Former U.S. Senator Jim Webb is not the only Virginia politician exploring a possible presidential bid in 2016. Former Governor and Attorney General Jim Gilmore (also a U.S. Senate candidate in 2008) was in Iowa this weekend doing all that one expects from a potential candidate — especially seeking out opportunities to talk to national news media.
Dave Weigel of Bloomberg has the story:
Some other Republicans who were making presidential noises, without necessarily organizing real campaigns, walked from interview to interview to interview. Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore’s insta-junket was the most surreal, the return of a politician whose 2008 run ended long before the caucuses and is remembered, if at all, for him minimizing the party’s then-frontrunners by calling them “Rudy McRomney.” Gilmore, who left the presidential race for a disastrous 2008 Senate bid, got a lunchtime speaking slot and enough media requests that he could be seen ducking one as he raced to a radio stand-up. When his speech was over, he made a beeline for a group of reporters to whom he confirmed his interest in 2016 and talked about his qualifications.
“Chairman on the national commission on homeland security for terrorism, visited 18 countries as governor, on trade issues,” said Gilmore. “Visited Pakistan and Israel, too.” Asked whether his Senate bid wrecked his credibility, he said, “It certainly wasn’t helpful to be in the middle of the Obama wave campaign.” (Gilmore lost the election by 1.1 million votes while John McCain lost to Barack Obama by 234,000 votes.)
Gilmore currently heads up the Free Congress Foundation, founded by the late Paul Weyrich.