 at 12:01 pm:
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    I am supporting Bob Marshall. It is a shame you spent so much energy slamming Jim Gilmore that you had no room to describe anything of substance said by either of these dedicated Republican leaders.

    I know that during campaigns tempers get hot, but especially in these intra-party skirmishes, we need to remain constructive in our approach to evaluating candidates.

    I am supporting Bob Marshall because he has a proven track record as a legislative scholar. When other politicians just recite the Party talking points, Bob Marshall always does his own homework and provides fresh insights and real solutions. He also has marvelously good manners. I have seen him go toe-to-toe with opponents, for example, discussing his positions with members from the gay community (many of whom expressed open disdain for Bob prior to meeting him). After actually meeting and learning that Bob not only had thoroughly researched issues, but had also found answers to most of the gay community’s concerns already in the Code of Virginia, these citizens came away from meeting Bob, some still in disagreement, but all had learned that Bob is a good, respectful listener, who truly has the best interests of all Virginians in his heart.

    Jim Gilmore’s approach is the same old Republican method where putting more Virginians in jail or heaping on more fines seems to be his limited repertoire. His approach is just outdated and it never was very good for Virginia; we need more freedom, not less and we need more people in jobs, not more people in jails.

    In the U.S. Senate, Bob Marshall will be a beacon of hope for all who have been starved for a champion of the Constitution and an advocate for Liberty.

    When Virginians learn about what an accomplished legislator and patriot Bob Marshall is, Virginians from all political backgrounds will elect Bob Marshall as our next Senator.

  7. CONVA said on 19 May 2008 at 12:08 pm:
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    Gilmore is another example of the “Old Guard” that hasn’t guarded anything but their position of power. OUT WITH THE OLD GUARD! We need foks like Bob Marshall in congress that is only interested in us common folk and the security of the nation.

  8. Bobby Lee May said on 19 May 2008 at 1:42 pm:
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    This is a silly ‘much ado about nothing’…even if it is accurate, which isn’t proven to us readers…it has no bearing on whom would be the best U.S. Senator and perhaps more importantly, which would be the best nominee for the GOP.

    I like Bob Marshall’s conservative record but I cannot shake the feeling that on June 1st, if the headline is ‘GOP NOMINATES MARSHALL FOR U.S. SENATE’ then Mark Warner will be the happiest man in Virginia.

    One thing that we GOPers need to keep in mind is that we cannot afford this year to allow ‘best’ be the enemy of ‘better’…Jim Gilmore would be better than Mark “Froze my car tax cut’ Warner. We cannot afford a tax & spend liberal in the U.S. Senate, that’s the bottom line.

    Jim Gilmore has raised money, Marshall has not. Jim Gilmore has statewide name recognition, Marshall does not. Jim Gilmore is known ON A STATEWIDE BASIS as the Governor that cut taxes for practically all Virginians. Marshall’s successes are unknown statewide and he hasn’t demonstrated the ability to raise the funds necessary to promote his record.

    If you agree that keeping the liar Mark Warner out of cthe U.S. Senate, you’d better nominate the strongest candidate!

  9. Harry said on 19 May 2008 at 1:52 pm:
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    We need lots of laughs in November, I think Bob Marshall will provide more laughs than Jim Gilmore in the rediculous notion that either will beat Mark Warner.

  10. Turn PW Blue said on 19 May 2008 at 2:32 pm:
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    Now, James, you don’t think Greg would put a spin on a story to make his preferred candidate look better, do you?

  11. US Citizen said on 19 May 2008 at 3:02 pm:
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    As a witness at the 11th CD Convention, I can say Temp Chair Jay O’Brien clearly invited Jim Gilmore to the stage. The passage of the mic was polite - and I didn’t see anyone upset about any of this. Gilmore may have talked longer than Jay would have preferred, but the Gilmore speech was pretty darn good! I think he motivated his base in the 11th CD audience. It was a good stump speech to Republicans.

    I don’t see any reason for complaints.

  12. Bobby Lee May said on 19 May 2008 at 3:36 pm:
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    Why couldn’t a good conservative beat a lying liberal in November? Mark Warner LIED abt his car tax stance, LIED abt the imaginery budget crisis.

    Either Gilmore or Marshall would be far preferable to a LIAR such as Mark Warner. We cannot afford Mark Warner in the U.S. Senate! You’ll be laughing all the way to the poor house!

