The Missing Piece?

You know how it is when you’re experimenting with a recipe and you sense one tiny ingredient might be missing? Perhaps the GOP presidential field was that way until today, when former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore became the 17th, and perhaps the last, entry (at least among those candidates with enough on-paper credentials or support to make the implicit media screen; there could be dozens of anonymous schmoes and single-issue zealots on various state ballots or FEC lists).

He had earlier indicated he would announce at some point in August, but I suspect Fox News’ decision earlier this week to waive the 1% polling support threshold for those participating in the August 6 afternoon “kiddie table” candidate forum may have lured him to accelerate his timetable.

Beats me what Gilmore brings to the table. The one big political victory of his life was way back in 1997, when he was elected governor on the monomaniacal platform of eliminating ad valorem taxes on cars (a gimmick that was widely imitated by GOPers in other states, with no great success). I don’t see that as a big national issue this year. Last time he was on the ballot anywhere was in 2008, when Mark Warner beat him about two-to-one in a Senate race.

But maybe for somebody out there Jim Gilmore is the missing piece.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.