Memos From Matt


To: Laura Vozzella, Correspondent, Washington Post 

From: One extremely annoyed political commentator, Matt Colt Hall

RE: Get some journalistic integrity somewhere and quit quoting anonymous sources.

Last week, Laura Vozzella of the Washington Post did her best to try to tear down Republican nominee for Attorney General John Adams; during the primary, Senator Jill Vogel was a focus. This week, Laura set her sights on Republican nominee for Governor Ed Gillespie. 

In her article, Vozzella cited as many anonymous sources as she could find in Washington and in Richmond. Our friend Justin Higgins did a fantastic job of pointing out how many times she relied on anonymous sources. It wasn’t just one secret source, or two, or even five. SIXTEEN ANONYMOUS SOURCES!   Sixteen people who don’t even seem to have any major role or qualifications anywhere, except that they are “Republicans” who are happy to chat with the Post with complaints about the Gillespie campaign.

Simply put, this is pathetic. The Washington Post should be absolutely ashamed of itself. I expect better journalistic integrity from Laura Vozzella and The Washington Post. This article only serves to tear the Republican Party apart. This re-illustrates my point from last week that Ralph Northam, Justin Fairfax, and Mark Herring are so lazy about campaigning they get the Washington Post to do their dirty work for them.


To: Anonymous Sources

From: One very annoyed political observer, Matt Colt Hall

RE:  Stand by your name

If you have something to say, stand up and say it. I will be the first to admit that I think Ed Gillespie was too conservative with money and resources in the primary. But the difference is that I would say that to any member of the Gillespie campaign. I would say that to Ed himself.  So grow up. If you have concerns, be willing to say them and stand by them, and not be a political coward hiding under the name “anonymous source.”


T0: The White House, President Trump, and all affected parties

From: One very annoyed political observer, Matt Colt Hall

RE: Leave us alone

I hope that someone in the White House Office of Political Affairs reads this. I really do. I say this with all the kindness and southern charm in my heart. Please — leave the Virginia gubernatorial campaign alone.

According to the Washington Post’s haphazard reporting, you want to help. I get that you want to be involved because Virginia is a prestigious Commonwealth, but let’s be clear. Donald Trump lost the state of Virginia by 5.4 percentage points. The president lost the popular vote in Virginia by over 200,000 votes.

I get that you won tough states like Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. President Trump may or may not have won with the help of Russian hackers or the fact that the Democrats ran the worst ticket for President since McGovern/Eagleton ’72 (fun fact, Eagleton was only on the ticket for like a month).

But for the name that all that is holy, please do Virginia a favor. Leave us alone.


TO: Corey Stewart, his supporters, and all other affected parties.

From:  Matt Colt Hall

RE: We’ve said it before but we’ll say it again — please shut up.

Corey, Corey, Corey….. As my dear mother would say, talking to you is about as good as talking to a fencepost. It won’t do any good to try to talk some sense into you, so we are going to call a spade a spade.

You are now a candidate who has lost a statewide election –not just once but twice. I’m terribly sorry, I know you want to be in higher elected office to satisfy that political ego you have that’s the size of the state of Texas, but please, keep your opinions about Ed Gillespie to yourself.

My colleagues Jim Hoeft and Brian Schoeneman have recommended that you shut up. Better yet, you should follow the Pete Snyder motto and be the loyal soldier.

Corey, this should be you. All day, every day. Put your petty interests and your ego to bed. Why, you ask? Four more years of Democrats running the state of Virginia could destroy the Virginia economy. We need you, and your supporters to get in line and be the gracious soldiers for the Republican Party. I know that’s hard; it was hard for me to stand with the party last year. But I did. You also need to. Now is the time to unite. Now is the time to stand together. For the sake of the Commonwealth, be quiet.


To: Ed Gillespie, Gillespie For Virginia Campaign, other affected parties

From: Your Dear Friend and loyal supporter since Day 1, Roanoke Valley Young Republicans Chairman, & Bearing Drift Senior Contributor, Matt Colt Hall

RE: Don’t take advice from Corey Stewart, Laura Vozzella, The White House, and especially don’t take advice from anonymous sources.

Let me begin with a famous phrase in Latin “Illegitimi non carborundum.”

Don’t let the bastards get you down.

Look Ed (and I hope that Ed Gillespie himself reads this), I know it’s tough right now. The whole world seems to be against you. The leftist media and Corey Stewart will not keep their mouths shut for two seconds, and the armchair quarterbacks continue to lecture you about what you should do in your campaign.

I’m going to give you a good piece of advice.

Be yourself.

It’s just that simple! Be yourself. You are doing a great job striking policy contrasts between yourself and the Democratic ticket. The fireworks proposal over the July Fourth holiday was great. Your plan to fight opioid addiction is fantastic. KEEP BEING YOU.