  13. Wine Please said on 19 May 2008 at 3:47 pm:
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    I’ve never been overly impressed with Gilmore and as the years have passed, have been incredibly impressed with Bob Marshall. He knows his stuff and knows his constiuents…that’s a nice change of pace from so many other politicians. I will definitely be voting for Bob Marshall, and as mentioned before, I may write him in for President. :)

  14. Bob Wills said on 19 May 2008 at 5:11 pm:
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    Bobby Lee May said on 19 May 2008 at 3:36 pm:
    Why couldn’t a good conservative beat a lying liberal in November? Mark Warner LIED abt his car tax stance, LIED abt the imaginery budget crisis.

    Either Gilmore or Marshall would be far preferable to a LIAR such as Mark Warner. We cannot afford Mark Warner in the U.S. Senate! You’ll be laughing all the way to the poor house!

    I wonder what election Bobby or Harry voted in when Gilmore was elected on the TOTAL LIE that he would eliminate the PP tax on Cars? either they are to old and the memory is going or they are too young and do not remember Gilmore elections. People were upset when they got their PP tax bills that year because the GA had not voted any decrease in the PP Tax and that never came to be because the other LIE of Gilmore was there would be no impact to eliminate that tax.

    Remember it is the GA not any governer that raises or lowers taxes and the Republican ran the GA until last election so are they the biggest liers of all ?

  15. Becky Stoeckel said on 19 May 2008 at 5:56 pm:
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    Please let me also chime in on this blog-train, and state — as I did on the telephone last night when I was called and asked directly — though I was not in the auditorium at the time, I am not aware of any such occurance either.

    As happens sometimes there was one of those inevitable pauses - where the Credentials chair had yet not made it down to the stage to give the final credentials report before the balloting could proceed (as required) - where Jay O’Brien, seeing Jim Gilmore in the front row, figured he could fill the time by allowing him to go ahead and speak.

    I was on the stage already when Gov. Gilmore initially came down and sat in the front row. He didn’t look very happy when I saw him, presumably because his staffer told him he would have to wait like everyone else, but no such “storming of the stage” happened as far as I know. Once Jay O’Brien was elected Chairman of the convention, I left the auditorium to keep tabs on things out there and help if needed.

    At no time did Gilmore himself speak to me or ask to have the podium earlier than originally scheduled, so I was as surprised as everyone else when this happened.

    Unfortunately, it did end up delaying the balloting for about 5 minutes or so, which I personally wasn’t very happy about - nor were those who had already lined up to get their ballots happy about it either. Our Call to Order was set at 11 AM and I set the timeline for candidate speeches to occur AFTER the balloting was complete in order to facilitate everyone’s schedules in getting around to the other district conventions that day, and to keep our convention moving.

    I had previously spoken with a Gilmore campaign staffer, as well as the other candidates, about the timeline so everyone knew this in advance. I also reiterated this to the Gilmore staffer at the convention and told her while it was fine that Gilmore would be arriving earlier, he would still have to wait like everyone else, so I feel bad that the others had to wait and he did not… I thought it was somewhat unfair… but everyone else was very gracious about it, and for that I am appreciative.

  16. Anonymous said on 19 May 2008 at 9:41 pm:
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    I was at the 11th distrrict also. The Gilmore story is just flat wrong. Those who agree above are correct. Whoever gave this report to you owes you an apology…

  17. James Young said on 19 May 2008 at 10:42 pm:
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    No, “Turn PW Blue,” unlike some, I’m not going to attribute illicit motives to Greg, who presumably was simply reporting what was reported to him, since I assume that he was at the 10th District Convention at the time. I didn’t seem him at the 11th District Convention, but then again, I was fairly busy as Parliamentarian, and cannot claim to have observed everyone who was there, and everything that happened there. I did, however, observe this.

  18. Gnarly said on 21 May 2008 at 1:50 pm:
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    Free advice to Jim Gilmore –

    Next time you have to wait to speak, just get up and work the crowd…shake some hands, smile…ask how people are doing (remember?…be a human being).

    Many who know you, realize you are a good guy and warm human being, but alot of folks don’t know you as well as you think. You really need to worry that the word used most frequently to describe you and your campaign is “arrogant.”

    That’s a problem. Fix it PLEASE.

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