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Did McDonnell Blow a Golden Opportunity to Sew Up the VP Slot?

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by Paul Goldman

Amidst all the ultrasounds, it seems to me that there is a deafening silence relative to Gov. McDonnell’s hopes to be Mitt Romney’s running mate; namely, McDonnell’s strange political decision NOT to put a pro-jobs stamp on the 2012 General Assembly.

Conceivably, “His Veepness” could still pull an economic rabbit out of the hat, or even call a Special Session on economic stuff. But this would take a real reboot of his thinking at this point. That’s simply amazing to me, given what Romney is likely to want in a running mate.

If McDonnell had put a “Made in America – Jobs #1” stamp on his forehead, he would be the go-to VP choice for certain, once Senator Rubio and former Governor Jeb Bush say no.

The takeaway from the GOP primaries: While conservatives don’t particularly like Romney, the GOP rank and file don’t want to concede the election to the President either. They think, based on nothing, that Romney is the only one who can win.

So in the end, unless Romney really screws up, he is still the favorite to win what is becoming the longest trek since the Death Valley Ultra Marathon or the movie Thirst.  

Meaning: Romney probably can pick whomever he wants as VP, since the delegates can’t afford to rebel on him, with the rank and file watching on TV and wanting a united front.

 

As I wrote last year for Politico.com, history says Romney has no chance of winning the Presidency in 2012. Since then, nothing he has done has called that analysis into question. But the game still has to played: and the GOP isn’t going to concede.

The bottom line: Why McDonnell didn’t propose some  major JOBS, JOBS, JOBS thing this session baffles me. But he didn’t. If he had, it would have garnered significant bipartisan support, and even overshadowed the social issues if done right.

We wrote about the jobs angle also last year, in terms of the President and the Democrats. With all the other GOP Governors, except Bobby Jindal, into “wedge” issue mode, the stage was set for McDonnell to go mainstream jobs.

Why didn’t he? It is baffling to me.