If you’re like us, you spend at least a few minutes every day thinking “What’s good ol’ Jim up to these days?” Jim being, of course, former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore, the visionary leader who won the commonwealth’s highest office by promising to eliminate Virginia’s much-hated car tax. While governor, as everyone knows, he not only phased out the car tax (blowing up the budget in the process), but also signed a bill banning so-called “partial-birth” abortion and, um, saved us all from the horrors of human cloning.
Anyway, the point is that Jim Gilmore was a very consequential and important chief executive, and the fact that his subsequent campaigns (including an abortive 2008 presidential run and a losing U.S. senate race against fellow ex-gov Mark Warner) were complete electoral fiascoes does not at all diminish his several accomplishments.
And so, as you might imagine, we were overjoyed when Gilmore broke open the door of his sarcophagus last week to announce that he, too, was throwing his hat into the 2016 presidential ring. If you’re counting (and who isn’t?) that makes him the 18th Republican to publicly intimate that he (or she — don’t forget Carly Fiorina!) would like to take up residence in the Oval Office. And as you might expect, his announcement generated a flurry of excitement not seen since former IRS commissioner Mark Everson entered the race.
Now, there is one flaw in Gilmore’s otherwise perfect plan for electoral domination. As it turns out, there’s already a former one-term Virginia politician named Jim running for president. And that guy, former U.S. senator Jim Webb, is known as a bit of a hothead. In fact, Chase Untermeyer, a former Pentagon official and author of Inside Reagan’s Navy, swears that Webb once bragged about nearly beating a man to death. Couple that with Webb’s well-known penchant for firearms (his aide was once arrested trying to smuggle one of Webb’s handguns into a Senate office building) and you have a real potential for primary campaign violence.
So here’s what we propose: Seeing as the two Jims have so much in common (including a military background, a pro-gun attitude, and a reported dislike of Hillary Clinton), why not join forces? If one Jim can generate such a huge groundswell of voter indifference, just imagine what two of them could do! And just look at the math. At the moment, both Jims are polling at less than 1 percent in their respective primaries. Put those blockbuster numbers together, and you get a whopping 2 percent. If you round up.
We can already see the bumper stickers: “JIMS FOR THE WIN!” Or perhaps “VOTE FOR JIMS, THE BROTHERS GRIM!” This is the sort of political opportunity that comes around once in a lifetime, and we strongly urge the two men to put partisan differences aside, thus setting the stage for the most unexpected triumph since Don Quixote toppled that dastardly windmill.
Wait—that is what happened, right?
Odd Dominion is an unabashedly liberal, twice-monthly op-ed column covering Virginia politics.