As a nearly life-long Virginian, I can attest that I'm mighty satisfied with our current governor, Republican Bob McDonnell, who has commandeered state budget surpluses for two years running, pushed for smaller government through privatization, and has only built upon a high approval rating from the Virginia populace. He has great regional appeal, and his endorsement should be a boon for New Englander Mitt Romney in winning over a few more southern voters:
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell endorsed Mitt Romney on Thursday and will be campaigning with the GOP presidential candidate in South Carolina just a day before the state’s primary.
In a press release from the Romney campaign, McDonnell called the former Massachusetts governor “a results-oriented conservative.”
"America needs leadership and that's what governors do: they lead," McDonnell said. "Governors actually have to find solutions and bring all parties together in order to get results for their citizens — they can't just sit back and cast votes.” ...
“Mitt Romney has been an effective leader his entire life, in business, the Olympics and as governor,” McDonnell continued. “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.”
Nearly all the GOP candidates were courting the Virginia governor for his endorsement in some fashion, but Gov. McDonnell is reportedly buddy-buddy with Rick Perry, who he succeeded as head of the Republican Governors Association -- I've a feeling McDonnell was waiting for the Texas governor's withdrawal to offer his endorsement to Romney. (Full disclosure: Virginia is the only state in which governors cannot run for consecutive terms, and Gov. McDonnell has expressed a definite interest in the vice presidency). The endorsement may be a little late to have a huge effect in the South Carolina primary, but I expect Romney will fully tout McDonnell's endorsement come campaign-time in Florida.