Tuesday, November 7, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He embraced GOP gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie this morning and renounced him this evening.

Trump has been campaigning hard for Gillespie in recent weeks, and voiced a last-minute robocall this morning. He also mounted a spirited Twitter campaign, writing this morning:
Ralph Northam will allow crime to be rampant in Virginia. He’s weak on crime, weak on our GREAT VETS, Anti-Second Amendment... and has been horrible on Virginia economy. Vote @EdWGillespie today! @EdWGillespie will totally turn around the high crime and poor economic performance of VA. MS-13 and crime will be gone. Vote today, ASAP!
And within minutes of Democrat Ralph Northam being named the projected winner, Trump wrote this: "Ed Gillespie worked hard but did not embrace me or what I stand for."

It's true that Gillespie avoided appearing with Trump, whose approval rating in Virginia (43%) is not much better than it is nationally (mid-30s). But on the issues that Trump has been most vocal about--Confederate statues and the supposed threat of violent immigrant gangs--the normally moderate Gillespie practically reinvented himself to fit the Trump mold.

Why does this matter?

  • There's no shame in backing a losing candidate, but there are shameful ways to react to a loss.
  • It's bad if a president can only accept or acknowledge responsibility for good news.