Despite a 17% margin, newly elected Bob McDonnell pledged to govern the way he campaigned and to steer towards the center. He and others have added that they have no mandate.

According to the Washington Post:

The state’s Republicans have recaptured the governor’s office after eight years out of power. But Gov.-elect Robert F. McDonnell made no mention Wednesday of issues that drive the party’s social conservatives, such as abortion and gun rights. He said during a packed news conference at the State Capitol that his focus would be to create jobs, keep taxes low and repair the state’s tattered budget.

“I just want to let everybody in Virginia know that I intend to govern the same way I campaigned,” he said. “I tried to tell people in a detailed way what we intend to do, and now that it’s time to govern, I want to go about the business of getting results and accomplishing those goals.”

This pledge is good news to independents and moderate Republicans who took McDonnell at his word. Virginia has generally profitted from those elected officials with a centrist philosphy. Let’s hope Governor-elect McDonnell can keep the uber-conservatives from nipping at his heels and will be able to keep his word.

35 Thoughts to “McDonnell Says He Will Govern Same Way He Campaigned”

  1. JustinT

    I sort of feel like the nutjob teabaggers will not be able to push this guy around. Maybe it’s because they haven’t tried yet. I don’t know, he can’t run for a second term anyway, so what are they going to threaten him with? Angry emails? Nasty blog posts? I’m willing to give him a chance.

  2. Me too, Justin, not that we have a choice. I just hope I am a better sport about it than some have been who have not had their candidate win.

  3. Lafayette

    I’m certain I can be a better sport than some others have been when their candidate(s) has/have lost in the past. Hmm..last November comes to mind.

    I do wish Bob McDonnell the best as our Governor.

    The Governor of VA can serve a second term, but the terms can’t be back to back. The last Governor to do this was Mills E. Godwin, Jr.. He served from 1966-1970 as a Democrat, then a second term from 1974-1978 as a Republican.

  4. Rick Bentley

    Sounds good! he’s on record as wanting to expand 287(g) statewide.

  5. Opinion

    If this is true, we may be looking at a future Presidential candidate. I wish him luck.

  6. Last Best Hope

    This never came up on the blog, but it’s worth mentioning now. Sarah Palin made herself very, very available for stump speeches on McDonnell’s behalf, but he turned her down in an effort to let moderates, independents, AND democrats know that he was sincere about moving away from divisive tactics involving cultural fears or racial resentment. When instead it was Robo-Sarah who began calling voters in Virginia, McDonnell was not pleased. I have heard, and I would like to believe that he tried to stop the calls to no avail, but he did publicly distance himself from them, saying essentially “it wasn’t me.”

    McDonnell really is sincere about leading the party back to the center.

  7. Formerly Anonymous

    I think McDonnell has a way to go before running for President. But if McDonnell’s popularity stays high, he will be a top tier VP candidate for the GOP in 2012. It all but assures Virginia switches back to the Republicans. I could see somebody like Romney taking McDonnell to shore up evangelical support and cementing their place as the Best Hair candidates for decades to come.

    Seriously though, I see McDonnell implementing a few policies that are popular but differ with the Obama Administration to boost his national profile. State-wide 287(g) is an example. There’s a reason why immigration issues have taken a back seat this year. The Obama Administration is smart enough to know not to push any major immigration issues that include amnesty/legalization/whatever you want to call it when the unemployment rate in the US is 50% higher than Mexico’s. (9.8% vs. about 6.3%) Most people don’t have a problem with deporting criminals who are also in the country illegally. It either makes you look soft on crime or an open borders advocate. Neither of which are tremendously popular. That’s the type of issue that McDonnell can use to stay popular with conservatives without spooking more moderate voters.

    Lastly, I’ve ignored it to date, but I will not respond to anyone who uses the term ‘teabaggers’ It’s crude, sophomoric and lowers the level of political discourse. Even worse, it just isn’t funny anymore unless you are under the age of 15. It’s been way over done by Anderson Cooper among others. About the only thing it’s good for anymore is to indicate that somebody is not worth listening to in a serious discussion.

  8. What term do you prefer Formerly? Many of us never heard the expression before last summer. I thought I had a fairly good repertoire of filth in my brain but that one escaped. I am sure I have said it meaning those who attend tea parties, having nothing to do with people sexual preferences/games.

