It’s a done deal! It’s a slam dunk! You can just about start printing the bumper stickers for the 2012 Republican presidential ticket. For as a result of this week’s GOP debate and a Virginia legislative election, the Romney/McDonnell ticket has been solidified.
Mitt Romney, the inevitable Republican presidential nominee, has become even more so as a result of Rick Perry’s debate implosion. (Otherwise known as the “56 second brain freeze” that rocked the world.)
Romney looks and sounds presidential and is by default going to be the last man standing after Cain-mania settles down. This is not exactly pleasing to the conservative base, but there is “hope and change” coming for conservatives on the 2012 ticket and his name is Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia.
Governor McDonnell took a well-deserved victory lap this past week after helping the Republican Party of Virginia win control of both the Virginia General Assembly and Virginia Senate. This huge legislative victory, won with tea party support, catapults McDonnell right into Romney’s number two slot.
But for McDonnell, these favorable Virginia election results are only the cherry on top of the sundae. There are five other important reasons why McDonnell will be Romney’s running mate, served up for coronation at the 2012 Republican nominating convention in Tampa.
1. Governor Bob McDonnell is a conservative who conservatives trust.
McDonnell can make a Romney-topped ticket more palatable to the tea party/conservative base. The base currently does not trust Romney but with McDonnell as his VP, McDonnell can help “sell” Romney and soften the blow for conservatives nationally, while not scaring away moderate voters.
2. Virginia is a must-win-back state for the GOP.
Obama won Virginia in 2008 by 7 percentage points, but with Governor McDonnell’s high approval rating of 62%, Romney can count on him to return Virginia into the red column where it had been for forty years since 1968.
Obama will throw everything he has at Virginia but McDonnell will triumph. Already, Tuesday’s Virginia election results are considered a bad omen for Obama nationally.
3. Obama/Kaine vs. McDonnell/Allen
The race for the open U.S. Senate seat created by Democrat Jim Webb stepping down will be one of the most watched, vicious, and expensive Senate races in 2012. But not only will it be a political fight to the finish but very personal as well.
The dynamic revolves around former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine who, as governor in 2008, was one of Senator Obama’s earliest supporters and was widely credited with helping Obama turn Virginia from red to blue.
Now, Virginia governors can only serve one 4 year term, and Kaine’s term was ending in January of 2010. So after Obama was elected president, Obama thanked Kaine for his early support by appointing him to be chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in early 2009 while Kaine was still governor of Virginia.
Then, in the Virginia gubernatorial election in November of 2009, Republican Attorney General Bob McDonnell won a resounding 59% of the vote, a 17.5% point margin of victory against Democrat Creigh Deeds to whom both Obama and Kaine (as DNC head and incumbent VA governor) threw much campaign funding and personal support. McDonnell’s victory was a total embarrassment to Obama and Kaine.
Moving ahead to the 2012 election cycle, Kaine has left the DNC to run for the US Senate in Virginia against former US Senator and former Virginia Governor George Allen, who was defeated in 2006 by Jim Webb.
On Friday, November 11th a few days after his state legislative victories, Governor McDonnell endorsed George Allen, who has primary tea party opposition.
There are high hopes that George Allen will win that highly contested Virginia Senate seat, especially if the VP candidate is Governor Bob McDonnell.
President Obama, of course, will be supporting Kaine one thousand percent for two reasons. First, Obama is counting on Kaine to keep the Virginia Senate seat in the Democrat column. Second, Obama is expecting Kaine to have coat-tails going up the ballot, helping him to win Virginia again.
This all sets up an Obama/Kaine vs. McDonnell/Allen WWF style “death match.”