Well, for what’s worth, our very own Gov. McDonnell has taken over the top spot on the National Journal’s vice presidential sweepstakes, replacing Marco Rubio, who is now number two.
The National Journal’s logic?
McDonnell preserved his spot on the short list by backing off a controversial antiabortion measure in Virginia, but he didn’t emerge entirely unscathed. The incident refocused attention on McDonnell’s conservative background — and Democrats would surely dredge up the 1989 thesis he wrote at Regent University. But if Romney’s team decides they must win the Commonwealth, McDonnell’s approval rating in the 60s has to look attractive.
The fallout in the Commonwealth from the events of the past several weeks has yet to play out, but when all is said and done, odds are McDonnell’s approval rating will no longer be in the 60s, but will continue to be over 50%. What’s more, the General Assembly will soon go home, taking its wingnuttery with them and eliminating a big political thorn in McDonnell’s side. And even if he is forced to call them back to resolve the budget dispute, that is probably a fight that will actually help the Governor.
With that in mind, it is clear that McDonnell will help Romney in Virginia. The effect a McDonnell slot on the ticket might have on the Kaine-Allen race is less clear, but to the extent it helps energize the Commonwealth’s Republicans, it certainly won’t help Gov. Kaine.
(More on the flip)
Still, when push comes to shove, while Virginia will be a toss-up state, both Ohio and Florida are much more critical to Romney if he actually wants to win the election, suggesting either Portman or Rubio would make more sense for him.
But if he chooses McDonnell to share a space on the losing ticket in 2012, a loss that history suggests will signal the apex of McDonnell’s national political aspirations, I hope the the Governor gets exactly what he is wishing for.