Prediction: McDonnell Will Delay Implementation of Ultrasound Bill


    by Paul Goldman

    Here’s a prediction you can take to the bank: Governor McDonnell is going to delay the implementation of the ultrasound mandate bill circling like the albatross in Moby Dick. The public doesn’t want it, he doesn’t need it, and there is this iron law of politics — you don’t get selected VEEP on a winning ticket when Saturday Night Live is doing skits about you.

    “His Veepness” didn’t get this close to an historic national nomination to let a bunch of folks in the General Assembly – who couldn’t get elected statewide with a 10-point head start – ruining all his years of hard work.

    Besides, based on the statements of the bill’s proponents, it violates the age-old conservative principle: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    The proponents say the procedure is already recommended by the medical community for precisely what the bill is allegedly aimed at.  So if this is already the recognized medical advice, then what’s the purpose of the bill? And if it isn’t, then, when the GA become filled with medical doctors? I thought the GOP was against health mandates, a la Romneycare?

    So here is what the Governor is going to do.

    If Speaker Howell can’t kill the bill in the House, the Governor is going to figure out a way, either by amendment or another maneuver, to precondition it becoming law, de jure or de facto, on a report from the top medical professions in the state of Virginia. We got some of the best.

    How can McDonnell be faulted for asking someone other than Kirk Cox to play doctor?


    If the Governor refuses to at least seek the advice of the medical community as discussed here, then he will be tagged as anti-women by those in the national media with influence over the key swing group this year, suburban women. You lose them, you lose the election.

    Is that fair? That’s a good question, but I have a better one: does it matter whether it is fair or not if the public believes it? McDonnell knows the rules, like I do; we didn’t make them.

    Do the math: If Rick Santorum gets nominated, then he doesn’t need McDonnell on the ticket. If Rick Santorum doesn’t get nominated, it will be because of how he let his image on key women’s issues be defined by his opponents. So if that is the case, why would Romney want to spend the fall listening to the ultra sounds of those slamming his running mate as Santorum-lite?

    My sources are the best in the GOP on the national stage, admittedly not Virginia, but they say they know McDonnell knows everyone in the big leagues is watching how he handles this.

    This is barely a AA curve ball. If you whiff on this, forget going to The Show. If you can get Secretariat odds at the Belmont, take the bet.

    As I was told: The last thing Governor McDonnell needs is for the national comedians to turn the Governor’s Mansion into the shape of an ultrasound gizmo and …well…they stopped there, but I got the picture, and I’m sure Bob McDonnell did as well.  

    • Elaine in Roanoke

      Poor McDonnell. He asked the crazies in his party not to “overreach.” They proceeded to do just that. Whether he delays the ultrasound bill or not, the damage has been done. The SNL skit is all over the Internet. If he gets on any ticket, Jon Stewart will have fun with this session of the GA, controlled by his party.

      Yet to come is exactly what McD plans to do about the “personhood” bill ticking away like a bomb.

      Then, there’s the denial of poor women an abortion in extremely severe medical situations.

    • OrangeDem

      Earlier in the session, when the ultrasound bill first cleared committee, Governor Bob went on the record–I think in the Free-Lance Star–praising the passage of the bill and how it was a measure he had been backing ever since he was in the House of Delegates.

      I don’t see how he can now suddenly turn around and claim he was actually against the legislation.

    • greenmoon

      To me it looks like the delays show a chance the may cave under pressure from….. voters.  I have asked my delegate about it on her Facebook page, which only got me blocked from her page. I find her, Barbara Comstock, to be completely out of touch with the northern Virginians she is supposed to represent.  If anyone else wants to ask her questions on her page, you don’t have to like her to ask questions:

      It would be great to have a list of all the GOP delegates and their FB pages. I imagine that may already exist and I will see if I can dig it up. Possibly with more “public” pressure some of them — especially those in more progressive districts — may waffle, which may influence McDonnell to waffle. Just a thought.

    • FreeDem

      The longer the Republican primary lasts, the more it looks like Romney has “a problem” with social conservatives, evangelicals, and traditional Catholics. The pressure builds on Romney to appoint a strong social conservative as VP, potentially even Santorum. Romney knows he’s not going to win in November without strong base turnout and the Republican base has given Romney months of flirtation without settling down. Perhaps this ultrasound bill is just what McDonnell needs to give him the socially conservative credentials to get onto Romney’s ticket?

    • Goldmanusa

               I like someone who thinks outside the box as they say. But if Santorum loses to Romney, the “spin” is going to be his views on women, etc.

               Romney will not want to go that route with a VEEP. All downside.

               He will try for Rubio or Jeb Bush, because Florida a must win GOP state, if they lose there, it is lights out. Ohio is must win too but there is no one, same for North Carolina. Virginia is next.

               But those guys want to be President: and as my column for last year showed, if you run and lose for VEEP, it is a losing deal, FDR waited 12 years and came back to be President, but no one else and that was a different age. So I say Rubio and Bush refuse to run for VEEP.  

               So if you are right and Romney has to make a move in Santorum’s direction – which makes sense unless Ricky collapses – then I would say Huckabee might have an edge. He is well liked by the press, covers your right side, was a Governor, if he were Catholic, a slam dunk: but if he were Catholic, he won’t be Huckabee.

               But I don’t think Catholics will feel Santorum lost due to any prejudice, this isn’t 1928, or 1960, heck Santorum’s strongest supporters are many of the people who refused to vote for Smith or JFK!

               So the Huckabee covers a lot of ground. But McDonnell is a sitting Governor and that is worth something, Huckabee is TV guy now.

                Still, to add to his appeal to the the Santorum voter, I think McDonnell can do a few things this Session to get him close enough to the Santorum voter without crossing the line: and I believe the ultrasound bill is make or break, and will be writing a piece tomorrow to explain my reasoning.

               All politics is local: and the ultra sound bill is as local as it gets for every woman in America.

                He can’t handle this pitch, he will lose a lot with the pros up in DC.