As has been discussed on this website before Tom Gallagher is man of intense contradictions and is amazingly inconsistent. Yesterday, according to the St Petersburg Times Gallagher unveiled a six member campaign team that is very compotent and unbecoming of a candidate so closely alligned with the right wing viewpoint of people like Rev. James Kennedy and James Dobson. I have a high level of respect for each of Gallgher's six choices, and it makes wonder and perhaps hope that Tom Gallagher really hasn't changed, and he's still the responsible moderate Republican he once was.
First off, Gallagher is a new found advocate of the Christian Right's agenda. Yet in 1997 when one of his Campaign co-Chairs Tom Slade ran for Chairman of the Republican National Committee on a platform of de-emphasizing divisive social issues and taking Republican success in Florida, based largely on economic issues nationally, Ralph Reed, Pat Robertson and Gary Bauer strongly opposed his candidacy. Slade was defeated despite support from the Bush clan, and the GOP chair became Jim Nicholson who was a water boy for Ralph Reed and his allies. I'm quite frankly surprised that Slade is backing Gallagher, and even more surprised Gallagher wants Slade's support so openly considering the rhetoric of his campaign kickoff.
Secondly Gallagher has named Al Cardenes, and Congresswoman Illeana Ros Lehtinen as co-chairs. Both are excellent choices. However, in 1994 during his last race for Governor Gallagher stated in a televised debate that he supported President Bill Clinton's efforts to restrict immigration from Cuba. This is a postion both Cardenes and Ros-Lehtinen opposed in the strongest possible fashion at the time.
Thirdly, Gallagher the new found populist has named three prominent statewide Republicans, who all former elected officials and current lobbyists as his co-chairs- Former House Speaker Jon Thrasher, Former Secretary of State Jim Smith, and Former Legislative Republican Leader Van Poole.
I like Gallagher's choices, but find a very hard time reconciling his co-chairs all which hail from either the moderate or Governing wing of the GOP with the lofty rhetoric and red meat of his campaign announcement.
Perhaps Gallgher's kickoff already boomerang and he's busy trying to run back to the middle? Or perhaps Gallagher is considering one of the six individuals for L.G. should he get that far? Who knows anymore with Tom Gallagher?
Providing Unique Commentary and Insight into Politics, History and Society since 2005
- I am the host of the Major League Soccer Talk and EPL Talk Podcasts and am frequent guest on other (world) football shows. I am also the publisher of various other websites including this one. I work in public/government relations in addition to my soccer work and have a keen interest in history, politics, aviation, travel,and the world around us.