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Bob Marshall: The Conservative Voice Of Virginia

By Greg L | 31 May 2008 | Virginia Politics | 6 Comments

Bob Marshall’s very narrow loss to Jim Gilmore should produce a shock wave that will blast through the Republican establishment and put “moderate” Republicans on notice that further attempts to marginalize or sideline Marshall could bear a very significant price.  Coming out of seemingly nowhere and running against a popular and respected former Governor in a state-wide race, only to lose by a mere sixty-six weighted votes out of over ten thousand, Bob Marshall has firmly established himself as a major political force in Virginia Republican politics.  He is likely the new standard-bearer in Virginia for the conservative movement, and perhaps the most influential among the few that can credibly claim that title.

In the aftermath of the November, 2007 elections it became ‘beat up on Bob Marshall year’ for the Republican leadership.  Leaders casually dismissed his concerns about HB3202, ignored his criticism of Speaker Howell, and refused him the Chairmanship of the Immigration Commission, which by tradition he was entitled to lead. In the face of this, Marshall beat the Republican leadership in the courts by having the taxing authority of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority declared unconstitutional, waged some battles against the Republican leadership in the General Assembly, winning a few and losing others, and watched the Immigration Commission devolve into a sad farce under the leadership of Senator Watkins who has come out as somewhat of an illegal alien apologist in vindication of Marshall’s predictions.  His response was to take on the establishment head-on by challenging Jim Gilmore and exceeded the expectations of the establishment and their pundits, not by a little, but by a whole lot.

As much as some hoped that Bob Marshall would simply go away, Marshall instead got in their face even more.  Don’t expect that to end anytime soon.

It’s going to be really hard to sideline Bob Marshall now without suffering severe political consequences.  Not only are there lots of Bob Marshall supporters all across the state now, but they’re probably among the most passionate and dedicated activists in Virginia, judging from how they acted at the convention today.  This group dominates the social conservatives, particularly the pro-life crowd, who have a unique ability within the party to make life utterly miserable for an elected official.  The anti-illegal alien activists and fiscal conservatives make this coalition even larger, and more potentially troublesome.  Bob Marshall can credibly claim to be a spokesman for this constituency, and when he speaks now, he speaks with their passion and numbers behind him. While it might have been easy for Republican leaders to dismiss Bob Marshall before, from now on out such behavior risks setting this important part of the party base aflame.

A year ago, Bob Marshall was a curious oddity in Virginia politics, a conservative leader who would rather have everyone hate him than compromise his principles.  He is no longer an oddity.  He is the voice of Virginia’s Republican future.  When that realization sinks in within the compromise-on-anything Republican leadership of Virginia, this could cause a seismic shift in Republican politics, and completely transform the political landscape in Virginia.

It’s about time.

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  1. James Atticus Bowden said on 31 May 2008 at 11:38 pm:
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    I supported Jim Gilmore for the Senate. You can read my piece on Deo Vindice. And, I look forward to supporting Bob Marshall for anything in Virginia. He did a great job. He is a great, bold Conservative. Look forward to his future service and leadership in Virginia.

  2. Lars W said on 1 Jun 2008 at 2:45 am:
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    Political consultants should beware. People are fed up and just want a guy who says what he means and means what he says. In an era of UTube there can’t be anymore glazed over, spoon fed BS.

    A candidate who is genuine and believes what he says down to his core will flourish in times like these.

  3. J. Tyler Ballance said on 1 Jun 2008 at 2:20 pm:
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    “In an era of UTube there can’t be anymore glazed over, spoon fed BS.”

    Well, Gilmore is the nominee, so we aren’t there just yet.

    But, to all of the freedom loving citizens who did sojourn to the Convention, you did witness the Republican “old guard” political apparatus in its last effort to retain control.

    I am hopeful that Jeff Frederick will help recruit more candidates who are committed to LIBERTY and dedicated to returning our government BACK to within its Constitutional limits. I encourage all of our citizens to seek good men who have demonstrated that they are dedicated to ENHANCING our freedoms and urge those men to run for elected office.

    During the Convention and indeed every day, I have met remarkably talented, honest and sincere gentlemen who would be superb candidates. We should always encourage such men to serve as our representatives in government.

    So, help Jeff Frederick to rebuild our Virginia Republican Party. Recruit honest, principled men who are dedicated to LIBERTY and our Constitution to serve as Party members, Precinct Captains, County/City Chairmen, Election Officials and as candidates.

    We are at a pivotal point in our Nation’s existence. We need to restore government that will be dedicated to doing things for us, rather than doing things to us.

  4. G Man said on 2 Jun 2008 at 7:37 am:
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    I don’t think we have seen the last of Bob Marshall in a state-wide campaign. In a limited 5 month campaign and with a small amount of contributions he showed he can be a formitable candidate and has developed a strong conservative base. If for example Webb is selected as Obama’s VP, Marshall may run for that seat.

  5. John Light said on 2 Jun 2008 at 4:26 pm:
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    Is it true that Bob Marshall said that Pro-Lifers will NOT vote (or go door to door) for Jim Gilmore? If so, will that comment hurt Democrats from attacking Jim, or help Jim in liberal leaning Northern VA?

  6. Greg L said on 2 Jun 2008 at 4:54 pm:
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    I’m not aware of any such comments, nor do I think pro-life advocates will withhold support from Gilmore. I can’t see them flocking in droves to do so as they would have with Marshall, but I have no doubt many will.

    Gilmore is a good guy, and a good candidate, but I just don’t find myself as passionate about his candidacy as I would have been for Marshall. Gilmore will get my vote and support without a doubt. But Marshall would have made the 2008 elections something really worth getting deeply involved in. As a result, I don’t find myself all that excited about who’s going to be on the ballot. There are good folks there, but nobody who would inspire me to go to the wall for.

    Maybe I’ll do something for the 11th CD. Fimian is really someone you can get excited about.

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