The case against Glenn Youngkin, the Governor-Elect of Virginia: he didn’t denounce Trump. The case for: he didn’t denounce Trump. I would make the latter case. Perhaps a strange position for me; I certainly didn’t support Donald J Trump.
Candidates for the future have to get to the future. Republican candidates who denounce Trump, for the predictable future, will be footnotes. Trump’s populist edge still cuts.
Youngkin is the kind of candidate that can help rebuild the Republican Party, a personality cult Party is weak. His Wikipedia profile does not start with election to some political office. And, he has not, as have so many Republican office holders, felt a need to lavish praise on Trump. While not denouncing him, he kept him at arm’s length.
And unlike former Governor Terry McAuliffe he campaigned on Virginia issues. McAuliffe, forgetting that the Republican Party is the conservative one, not simply the one former Democrat Trump affixed his name to, condescended. He essentially told Virginians that you should trust me because the other guy is in Trump’s pocket.
In my experience most races for Governor turn on state not national issues. McAuliffe, failing to nationalize the campaign lost. Virginians, like Marylanders when they turned to Republican Larry Hogan, will get a more representative government. States that are dominated by a single Party get less and less representative government. Hoorah for two-party governance.
Glenn Youngkin succeeded in business and his first outing as a candidate was a good one. Now, can he be a successful Governor? Given his meteoric beginning, if he is successful his appeal will be nationalized. Best, however, that his focus stay at home.
Al Sikes is the former Chair of the Federal Communications Commission under George H.W. Bush. Al writes on themes from his book, Culture Leads Leaders Follow published by Koehler Books.