    Is tea partier more acceptable? There has to be a mutually agreed upon term unless there are to be no more tea parties.

  9. Elena

    I agree, you will not see me denegrating McDonells win. I too am hopeful he will govern from the center, where most of us “sit”. If he succeeds, we all succeed, thus we all win!

  10. Poor Richard

    Interesting article in today’s WaPo Metro section headlined “What the governor-elect
    owes Northern Virginia” by Robert McCartney. It highlights (1) Find money for roads
    (2) Protect education (3) Don’t go Sarah Palin on us (4) Don’t demonize immigrants”.

    If he can do all of that in this down economy, I’ll be looking for a chance to jump
    on his bandwagon for national office.

  11. Last Best Hope

    I am with you there Richard. I think all of those items are possible, the last three even probable. Glad to see the Pst is warming up to the man.

  12. Lafayette

    I just don’t want the money for roads coming from the privatization of VA’s ABC Package Stores. Private liquor stores just makes me think too much of DC and MD. No thanks. I’m not confident the store owner could control underage alcohol sales as well as the state can. Just my two cents.

  13. Rick Bentley

    There must have been a reason they were taken over by the state in the first place?

  14. Rick, I am guessing it happened years ago. You are aware that liquor by the drink didn’t come in until the late 60’s. We had private bottle clubs. You could buy wine and beer in restaurants but that’s pretty much it.

    Virginia is very conservative about its booze.

    I am 100% in agreement with Lafayette. Same reasons and also throw in the worst reason: w’ve always done it that way.

  15. Here you go, Rick. It was such a good question I had to go find an answer.

    The state ABC stores came into being as a result of the end of prohibition. Once the 21st amendment was passed, the ABC stores opened up. There are 8 principles. The 5th one is “5.The private profit motive, with its incentive to encourage sale and consumption of alcoholic beverage, should be minimized.”

  16. Poor Richard

    “Growth and development stimulated pride and optimism, but also brought
    problems, the greatest of which was liquor. Before the turn of the century,
    saloons abounded in Manassas. However, the anti-saloon forces
    were at work. In 1903, a group of citizens petitioned for an election to approve
    a liquor dispensary for the town. The election was lost 78-71.”
    Manassas, Virginia 1873-1973
    By Catherine T. Simmons

  17. Mando

    How does one reconcile being against privatized liquor stores yet for legalized abortion?

    I mean if I want to go into business aborting fetuses shouldn’t I also be able to go into business selling liquor?

    Point being you can’t pick and choose how you wish to legislate morality.

  18. Lafayette

    The private store owner is going to want to turn a profit, and will be more prone to sell to an underage person than the state is. Furthermore, the sale of alcohol to an person under the age of 21, is against the law. Abortion is legal in this country and state and the procedure is done by a board certified doctor, and not done by every Tom, Dick and Harry. I have no desire to legislate morality for the simple reason all people are NOT of the same faith and there are some with no faith at all. Just because someone is pro-choice that does NOT mean they are pro-abortion, but who am I or any law maker to inflict their religious beliefs on our laws. I’m a firm believer of seperation of church and state.

    Where are the Rule of Law supporters?

  19. Point of order, point of order (in my best Stirrup voice) I think I will go get drunk and have an abortion. Hell of an afternoon. yup yup yup, that’s the ticket.

    No reconciliation here.

    The state stores were clear, its their money. They don’t want to share.
    I don’t think Virginia should be in the abortion business. Let’s leave it to the clinics and planned parenthood.

  20. Mando


    Nothing wrong with the store owner wanting to turn a profit. Underage drinking is already illegal so why do we need the state selling liquor?

    I don’t think you get my point.

    You don’t want the state in the abortion business but do want them in the liquor business?

    Does not compute.

  21. Mando

    You’ll like McDonnell if he’s fiscally conservative but socially liberal (or at least reflects the social will of the people he represents). Me too.

    State run liquor stores are neither fiscally conservative nor socially liberal.

  22. Rick Bentley

    Wow, I didn’t know ABC had been around that long. I didn’t grow up here.

    One positive is that the stores are cleaner and less squalid, being state-run. In most states at least in the Midwest, you’re going to have a rack of porn magazines in the liquor store. Or maybe I’m being archaic – adults and children alike probably get most of their porn on the internet these days.

  23. Pretty much it, Mando. I don’t see the state stores as liberal or conservative. Same with the rest stops, my pet peeve.

