The Politico reports that Jim Gilmore is saying that the GOP Presidential race needs a real conservative, and he is it. If you read blogs with any regularity, you know that. He's been saying it for months. He's even received some attention for saying it. But right now, no one is listening - since Fred Thompson has freezed that part of the race:
Republican primary voters need to rally around an authentic conservative presidential candidate before the 2008 nomination is claimed by an ideological imposter, former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore told The Politico Wednesday.
The situation is so dire, Gilmore said, that his home state is in danger of falling to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York or another liberal Democrat in the 2008 election if Republicans don't offer a candidate with the proper conservative message.
Gilmore spoke to Politico editors and reporters in the first of a series of sessions with Republican candidates in advance of the May 3 GOP Presidential Candidates Debate. The event is being hosted by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in conjunction with MSNBC and Politico.com.
Ten candidates have accepted invitations to participate in the debate, the first of the cycle for Republican presidential candidates. It will air exclusively on cable's MSNBC, with full coverage on MSNBC.com. The Politico will stream the debate live on Politico.com, providing an exclusive and unprecedented opportunity for viewers to ask and vote on questions via the Internet.
Last year at this time, George Allen had already built a nice following of folks who were eagerly looking forward to his Presidential run. It's interesting that a traditional, conservative Virginia Governor has been unable to inherit the mantle formerly held by the traditional, conservative Virginia Senator. It's interesting, but ultimately the point is moot.
As long as Fred Thompson is flirting with a candidacy - and for a little while after - there won't be any room for other 'Reagan conservatives' to make headway. As long as Thompson can handle the questions that have popped up about his views on abortion, he'll fill that open slot. Candidates like Gilmore (and Duncan Hunter, and Tommy Thompson) will have to bide their time and find a chink in Thompson's armor. Only after primary voters see a flaw in him (or he declares that he won't run), will they be able to make headway.