The Guardian's Ben Jacobs comes not to praise the Jim Gilmore GOP presidential campaign which ended last week in a cloud of pathos, but to rightfully bury it as a sloppy, embarrassing mess.
The one-term governor of Virginia ran a narcissistic, quasi-delusional campaign, under the premise that a virtual unknown last elected to state office in 1997 could somehow be elevated to the presidency.
Being a quasi-delusional narcissist is not a necessarily a flaw in American politics. No entirely normal person can devote years of their lives to the proposition that they are the most qualified person in more than 300 million to lead the free world. The odds are always long.
After all, what could have seemed more narcissistic than Rick Santorum running for the White House in 2012 after a blowout defeat for re-election to the US Senate? Or, this cycle, what could have appeared more delusional in early 2015 than Bernie Sanders’ belief that a septuagenarian socialist who had never been a Democrat could seriously challenge Hillary Clinton for that party’s nomination.
Gilmore’s sin was not an excess of ego. It was a total lack of a work ethic. He barely campaigned, he did not raise money and he had no political organization. As the Washington Post noted in September, for more than a month after declaring his candidacy he did not hold a single campaign event.
In state after state after state, his campaign missed ballot deadlines. The most press coverage he generated outside of debate appearances was when bored political reporters spearheaded a drive to get him verified on Twitter.
And yet the former governor could not be accused of being a political neophyte. He had also been Virginia attorney general and chair of the Republican National Committee. He had already mounted a presidential campaign, in 2008, a year in which Mark Warner dealt him a crushing defeat for the US Senate. He knew what he was getting himself into.
What he wasn’t doing was running for president.
It's nearly impossible to view it as anything else other than a small man with grand dreams and no real chance. At least Ben Carson has a book to sell. Gilmore didn't even have that. I'm not sure how much money he wasted, but I feel sorry for anyone who donated to the guy.
Having said that, it's the other Republicans still in the race who represent a real threat to the country.