Governor Youngkin was the keynote speaker at the Nebraska GOP convention, where he described his win in the “dark blue” state as the beginning of a “red wave” that he suspects will sweep across the United States and land in “Nancy Pelosi’s California.”
NEW: Virginia Gov. @GlennYoungkin will deliver the keynote address at the 2022 Nebraska Republican Party State Convention as we celebrate Life and Liberty!
— NEGOP (@NEGOP) June 21, 2022
Youngkin said the political tide started to shift in Virginia during the COVID-19 pandemic because Democratic leaders had shut down local small businesses and schools.
The school closures gave parents a glimpse into their children’s education that they had not seen before, said Youngkin, whose campaign tapped into culture war battles over schools and race such as the debate over critical race theory. On Saturday, he raised those issues again, claiming Virginia public schools were teaching “politics” and telling students to judge others based on the color of their skin.
Youngkin said a big reason why he won his election is that he drew support from Democrats and independents who had never voted Republican before, including members of the Black and Latino communities. He said Virginians also felt confident in the 2021 election security because thousands of volunteers showed up at the polls to work and supervise the voting areas.
Youngkin’s speech in Nebraska is the Governor’s first out of state speech as part of a new initiative, where he started both a state and national political action committee to help elect candidates up and down the ballot in November. One of those PACs has already raised more than $2.6 million, thanks to Youngkin’s judicious courting of national megadonors.
Fox news seems to believe the it is due to Youngkin fliting with the idea of a Presidential run, given Nebraska’s proximity and overlapping media market with Iowa, the first state to hold a contest in the presidential primaries.
“Going to Nebraska is as close as going to Iowa without actually stepping foot in the state,” said Brendan Steinhauser, a Republican consultant who has run several high-profile campaigns. “It’s hard to know for sure his motivation, but it seems like he’s at least exploring or heavily flirting with the idea of a run.”
Youngkin’s political team denies that there is any self-serving political reason for the trip and claim his keynote address at the convention is nothing more than a favor for Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, who also serves as chairman of the Republican Governors Association. Some, however are still calling his national campaigning something to keep an eye on, as it might be signaling something more.
“It will be worth keeping a closer eye on Youngkin as he begins to lift his national profile,” Washington Post columnist Karen Tumulty wrote. “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.”