( – promoted by lowkell)
by Paul Goldman
In a planned one-two punch, Republican Governor Bob McDonnell and the GOP House of Delegates leadership realized they were given an opening at the Governor’s debate on Saturday. The Democrats have been muted in their direct criticism of McDonnell, preferring to use the Governor’s troubles as a carom shot against Cuccinelli. This gave McDonnell today’s opening to try and seize some of the initiative with his new Plan B. He paid back the $120K in loans from Mr. Williams, and made a general apology for whatever he and his family have done to embarrass the state of Virginia.
As Plan B’s go, it is what I would call a “limited hangout”: His Excellency didn’t personally address the state’s residents either on TV or at a press conference, he didn’t pay back the gifts, some of which he surely can’t possibly keep if not all of them. Why didn’t he pay them all back? I don’t know. Indeed, he could have paid what he did today and issued a promise to pay the rest back by X date. This would get all these matters behind him.
Why didn’t he and his new legal/PR team do what seems self-evident? The answer: Logic suggests there are MORE unreported gifts yet to be revealed. Thus, he had to leave the gift issue to Plan C.
Take my word for it: There will be a Plan C. Then a Plan D. This is just the beginning. Plan B is better than Plan A. But then: Anything was better than Plan A, the McDonnell Stonewall Strategy.
Sooner or later – and for the state and her Governor it should be sooner – Mr. McDonnell will have to personally address the people, not issue statements or Twitters or whatever.
My advice to the Governor: “Man up bro.” Bill Clinton had to do it: and it worked. It is the Fram Oil Filter: Pay me now or Pay me later. Americans love to give you a second chance. But you have to earn it.
I believe the debate on Saturday led Republicans to believe Democrats had made Eisenhower’s mistake in WW 2 when he failed to complete an encirclement of the German Army in France. They escaped, his critics claiming it prolonged the war. Ike didn’t make a similar type mistake in the Battle of the Bulge.
The point being: Plan B, if followed with a full apology and full return of all gifts with Plan C and D, could allow Governor McDonnell to stabilize his image and avoid being a fatal albatross in the Fall elections. The operative word is “could.”
The odds are still heavily against it. But McDonnell has been the King of Denial living with the Queen of Denial as the hit song said. His legal/PR team, along with Speaker Howell, have been working on bringing the Governor into the real world of VA politics. Plan B shows they have at least got the First Family to take the first steps.
I don’t wish him any bad luck. But the fact is: This is only a limited and late hangout. If Republicans feel this fundamentally shifts the issue, they are mistaken. As ACDC sang: It is a long way to the top when you want to rock and roll.