Looking at it objectively, it is a fairly good introduction to the candidate. It features large color photographs of Mr. Gillespie and his family, as well as smaller ones featuring his immigrant heritage and a black and white photo tying Senator Mark Warner to President Barack Obama. Inside, it discusses Ed Gillespie’s work ethic and his previous political experience.
However, I have to wonder who is the mailer’s target audience. Presumably it is Republican activists, those individuals who attended previous Republican conventions and those who would be likely to do so again. After all, a mailer that would be sent to all registered voters would likely be a waste of resources this far out from the general election. And, with that thought in mind, the mailer falls short.
For starters, it is important to note that Mr. Gillespie is not the Republican nominee, but rather one of four candidates seeking the office. However, the mailer seems to presuppose that the fight is Gillespie against Warner, making absolutely no mention of the Virginia Republican Convention where the decision over the nominee will be made. If you support Gillespie as a result of this mailer, will you know that you have to sign up to be a delegate to the state convention in Roanoke?
Second, the mailer offers scant information where Gillespie actually stands on the issues. He speaks against Obamacare, which is no doubt important, but rather than ending the constitutionally questionable program, he uses the troubling language of “repeal and replace” thus seeming to suggest that the federal government ought to play a considerable role in healthcare. This phrasing is disturbingly reminiscent of the 2012 Mitt Romney campaign, in which Mr. Gillespie was a senior advisor. Other ideas are listed such as: balancing the budget, cutting wasteful spending, and defending personal liberties. I realize you can only include so much on a mailer and I don’t fault them for not going into details here, but the fact that the Gillespie campaign website is also devoid of this critical information is a bit worrisome.
Yes, a mailer at this stage of the election shows that the Gillespie campaign has money and is not afraid to use it; these are two important facts Republican delegates ought to keep in mind at the convention. But, as I asked several weeks ago, where does Ed Gillespie stand on the issues, especially those that matter most to me? I still do not know.