Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell—a rising star in the Republican Party—has endorsed Mitt Romney for president. Here’s McDonnell in his own words:
“President Obama’s lack of leadership experience is now clear—he has failed to turn around the economy and end the gridlock in Washington. Mitt Romney used his leadership ability in a politically difficult environment to balance the budget every year, cut spending and taxes, and create jobs. He is a results-oriented conservative. This is the type of record that conservatives like me are honored to support—we need a leader like Mitt Romney in the White House to enact effective change that will put our country back on the right path and Americans back to work.”
For anyone who has followed McDonnell, this doesn’t come as a big surprise. The Virginia governor shares a certain pragmatism with the former Massachusetts governor, and is firmly ensconced within the Republican Party establishment. Indeed, like Romney, McDonnell marries a regressive, pro-business agenda with the appearance of moderation, and in Virginia, it seems to work—as of last fall, he has a 62 percent approval rating with the state’s voters.
Because of his popularity and his skill as a politician, McDonnell is widely seen as a front-runner for the Republican vice presidential nod. The problem, of course, is that McDonnell is virtually identical to Romney, and a homogenous GOP ticket doesn’t look good after a period where women and minorities—in both parties—have found new prominence as elected officials. Still, McDonnell’s career has room for growth, and he’s worth watching as someone with a bright future in Republican politics.