If you haven’t seen the classic film “On the Waterfront,” you definitely should. But Bob McDonnell might want to avoid it, as the classic line uttered by Marlon Brando – “I could’ve been a contender! I could’ve been somebody!” – might be a bit too painful for ol’ T-Bob to hear.
Why do I say this? Because, simply stated, McDonnell wanted to be a national “contender” – salivating and practically groveling to be Willard’s VP pick; now desperately looking for a “legacy,” or at least SOME accomplishment as governor, which he can point to when he runs for president in 2016. But after “transvaginal ultrasounds;” the antics of Ken Kookinelli (whose lunacy has overshadowed McDonnell among Teapublicans); the failure to anoint his loyal Lieutenant Governor as his successor (thanks again to Kookinelli!); and McD’s utter lack of progress on transportation funding (offshore oil revenues? selling off ABC stores? ditching the gas tax and raising the sales tax? all dead or on life support), McDonnell is almost certainly not going to be a contender for president in 2016…or ever, for that matter.
Today’s 2016 GOP presidential rankings by “The Fix” make this as clear as can be. Not that “The Fix” is the be-all/end-all in any way, but he IS very good at gathering the conventional wisdom and spewing it back at us. In this case, the conventional wisdom among Republicans is that Bob McDonnell doesn’t even make the Top 10 list for 2016 presidential contenders.
In stark contrast, the other prominent Republican who was elected governor of his state the same year as McDonnell (that would be Chris Christie of New Jersey in 2009) ranks #2. That one’s really gotta hurt, as both McDonnell and Christie were touted as rising stars, yet only one of them (Christie) has actually risen, while the other one (McDonnell) has pretty much fizzled out (a “one-way ticket to Palookaville,” as Brando says?). Also interesting to see on this list are several Tea Party newcomers – bat**** crazy Rand Paul; gay bashing/climate science denying/Grover Norquist obeying Marco Rubio – in the Top 10, but no “Bobby” (as his BFF Pat Robertson calls him) McDonnell. Sigh.
On the bright side, “The Fix” was wrong about pretty much everything in 2012 (Mitt-mentum!!! Ohio’s back to “tossup!” LOL), so most likely he’s wrong about 2016 as well. Still, when you believe you should have – could have, would have, etc. – been a contender, but now have just a few months left as governor of Virginia, with no particular path to future political office ahead of you, it’s gotta bring back those Brando “could’ve been a contender!” flashbacks. Ouch.