Mark Warren on VA Gov. Bob McDonnell:
In fact, you get the feeling that if Romney had an ounce of what McDonnell’s got, this election might be well in hand for the Republicans. The governor dexterously goes on to give props to FEMA in advance of Isaac coming ashore, is mindful of the “political optics” of throwing a lavish political festival as the Gulf Coast again gets thrashed, effectively ravages Obama for the famously out-of-context “You didn’t build that” quote, and gamely praises Obama at the same time — “We Republicans want the President to succeed. He’s the face of America, too” — before pronouncing the president an epic catastrophe.
0McDonnell’s skills are that considerable. So good, in fact, that you almost let him slide when he says that the campaign’s focus on abortion and legitimate rape for the past week is all the media’s fault, has nothing to do with Todd Akin or the extremist party platform that will be adopted by the convention today and which McDonnell himself, as chairman of the Platform Committee, was in charge of writing. This is an emerging theme here in Tampa, in which you find prominent Republicans saying, in effect, Why are you people in the media insisting on paying attention to the words we’re saying and the documents we’re producing? Pay no mind to the platform, and to the energy in the party driven by deep social divisions, all that matters is jobs, jobs, jobs. And if you’ve got a follow-up question, you can talk to the hand. McDonnell accomplishes this difficult maneuver with alarming ease, and you’re pretty sure he’s gotten off way too easy, but then he’s on about Notre Dame football, and you forget all about it.
Tonight, McDonnell will debut in primetime, trying to refocus the campaign on the economy, and a national audience will get a look at the man who, if Romney loses this year, will be very hard to beat for the Republican nomination in ’16. It has become a trope that Virginia’s decision to limit any governor to just one term will forever prevent Richmond from making another president. But Bob McDonnell, with his grating ease, just might be the governor who tests that theory.
Read more: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/bob-mcdonnell-2016-12125269#ixzz24r3wreOb