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What About Governor Gilmore, Sandy? He May Have Done Better Than Expected…

I watched the First GOP Debate and I must say:  I long for the old Ron Paul days.  I even watched some Ron Paul debate videos before the big event (I missed the event with my candidate, Jim Gilmore, in it)

I did do some looking up about Gilmore and found some info.

Yes, it appears former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina won the first debate as far as expectations were concerned.  And I must say I would like to see Fiorina against the ten that were in the first debate.  I would like to see her do better.  I could have supported her if Gilmore did not make the race.

But this neat Google search trend chart shows the Virginia governor in third place among most searched by 624 pm.  (hat tip to 538Live)  Only Fiorina and SC Senator Lindsay Graham did better.  And Graham (Lord willing!) isn’t going anywhere.

Here’s the transcript of the first debate courtesy of the Washington Post.  Here’s Gilmore’s remarks to start out:

From one side of the stage, the other — the other, Governor Jim Gilmore.

You were the last person on stage to declare your candidacy. You ran for the White House once and lost. You ran for the Senate one time and lost. You haven’t held public office in 13 years.

Similar question, is it time for new blood?

GILMORE: I think the times are different now. I think the times are much more serious.

Because Obama and Clinton policies, the United States is moving further and further into a decline. I want to reverse that decline. That’s why I’ve entered this race, and I think I have the experience to do it.

Former elected prosecutor, attorney general, governor, I was elected to all of those offices.

A person who, in fact, has a long experience in foreign-policy issues, which is different from many of the other governors and prospective governors who are running. I was an Army intelligence agent and a veteran during the Cold War, assigned to West Germany.

I was the chairman of the National Commission on Homeland Security and Terrorism for the United States for five years. I was a person who has dealt extensively with these homeland security issues. I was a governor during the 9/11 attack.

I understand both of these issues, how to build the economy and doing that as a governor who’d built jobs, had cut taxes and also a governor who understands foreign-policy, and that’s why I entered this race.

Not a bad start.  I might have played up more the elected offices.  Maybe this tack:

“Let me start with introducing myself to the American people.  I was elected first a Commonwealth’s Attorney – most of you would say District Attorney – in suburban Richmond, Virginia.  Then I was elected statewide in Virginia twice – first Attorney General and then Governor.  I then served on two key commissions [state their names] that dealt with the taxation of Internet commerce and national security/fighting terrorism.”

“We need a President who can deal with the Three T’s:  Taxation, fighting Terrorism, and Technology.  Maybe people should look for experienced leadership that has not been part of what is wrong with DC today.”

“I was the first state governor to propose a state cabinet-level Secretary of Technology.  Now I do not think we need a Secretary of Technology at the Federal level but we do need a President who can and will embrace what is right about new technology and also knows it’s dangers – especially to liberty.”

“People might not know me very well.  Some laugh at my campaign.  But I graduated from the University of Virginia Law School – the law school from Jefferson’s college – and I was not accepted initially.  I was accepted to the University of Richmond – fine school by the way – but I was not in class the first day – I was in the dean’s office at UVA and they had an unexpected vacancy – and that is how I got into UVA.  You need a President who will have determination until victory is won – on the great issues of the day.”

I would have mentioned how my commission on Internet taxation recommended the successful moratorium on sales taxation and any benefits of the terrorism commission.

I also thought the paragraph about the need to warn the American people about the very real possibility of a long war with ISIS and Islamic terrorism sounded very Presidential:

And I’m going to tell you this, we need to use the benefit of our law enforcement people across this country, combined with our intelligence people across this country. We need to use our technological advantages, because what we’ve warned of is an international guerrilla movement that threatens this country. It’s going to happen in this country, there are going to be further attacks.

We have to be prepared to defend the American people, prepare them for a long war, stand up for the defense of this country, and stand up for the values of this country…

Done very well.  Now I would also add – we do not have to fight ISIS like we did in Iraq.  Get a coalition together.  Provide support.  As the governor did here:

Our job has to be to recognize the conflict between the two. I have proposed there be a Middle East NATO so that we can combine our allies there to stand up to Iranian expansion, and at the same time join together to begin to stop and this ISIL thing before it becomes an actual state.

