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Washington Post columnist Karen Tumulty made the case that Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin “or someone like him” “must” run for president in 2024.
In a piece published Sunday, Tumulty celebrated recent reporting that alleged Youngkin had met with GOP megadonors in New York, calling the signals of a 2024 bid “good news.”
“There are plenty of Democrats who believe the man who campaigned as a sunny suburban dad in a zippered vest is really a Trump in fleece clothing. But Virginia — which was trending blue until his victory — is clearly warming up to Youngkin. His poll numbers have turned positive, and disapproval has shown a significant drop,” Tumulty wrote.
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She continued, “The reason I’d like to see him — or someone like him — make a serious run for president has more to do with an existential crisis that faces our democracy. It is crucial that this country have a healthy two-party system. Someone must test the proposition that there are still enough sane Republicans out there to create a path to the nomination for a candidate who offers himself as an alternative, rather than an amplification, of the worst aspects of Trumpism.”
The Post deputy editorial page editor sounded the alarm on rumors that former President Trump is set to announce his bid for the White House and took a swipe at “Trump wannabes,” specifically naming Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, as those who would replicate what she suggests were the consequences of the Trump presidency.
“Youngkin, it should be noted, has played close to the Trumpian line in some areas, and sometimes crossed it. But his has been a balancing act,” Tumulty wrote. “He put ‘election integrity’ at the top of his priorities during his campaign, but also acknowledged Biden’s 2020 victory and called the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection ‘a real blight on our democracy.’ His first executive order banned teaching ‘inherently divisive concepts, including critical race theory,’ in K-12 public education, but he criticized his health commissioner, Colin Greene, for dismissing structural racism as a reason for poor Black maternal health.”
Tumulty also highlighted Youngkin’s stance on abortion, which is in a favor of a 15-week ban with exceptions though he would sign a bill limiting a 20-week ban into law, acknowledging he’s “pro-life” but is “very, very aware of Virginia,” stressing to Washington Post readers “that would allow the vast majority of abortions to continue to be performed in Virginia as they are today.”
“It will be worth keeping a closer eye on Youngkin as he begins to lift his national profile,” Tumulty suggested. “Republicans have won the popular vote in only one presidential election since 1988. He may not be the guy to end that drought. But it is past time for them to find someone who is.
Youngkin shocked the political landscape last year by upsetting former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe in the commonwealth that was widely seen as trending blue.
The Washington Post editorial board, however, vehemently opposed his candidacy, declaring that he “has failed the test of character,” knocking the Republican for not adequately voicing the legitimacy of President Biden’s election victory in 2020.
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“This is not an everyday campaign dispute. We might disagree with Mr. Youngkin on Medicaid expansion, say — he termed it ‘sad,’ though it extended health insurance to hundreds of thousands of Virginians who lacked it — without arguing that his stance is disqualifying,” the editorial board wrote in October 2021. “But at a moment when democracy itself is under assault, Mr. Youngkin chose to dignify a fundamental fiction that is subverting our system, rather than stand up squarely for the truth. In so doing, he proved himself unfit for office.”
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