Politics & Policy

Barbara Comstock for Congress

Rep. Barbara Comstock (official portrait)

In the worst-case scenario, Donald Trump’s sagging campaign is going to endanger the Republican majority in the House. It is imperative that conservatives — and all people of good will who don’t want to see Hillary Clinton get a blank check if she wins — rally around impressive GOP candidates in swing districts. Exhibit A is Virginia’s tenth congressional district, in the very Trump-averse Northern Virginia suburbs, where Barbara Comstock is fighting for a second term; she deserves to win.

Comstock, a Massachusetts native who once upon a time interned for Senator Ted Kennedy (an experience she says disabused her of Democratic sympathies), has spent the last 25 years working in and around government at both the state and federal levels. She is smart, principled, and tough as nails (we know this firsthand since she once served on the board of the National Review Institute). She has refused to support Trump; at the same time, her anti-Clinton bona fides are unassailable.

Prior to her election to the House two years ago, she served two terms in the Virginia House of Delegates, where she proved a tireless legislator, promoting economic policies to encourage high-tech industries and telework, crafting consumer-oriented health-care solutions, and fighting human trafficking (Northern Virginia is one of the nation’s top ten regions for teen sex trafficking). Her conservative record earned her plaudits from, among others, the National Rifle Association, the Family Foundation of Virginia, and the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, which awarded her its 2012 Free Enterprise Award.

Comstock has kept up these efforts at the federal level. She has drafted multiple bills to foster Northern Virginia’s tech boom, and two anti-human-trafficking laws that she introduced were signed into law by President Obama. She has been a dedicated foe of Obamacare, voting to repeal it (in legislation President Obama vetoed). Likewise, she has stood up to the administration on its myriad Iran duplicities, on its laissez-faire approach to vetting refugees from the Middle East, and on its dismal treatment of veterans.

The Clinton camp does not want to have to tussle with Comstock yet again — which is, perhaps, as good an endorsement as any conservative could hope for.

There is every reason to believe that Comstock will take an equally aggressive line against the excesses of a prospective Clinton administration. In fact, she’s done it before. From 1995 to 1999, Comstock was chief investigative counsel and senior counsel for the House Committee on Government Reform, known for her unyielding work ethic and her eye for easy-to-miss details. She regularly deposed and questioned high-ranking White House confidants, among them John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s current campaign chief. In 2014, former Clinton adviser Paul Begala warned: “If [Comstock] wins, she will no doubt practice the same politics of personal destruction she and her ilk practiced in the Clinton days.” In other words, the Clinton camp does not want to have to tussle with Comstock yet again — which is, perhaps, as good an endorsement as any conservative could hope for.

The road to checking a Hillary Clinton presidency, should it come to pass, goes through districts such as Barbara Comstock’s. We endorse her with enthusiasm.

The Editors — The Editors comprise the senior editorial staff of the National Review magazine and website.

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