Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) delivered his state of the commonwealth speech on Wednesday. While different in political vision and in delivery, his address most resembled a Bill Clinton State of the Union address in the voluminous policy details that form the building blocks of his central argument. McDonnell’s case boils down to this: “[H]ere in Virginia, the Cradle of Democracy, we enact policies that actually work. In Washington, we see debt, taxes, delays, blame, and dysfunction. Here in Virginia we see results, solutions, job growth, surpluses, and cooperation. What a difference 100 miles makes.”
McDonnell is neither flashy nor flamboyant. Some Republicans have trouble seeing how he would stand out in a crowded 2016 presidential field should he decide to run. He will need to build on his military experience (21 years of active and reserve service in the U.S. Army) by developing additional national security expertise. (He’s been vocal in the fight against sequestration and in opposing relocation of Guantanamo detainees to the United States.) He certainly should weigh in on Defense Department cuts and trade issues that affect his state, and after leaving office he will have time to travel and meet with foreign policy experts and world leaders.
But that is a long way down the road. McDonnell for now is selling a brand of reform-minded conservatism that focuses on bread-and-butter issues. He is not afraid to spend money, but he is determined not to waste it. Maybe by 2016 the GOP and the country will be longing for some no-nonsense conservative governance. If so, McDonnell may find his way on to a presidential ticket.Read All Jennifer Rubin's article on McDonnell HERE and view his entire Speech below:
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