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Is This Bob McDonnell’s Charlie Crist Moment ?


Rosalind Helderman at The Washington Post seems to think that this photo will come back to haunt Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell:

How’s this for a Virginia image?

President Obama shaking hands with Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) on the tarmac at Langley Air Force Base on Sunday before delivering a commencement address at nearby Hampton University, as former Gov. Doug Wilder (D) and U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott (D) look on.

There’s lot of interesting politics going on with this photo.

It’s not surprising that Scott would be on hand. He’s an Obama supporter and the president was visiting his district.

But the Republican governor is another story. McDonnell’s not exactly hugging the president, but after watching Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) essentially be forced from his party’s primary for the U.S. Senate after getting photographed with Obama, it was something of a bold move to go to Hampton, where he knew this pic would be snapped.

(Of his attendance, McDonnell told the Daily Press, he’s impressed by Obama’s call for civility in politics: “That’s something that I strive for also.”) Count on the photo being clipped, in case McDonnell ever runs for anything that requires winning a Republican primary.

This is patently ridiculous.

First of all, a handshake on the tarmac is hardly the same thing as a hug at a political rally. McDonnell was clearly paying a courtesy call on the President, which is what one expects a Governor to do when a President pays a visit to the state, especially since McDonnell was attending the same event that Obama was speaking at.

Second, unlike Charlie Crist, McDonnell isn’t endorsing Obama’s policies. If anything, he’s taken the opposite position.

Finally, it’s just a fact of life that Governors, even Republican Governors, are going to meet with the President on occasion and will want to maintain cordial relations with them, especially considering the fact that the nation’s capital sits on Virginia’s border.

Josh Eboch at Tertium Quids seem to agree that this photo will “come back to haunt” McDonnell, but, honestly, I don’t see it.

So, what am I missing that Helderman and Eboch apparently see so clearly ?

3 Responses to “Is This Bob McDonnell’s Charlie Crist Moment ?”

  1. What you are missing Doug (and I say that with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek) is that in today’s political climate, you cannot be seen with the ‘enemy’. If you are, you will immediately branded a traitor to the cause, and the crazies will associate you with every failed policy of the ‘enemy’.

    Moral of the story: don’t go out in public.

  2. Well that would explain why Dick Cheney spent eight years in his secure bunker in an undisclosed location

  3. James Young says:

    That’s silly, but it’s what I expect from the WaPo. There’s a big difference between McDonnell being cordial, and Charlie Crist giving the impression that he’s about to allow President Barry to mount him!

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