Well, well. Look at what the Sunday Times Argus brought me.
Former Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas has endorsed Republican John Kasich for president.
Wow. That’s… uh… that’s… useless.
How useless? Douglas issued his endorsement on Tuesday. As far as I can tell, the Times Argus was the first* media outlet to even mention it.Five days later.
*Update: Seven Days’ Paul Heintz reported the endorsement in a longer piece last Wednesday about preparations for the state Republican convention.
That’s how you move the needle, folks.
Douglas’ endorsement came the day after the New York primary results put yet another nail in Kasich’s coffin. Which begs the only interesting question about this:
Why now? And why not before, when it might possibly have made a little bit of difference?
It’s far too late for a Kasich endorsement — by an ex-governor who’s been out of politics for six years in a state that had its primary almost two months ago — to matter.
Now, if Jim had taken the plunge before the Vermont primary, it might have meant something. But as you may recall, our primary came during the last gasp of the Marco Rubio boomlet. And after many leading Vermont Republicans openly played footsie with Kasich, a whole lot of them (including Phil Scott) came out for Rubio. (By the way, has Phil ever un-endorsed Marco?)
Their wisdom, or lack thereof, was proven in the results: Donald Trump won a two-point victory over Kasich. If those VTGOPers had stuck with Kasich, he probably would have finished first. Instead, that brace of endorsements only served to split the anti-Trump vote.
Jim Douglas sat out the pre-primary endorse-fest (and didn’t appear at either of Kasich’s pre-primary Town Halls) for reasons known only to himself. So why the hell bother making an endorsement now?
I don’t know. Maybe Douglas wants to be able to claim he bears no responsibility for the cratering of the Republican Party in 2016. Maybe he just had some spare time and a piece of stationery suitable for a press release.
Doesn’t matter. Jim Douglas is a useful figurehead for the VTGOP, nothing more. The glory days are long gone, and never to return.