This morning’s Politico has a generally uninteresting interview with Gov. Bob McDonnell. Basically, he doesn’t really say anything of substance, only meaningless platitudes about how he “want[s] to be part of the national debate,” how “There are a lot of talented people who will run for president and be available for vice president,” how “federalism” is neat and dandy, how you’ve got to keep your eye on “the mission,” and how he understands why President Obama’s approval ratings are up in the aftermath of his leadership following the Tucson tragedy.
Other than that, McDonnell carefully doesn’t commit to anything about 2012, or anything else. Even the Politico headline – “McDonnell: GOP not ready for Obama” – is overstated, in that McDonnell actually said “not yet” ready. All in all, the interview’s a yawner that says nothing, has no strong ideas about anything, breaks no new ground, and basically is just “there.” Sorta like Bob McDonnell’s governorship as a whole? Yet a lot of people seem to be comfortable with that.
It’s weird, just when you think that passion and “authenticity” are the keys to success as a politician these days, along comes someone like Bob McDonnell who’s as bland as they come stylistically (although he’s probably just as conservative in many ways as Ken Cuccinelli). The bottom line is that McDonnell may be Pat Robertson’s Manchurian
candidate governor in reality, but he doesn’t come across as an ideologue, as we saw in 2009 when he was plausibly able to sell himself as a moderate soccer dad “Bob for Jobs.” Ah, American politics…just when you think you’ve got it figured out, you realize that you don’t.