The last we heard from Ed Gillespie, the Republican Senate nominee was pulling his ads off television for lack of money in a tacit concession to the favored Democratic incumbent, Mark Warner.
But now it seems the former Republican National Committee chairman was merely marshaling his resources for a big final play: Defending the Washington Redskins and their increasingly divisive nickname. With the Redskins playing the Cowboys in a key intra-division matchup, Gillespie ran an ad on Monday Night Football knocking Warner for not standing up for the team against a proposal from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid aimed at forcing the NFL to strip Washington of its moniker.
Trailing by double digits in most polls, Gillespie figured that if he had to throw a Hail Mary, he might as well make it about football. But while the debate about the Redskins has become contentious inside the Beltway, it hasn't played a large role in the Senate race, and Warner doesn't give him much to attack. After all, it's not like Warner denounced the team or showed up at a protest outside the stadium; like most politicians, he merely dodged questions about a proposal that, despite the majority leader's support, isn't likely to go anywhere in the Senate and pales in importance to most of the other issues dominating the national debate.