Remember this fact: there are thousands of Virginians that went to vote for you in the primary and thousands more will vote for you in the general if you keep your nose to the grindstone. Keep hammering out policy differences, keep working with your fantastic running mates, and keep being yourself. Let us political commentators work to find the truth; you just keep getting your positive message to all Virginians.

It is my hope that these memos that I have drafted get to where they need to go. I needed to say my piece and get on with my life. I hope that all affected parties take their advice to heart.

  • Turbocohen

    Jim, Remind me why this guy blogs here..

  • Stephen Spiker

    Now now, Matt, I’m sure the Post will vigorously seek anonymous Democrats to tear down Ralph Northam in a complementary article any day now…

    • MD Russ

      Yep, when pigs fly.

  • Chad Parker

    Given the primary turnout, Ed is in trouble come November. He needs to excite people. I got bored during his victory speech. . .he’s got amazing ideas, but lacks excitement. And SWVA ain’t gonna care about wonkish details.

    It’s a simple formula: excitement + anti-McAuliffe = turnout = win

    And I think the campaign gets that, but I’m not sure if his CM is the right person to lead the effort. I assume that in his still young millennial mind, the fireworks debacle was supposed to excite people, get Ed’s name out there. But it didn’t. It flopped. And it pissed some people off.

    Ed doesn’t need gags and shortcuts and tricks. He needs steady, consistent messaging and a charismatic makeover. And it’s going to take someone with more experience with winning tough campaigns to get it done. Where’s McDonnell’s CM?

    My advice to Ed: reorganize while you can still sell it as a primary-to-general reorg. Make the CM a deputy. Find someone with the right experience.

    • Lawrence Wood

      Stewart isn’t going to kill Ed’s instate vote count, Corey’s primary supporters aren’t going to tune out Ed’s boring recitations and desert him election day, left wing media isn’t going to lie Ed out of the governorship with anonymous quotes and posts, Ed Gillespie is simply a Virginia political candidate of the past running in a post Trump political future that acts and sounds like a modern day Rip Van Winkle, out of sync with time and political events.

      In many ways you might feel sorry for him and his admirable work ethic and honest ambitions that are just misaligned to the political scene of today. He simply missed his window by a decade or so, The state party elite can rerun him as many times as they can squeeze him through a non majority primary win process and this reality will remain intact.

      He is the past and the state’s voters and the state’s demographics just do not align any longer with Ed Gillespie and his many transparent makeover attempts. Because you wish that were not the case isn’t going to simply make it that way and I’m doubtful that any campaign manager or new marketing approach will compensate for the tide of voter history that Ed has just missed.

      • Stephen Spiker

        Just so I’m clear, the guy who lost by a razor-thin margin against Mark f’n Warner the most recent time Virginia had a statewide election is “the past”… and a 14-year elected official running for statewide office the 3rd time in 5 years is “the future”?

        • Lawrence Wood

          We will see but the Warner race as an indicator of anything present might as well have been in the “far” distance past. Things have shifted rather radically among the Virginia base you don’t seem to agree with that contention but I do. We will see who is correct and who is living in the fog post Nov 7th. But one thing I am sure of it won’t be anything like you could take away from the Warner Senate race.

      • FrankUnderwoodSr

        I listened to Ed Gillespie’s stump speech just a few days ago, and it was very good. It was updated quite a lot with the most recent state growth numbers showing that Virginia has the lowest growth of any state on the east coast, including all those blue states to the north of us, (except Delaware with it’s tiny population less than Fairfax county). And he did a great job tying that disastrous situation to policies that Northam pushed hard as LG. He made a hard hitting direct contrast between his approach and Northam’s. It was all about jobs, growth, and freedom; stuff voters care about. The small audience there ate it up. I think he is on the right track.

  • Chad Davis

    I agree that the Washington Post is the true public relations wing for the Democratic Party of Virginia (and the DNC), but I would not sideline President Trump this election. I would use him more strategically in Southwestern or Outer exurb VA, where we need a bigger base turnout.

    Lt. Gov. Northam will likely be using President Clinton (who also never won Virginia) and President Obama on the stump. The Virginia GOP doesn’t really have the star power to match them. President Bush (43) seems to show little interest in politics anymore. Gov. McDonnell is tainted, even if his conviction was overturned by a unanimous Supreme Court decision. Senator Allen and Governor Gilmore have both lost within the last 10 years. Senator John Warner is basically a Democrat now, and I will not be surprised one bit if he endorses Northam. So we need somebody big from the GOP side to help Ed Gillespie and Trump seems like the best bet.

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