Monday, October 16, 2017

The Trump/Gillespie Agenda Haunts the Virginia 2017 Elections

Ed Gillespie lies just like Trump

In much of Virginia's so-called urban crescent which, if voters turnout on election day, can thankful out vote the ignorance embracing, reactionary rural areas of the state, Donald Trump, a/k/a Der Trumpenf├╝hrer,  is viewed as nothing less than toxic.  For Ed "Enron Ed" Gillespie, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, this is a problem since the policies he is pushing make him largely a "mini me" version of Trump.  All that is lacking is boasting about sexual harassment of women.  Otherwise, the tax cuts, subtle but deliberate calls to racism and religious extremism are more or less a carbon copy of the ugliness that are Trump trade marks, with Gillespie revealing that he's just as big of liar as Trump.  If Trump "lies like a rug" as alleged by the Democrat candidate, Ralph Northam, so does Gillespie.  Of course, with his sleazy lobbying history, Gillespie has made it very clear that his interests do not lie with average Virginians and that he will lie for the highest bidder.  The contrast with Northam, a former military doctor and pediatric neurologist is stark.  A piece in the New York Times looks at how the revulsion toward Trump is impacting the 2017 Virginia elections.  Here are highlights:
Ed Gillespie, the Republican nominee for Virginia governor, deployed just about every tactical evasion he had learned from a lifetime in politics as he dodged questions about President Trump.
Mr. Trump has so overwhelmed a campaign waged by a pair of bland candidates lacking signature proposals that, much the same way he does across the Potomac, he has made himself and his incendiary style of politics the central issue.
With the president rampaging through news cycles seemingly every day, the biggest question looming before Mr. Gillespie is whether it is worth the risk of trying to harness Mr. Trump’s total-eclipse-of-the-sun attention-getting skills to rouse conservative voters.
His campaign and the Republican Governor’s Association signaled to the White House at a meeting this spring that they preferred the reliable hand of Vice President Mike Pence, who campaigned with Mr. Gillespie on Saturday, over Mr. Trump in a state where the president is loathed in the vote-rich population centers but well-liked in many rural areas.
But trailing in every public poll, Mr. Gillespie is now engaged in a robust debate with his advisers about whether he should ask the president to stump with him, according to multiple Republican officials familiar with the conversations.
But the camp urging Mr. Gillespie to keep his distance from Mr. Trump counters that it would be malpractice to embrace a polarizing president who failed to win even 30 percent of the vote in Fairfax County, the most populous jurisdiction in the state and once a suburban battleground.
As they consider their options, Gillespie supporters have an object lesson: Mr. Trump’s ill-fated rally for Senator Luther Strange in Alabama, where he could not resist veering off-message. At that rally, Mr. Trump started his feud with the N.F.L. while offering a backhanded endorsement of Mr. Strange’s rival, Roy Moore.
Then there is the president’s calculation: Would he even want to risk attaching himself to a potential loser so soon after the Alabama race, in which he felt burned, according to White House officials. West Wing advisers say Mr. Trump is willing to record automated calls for Mr. Gillespie but is not clamoring to fire up Air Force One for the trip to Roanoke.
Yet whether Mr. Trump sets foot here or not, his success at motivating voters with culturally and racially tinged appeals has worn off on Mr. Gillespie. Once one of the loudest voices in his party for an inclusive message, Mr. Gillespie is now assailing Mr. Northam over the Democrat’s opposition to a state measure that would have banned “sanctuary cities” and targeting him for supporting the removal of the state’s many Confederate statues.
The Republican chafes at questions over whether he is adopting a Trumpian message and forgoing his own advice in 2006 that Republicans should resist the “siren song” of anti-immigration rhetoric, insisting he is running as “who I am and what I believe in.”
But his advertising reflects what he thinks will actually move the electorate: He is spending the bulk of his money on commercials focused on the statues, which make no mention of his view that the South was “on the wrong side of history,” and illegal immigrants. One of his immigration ads features amply tattooed Salvadoran prisoners meant to be members of the menacing gang MS-13, a target of the president’s.
After winning his primary partly on the strength of a heavily aired commercial in which he called the president “a narcissistic maniac,” Mr. Northam, who is running to succeed Virginia’s Democratic governor, Terry McAuliffe, used the first debate of the general election to call Mr. Trump a dangerous man who also “lies like a rug.”
But at the final debate last week, held in a pro-Trump enclave of Southwest Virginia, Mr. Northam, who will campaign here this week with former President Barack Obama, made no mention of Mr. Trump.
“It’s definitely a change in tone from the primary,” said Lowell Feld, a well-read liberal Virginia blogger, while conceding that “firing up your base while not turning off others is tricky.”
But, Mr. Feld added, “Trump doesn’t make anything easy.”
If you live in Virginia, make sure you register to vote - today is the last day to do so - and be sure to vote "No" to Trump and all that he stands for by voting for Ralph Northam for Governor, Mark Herring for Attorney General, and Justin Fairfax for Lt. Governor. 

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