I might have said it differently but this is exactly right.  Consider a call for some sort of war crimes trials (yes I know it’s a concession but maybe we can do it using the existing legal systems of the nations where the crimes occurred) for the terrible acts by ISIS.  I would also consider discussing the issue of technology and liberty.  How to balance security against 1984.

The next thing was taxation, growth and regulations and the governor nailed it:

I’ve had the growth code (ph) there for about five years, and it’s this specific program. We’re going to do a tax cut for all Americans. We’re going to have a three-bracket tax code, 10, 15 and 25 percent. We’re going to combine all commercial activity in business into one place in the tax code and charge it 15 percent, which is going to suddenly make us competitive with the rest of the world. And we’re going to eliminate the death tax.

GILMORE: With a couple of additional tweaks, we know what this will do. It will cause the economy to grow, to explode, to create more jobs. And first of all, we’ve got to recognize that there is problem that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have caused. And that problem is too big regulations like the EPA, too much new taxes on business that we have seen and “Obamacare.” These are drags on the economy, it’s a deliberate drag. I propose to reverse that and get this economy moving again.

A President can control the regulatory apparatus to a great extent. This President showed that.  Governor Gilmore can do it.

I also thought the Virginia Governor nailed it again here on the appointment of judges:

GILMORE: Well, as you know, I’m a former elected prosecutor, a former elected attorney general, trained at the University of Virginia in constitutional law, and I don’t believe in litmus tests except this.

I believe we should be appointing Supreme Court justices who will follow the law and not try to make the law. Now, the challenge we’re seeing today is that the Supreme Court is being converted into some type of political body.

They have to have some legal basis and precedence for being able to follow the law instead of making the law up, and my goal is — in appointing Supreme Court justices, would be to point — to appoint justices who would follow the law.

Gilmore was not done yet:  He said he’d examine every executive order of the past (especially this President) “…because the president shouldn’t be legislating: not through that vehicle or any other. We should be relying upon the leadership of the Congress to pass the laws.”  Exactly right.

His conclusion is solid:

GILMORE: Well, I was a conservative governor of Virginia, I governed that way, and that’s my track record. But the key thing that we’re seeing now is serious challenges to this country that must change, the direction of this nation must change. And that’s why I’ve offered a specific program to the people of America tonight to address the fundamental problem of getting our country growing again, getting our economy growing, wages up, opportunities for people.

And second, the international crisis we are facing is most dreadful and most dangerous. I have the experience as a prosecutor, attorney general, governor, United States Army intelligence veteran, governor during the 9/11 attack, chairman of the Terrorism Commission for this country. It’s time for real substance and real experience.

And that’s what I’ll offer to the people of the United States in this candidacy for the presidency.

Now if say, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker had said this in the later debate, it might have been a turning point.  I am encouraged that Gilmore got some serious Google search.  I am not on the Gilmore team and I am not sure I would be helpful.  But I would play the Three Ts and build a strong platform around it.  Use the UVA story.  Governor during 9/11.  (See if Giuliani would help or even endorse!)

Governor Jim Gilmore is a serious candidate and has serious ideas.  He is not tied to Bush or Obama.  I am for Jim Gilmore until and unless he either wins the election or drops out.




About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

2 Responses to “What About Governor Gilmore, Sandy? He May Have Done Better Than Expected…”

  1. Eli says:

    On Gilmore’s comments concerning the SCOTUS: It’s not a platform from which to run-

    Reagan got it WRONG appointing Justice Anthony Kennedy and Bush got it WRONG appointing John Roberts-to SCOTUS.

    Just because a presidential candidate doesn’t like legislating Supreme Court Justices doesn’t mean he can make a difference. US SENATE CONFIRMATIONS.


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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