NO ONE Expects the Wayne Gilchrest Endorsement!


Maryland Republican Rep. Wayne Gilchrest, defeated in a three-way primary for re-election this year, is backing Barack Obama.

Justifying his endorsement of Obama, Gilchrest said that "we can't use four more years of the same kind of policy that's somewhat haphazard, which leads to recklessness. "Obama and his running mate, Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), "have the breadth of experience. I think they're prudent. They're knowledgable."

I'm not too surprised, based on what Gilchrest told me in 2007, referring to McCain and firey former POW Rep. Sam Johnson.

I respect both of those guys. But they flew airplanes. They were in prison camps. They weren't on the ground, fighting with the South Vietnamese army, or on the ground every day in 120 degree heat, or in driving rainstorms day after day after day, in the swamps, in the rivers, in the jungles. I respect them immensely but they have different perspective from someone who saw combat on the ground. Both those poor souls were tortured. My view is that of a grunt.

Slightly more surprising–but only slightly–is an Obama endorsement from former Los Angeles GOP Mayor Dick Riordan.

Riordan criticized GOP presidential nominee John McCain's past support for financial deregulation, saying it helped trigger the mortgage crisis and subsequent economic downturn. "There's nothing in his background that shows he's a person who can understand these complicated economic issues, or shows that he is entrepreneurial enough to bring about change."

Riordan and McCain haven't gotten along for years, though. And none of this is quite so stupid as the McCain endorsement of Hillary Clinton fundraiser/pearl necklace collector Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, whom I must believe un-endorsed the Democrats as part of a devious plan to make the GOP look bad. (What endorsement would be more worthless in a week like this than the snooty kudos of a Rothschild heiress?)

The big surprise is how many of these dogs aren't hunting. You've got a liberal black Democratic candidate who's concentrated poison in some Southern districts, a grumpy Republican whom half of his party has hated at one time or another, and two third-party candidates who used to serve in Congress. And yet the party structure is basically intact. The only sitting members of Congress who've endorsed the other party's candidates are Joe Lieberman and Wayne Gilchrest.