Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell Named Chairman of The Republican National Convention Platform Committee

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell

Bookmark and Share  Every four years, in addition to nominating a President and Vice President, the quadrennial Republican National Convention is also responsible for hammering out a platform which is meant to explain what the Republican Party truly stands for.  The process is often contentious and at times the most suspenseful, but largely behind the scene, aspect of the convention and in many ways is every bit as important as the process to nominate our presidential ticket and this year conservative Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has been given the responsibility of constructing this all important platform.

The announcement came late today from RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.  In it Priebus  also declared that Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota and Representative Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee will serve as Co-Chairmen.

The move is one which is likely to please the conservative base of the Party who largely trust the conservative credentials of all three members of the newly established platform leadership committee.

But the announcement also probably signals that Bob McDonnell is out of the running for Vice President.

For many months now, the popular Governor of the important swing state of Virginia has been considered a top contender for the vice presidency.  But with his new position on the critically important Platform Committee, that would seem highly unlikely.  And the same goes for Marsha Balckburn who White House 2012 has also considered a vice presidential contender.

The prominent responsibility of defining all that the G.O.P. stands is always a difficult task that walks a fine between attempting to articulate a platform that accomplishes a nearly impossible goal……….  unite the nations while taking strong stands on some of the most polarizing issues in the nation.  Such a goal can often be just as a difficult among partisan Republicans as it is among partisan Republicans and Democrats.  And this year, Republicans can anticipate at least few attempted floor fights on several planks, especial those dealing with spending.

Ron Paul supporters have already vowed to employ their traditionally obnoxious behavior to try to help assure that the G.O.P. platform adopts some of their messiah’s irresponsible views.  Such fights are not likely to get very far considering that Ron paul has a grand total of 158 delegates compared to Romney’s 1,512, but thew will certainly receive a great deal of attention from a national and international media that will be doing it’s best to to cover any of the rare unscripted moments at the convention.    All this means that as Chairman of the Platform Committee, Bob McDonnell will go into the convention as a figure who could become embroiled in some of the most controversial aspects of the national convention and that is not the type of figure that Romney will want to nominate as his running mate.

On the flip side, while McDonnell supporters may be disappointed in the downgrading of his chances to be nominated Vice President, conservatives can rest assured that 2012 Republican platform will reflect an authoritative, right of center based explanation of what it means to be a Republican.

According to McDonnell;

“I look forward to hearing from voters across the country as we seek to give voice to the concerns, priorities, and values of the American people. This process is about more than writing; it is about listening. Voters deserve a party who listens to them.  The Obama presidency has been a difficult time for Virginians and for Americans. Our Platform will outline the way forward for our economy and a new and better direction for our country.”

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Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell Endorses Mitt Romney

Bookmark and Share   Early this morning, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell who once declared that he would not be endorsing a candidate in the Republican presidential contest has seemingly reversed course and thrown his considerable clout behind Mitt Romney for President.

McDonnell called Romney a “results-oriented conservative” who can appeal to Democrats and independents and he told CNBC that his message is that if you want to win the race in November, vote for Mitt Romney.

On Fox News, Governor McDonnell stated that Romney has a proven record in the public and private sector of getting things done and argued that there are only three issues that will really matter in the election………. one being job creation, another being the need to get rid of “this crushing national debt” and finally, leadership.  And it is on those issues that McDonnell says Romney can win.

While McDonnell’s support has some value, the most interesting aspect of the endorsement is the timing.  It comes one day before what could be a game changing result in the South Carolina Primary.  It is pretty clear that the Romney camp, which has mastered much of the art of political campaigning, has begun to sweat and so they decided now was the time to unleash the endorsement of the popular Southern Governor in the hopes that it will help stem the perceived surge that Newt Gingrich is riding as the race in South Carolina wraps up.

In case you haven’t heard, timing is everything and its not any different in politics.

If you recall, back in December, Newt Gingrich flew to the front of the then crowded G.O.P. field.  The problem was timing.  He peeked too early and in the two weeks leading up to the Iowa Caucuses, he saw that rapid rise to the top erode and ceded ground to Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.  This time, in South Carolina, thanks to Newt’s ability to catch the crest of his wave at just the right moment, combined with a few well timed breezes at his back which consisted of Sarah Palin’s quasi-endorsement, Rick Perry’s suspension of his own campaign and endorsement of Newt’s, and two well executed debate performances, Gingrich looks like he is peaking just in time to be the first one to ride his wave across the Palmetto State finish line.   All of these conditions which have been beyond Romney’s control have forced him to play some cards that he has been holding close.  In this case, it is obvious that Gingrich’s success has Romney sweating enough to have forced his hand and play the McDonnell card.

How much it will help is questionable.

McDonnell promises to spend the closing hours of the campaign stomping in South Carolina, but Mitt already has the personal and organizational support of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and the insularly access to support from the state Party apparatus that comes with her.  And at the moment it is not stopping Gingrich from pulling ahead in the latest polls.

In my own estimation, I have concluded that even though McDonnell is a rising conservative star and a positive name to have your on side, in the case of Mitt Romney, McDonnell’s endorsement will actually benefit Newt Gingrich more than Mitt.  As the perceived “establishment” candidate, getting the endorsement of another elected  “establishment” politician, will help urge still undecided voters from among the large anti-establishment voting bloc, to move more Newt’s way than Mitt’s way.

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