    The state stores are tradition. Compare liquor sales in DC and MD to VA. Which is more attractive?

    I have yet to understand why conservatives want govt out of their business except over personal issues, like who they sleep with, abortion, marriage and contraception, just to name a few personal issues.

  24. Last Best Hope

    Strong points Lafayette, but there are many who oppose abortion from a secular perspective, not that this will be an issue in Virginia or America other than as a cultural litmus test.

  25. Poor Richard

    ABC stores were a compromise by states feeling if they couldn’t stop
    liquor at least they could control it. Part of the plan was to fund rehab
    programs for alcoholics as well as contributions to local schools and police.
    There are pros and cons to selling them, one negative being new owners
    will push volume to create profit – like any private business.

    ABC — Alcoholic Beverage CONTROL

    1. I wasn’t aware that VA was that opposed to liquor being sold.

      Mando, it sounds like you are saying you should be permitted to make hooch in your backyard?

  26. Mando

    I believe a true conservative wants govt. out of all their business.

    State run liquor stores are a liberal concept. Same as state run health care or state run anything. Only thing is, VA’s state run liquor stores are based on a socially conservative philosophy. The same philosophy that restricting abortions comes from.

    So asking McDonnell to keep his hands off your ovaries yet keep his hands on your bottle of Jim Beam would be sending him mixed signals.

    What’s a politician to do?

  27. Lafayette

    I think I get your point.
    The state run ABC stores are just not going to be as hap-hazzard with their selling practices as the private business owner. BTW-of course I want businesses in the Commonwealth to thrive and turn a profit, just not with alcohol. The private business owner will want to sell as much alcohol as it can to turn a profit. The state does NOT care who they piss off and won’t sell liquor to. Now, the private store owner in the community will not want to piss off it’s costumers, and possibly suffer reliation by thugs being turned away at the counter. The state needs the money now more than ever. So, why turn it over to the private sector? I can assure I don’t want new jobs created because of new local liqour stores. Let the state carry on with the way it’s done business since the end of prohibition. They are state run stores and nothing more. I do agree they are not conservative or liberal. I’m with Moon. I don’t want the Rest Areas privatized either, but I sure would like to see them OPEN.

    I don’t recall saying that I didn’t want the state to do abortions.

  28. Lafayette

    @Last Best Hope
    I’m not that old and jaded yet that the abortion issue is my only litmus test. I understand that there are many that oppose abortion from a secular perspective, and I can respect that. Unfortunately, those right to life folks are NOT always consistant with their love of life. Prime example, many that oppose abortion have no problem putting another person to death. A “true” right to lifer would also, oppose the death penalty. I personally support the death penalty, gun rights, and woman’s right to choose. This makes for a very difficult mix when choosing a candidate. 😉

  29. Last Best Hope :

    Strong points Lafayette, but there are many who oppose abortion from a secular perspective, not that this will be an issue in Virginia or America other than as a cultural litmus test.

    People opposed to abortion should not have them. If I am opposed to abortion, why is it any of my business what someone else does?

  30. Now let’s throw in that old hypocritical expression: Rule of Law. Abortion is legal.

    I am old and jaded enough and so is Lafayette (although not as old and jaded as I am). I do use it as a litmus test. Show me how a person feels about abortion as a political issue (NOT a personal issue) and I will show you how they feel about 100 other issues, 95% of the time. One exception would be Senator Colgan. I make exceptions when voting upon occassion. Generally speaking though, I do not. What would generate a non pro choice vote would be when the other candidate is worse or when the other issues just outweigh the abortion issue.

  31. Lafayette

    Off topic..Fort Hood is on lockdown. 7 dead, 12 injured, and one suspect is in custody.,2933,572305,00.html

  32. hello

    JustinT :I sort of feel like the nutjob teabaggers will not be able to push this guy around.

    YES! Keep it up Justin, it’s people like you that make the conservative movement stronger by the day. Also, you see to use the term often, you must be pretty familiar with it huh…

  33. Hello, no ad hominem attacks on fellow bloggers. Justin is voicing an opinion. You might not agree with him which is fine, but the innuendo was not unnoticed.

    Formerly anonymous has made his point known about the use of that expression. That is his right to do so. (assuming he is a he) However, Justin has the right to use the epression ‘teabagger. Let’s keep the disagreement with ideas rather than personalizing it.

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