Glenn Youngkin still doesn’t seem to get it. For some reason, he’s still playing coy on questions about a possible 2024 Republican presidential run, when it’s obvious that he’s all but done.
“Virginians hired me to do a job, and I so am enjoying doing it,” Youngkin told NBC News in an interview on Wednesday. “I feel every day that that there’s folks who are counting on us, and I’m looking forward to delivering for them.”
This was Youngkin answering a question about whether or not he’s running.
It’s clear he doesn’t realize he’s done, his fate sealed when Aaron Rouse, a former Virginia Tech football player and member of the Virginia Beach City Council, flipped the Seventh Senate District seat in a special election held on Tuesday, giving Democrats a 22-18 representation edge in the State Senate.
Youngkin is now going to be reduced to having to negotiate to get his top two legislative priorities – a $1 billion tax cut and a 15-week abortion ban – through the General Assembly this year.
The tax cut, in some form, may happen; the abortion ban ain’t happenin’.
Youngkin has been exploring a presidential run almost from the moment that he pulled the upset in the 2021 gubernatorial election, which had him defeating the Democratic nominee, centrist retread Terry McAuliffe, by 63,000 votes.
To that end, Youngkin spent a good bit of time on the campaign trail in the 2022 midterms stumping for Republican candidates, with mixed results.
He’s going to be wishing for mixed results given what he’s facing in the upcoming General Assembly session.
Previous Virginia governors, namely Democrats Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, were able to get things done while having to work with the rival political party in control of the state legislature, and both were then able to use that as political capital to get elected to the U.S. Senate when their single terms as governor were over.
But Warner and Kaine, to reiterate, are Democrats.
Republican primary voters aren’t as keen on those who work with the folks on the other side of the aisle.
President is out for Youngkin. It remains to be seen if he can follow the Warner and Kaine examples, get things done, and maybe use that record to make a run at a Senate seat down the road.
He’d have to do so as a moderate, though, as he did in the 2021 cycle.
Aside from his push for the 15-week abortion ban, a sop to the far right with 2024 in mind, he says the right things to have a future in Virginia.
“I think our job as Republicans is to continue to demonstrate that there’s room in our party for everyone,” Youngkin told NBC in the Wednesday interview. “We do believe in low taxes, and small business, and strong defense, and standing up for law enforcement. And by the way, educational excellence. We should be the party of education. I think that’s what we prove in Virginia.”