Add Him To The List: Republican Jim Gilmore Reportedly Running for President

Daniel Doherty
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Posted: Jul 08, 2015 12:30 PM
Add Him To The List: Republican Jim Gilmore Reportedly Running for President

The Associated Press reports:

Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore will announce a run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination next month.

Gilmore said in a phone interview Tuesday with The Associated Press that he plans to announce his candidacy in the first week of August.

Gilmore, who finished his one term as governor in 2002, said his record as a national security expert and a fiscal conservative will help set him apart in a crowded Republican field.

He will likely be the 17th major declared Republican candidate, most of whom have greater name recognition and better financing than Gilmore.

Therefore I have to ask: How on earth does he win the nomination? What is his niche?

If, as he says, he’s running principally on national security issues, he’s not alone. This is essentially what Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and former Gov. George Pataki (R-NY) are doing, both of whom are much more visible to the public than Gilmore is. (The former is a very active incumbent US Senator, who’s already locked up the endorsement of a former GOP presidential nominee; the latter was governor of New York State for more than a decade and during 9/11). Both are also regular panelists on Fox News and therefore have much better name recognition than the one-time governor of Virginia.

Although, in fairness, Gilmore probably does have the resume — and kinds of experiences in government — many defense hawks are looking for:

A former intelligence officer in the Army during the Cold War, Gilmore was governor during the Sept. 11 attack on the Pentagon in Northern Virginia. He also led a commission appointed by Congress in 1999 to study the threat posed to the U.S. by terrorism

With 17 prominent candidates supposedly running, however, the electoral pie is shrinking by the day. Thus, if asked why he’s running, Gilmore would presumably say it’s still early, polls mean absolutely nothing at this point, and he’s determined to campaign hard for every single vote. But my sense is that Donald Trump, who is the proverbial thorn in Republicans’ side these days, has a better chance of winning the nomination than he does.

Which begs the question: Why is he even running in the first place?