By Peter Galuszka
It’s only three days after Virginia and the rest of the nation reelected President Barack Obama but already Gov. Robert F. McDonnell is acting like a petulant child.
Faced with the certainty of Obamacare, McDonnell appears to be tossing the responsibility of creating exchanges to help self-employed or people denied medical insurance for “pre-existing” conditions back to the federal government.
And since Obama’s reelection forces needed attention on the “fiscal cliff,” Gov. Bob is telling all state agencies to come up with 4 percent cuts because of the coming financial train wreck. This is only three months after the governor triumphantly announced that good revenue collection and unspent money meant Virginia has a surplus of about $450 million in its general fund, according to this Washington Times article.
The last few months have not been especially kind for ambitious, telegenic Bob McDonnell. His budget balancing (albeit with some smoke and mirrors such as pushing some expenses into the following year) had won him favorable nods from conservative scribes who opined he might just have national potential.
McDonnell then flirted like crazy with Mitt Romney to win a vice presidential ticket slot. Alas, it went to Paul Ryan who was cast as a more attractive thinker and policy maker than McDonnell, regarded as a mere manager.
Even worse, Bob couldn’t deliver Virginia for Romney come Tuesday. In other races, he barely held on to previous gains.
Now, McDonnell is pouting since his political clout is all but over. He can’t run again in 2013. He has blown any political capital he built up in the 2012 races. And what should happen if Kenneth Cuccinelli, dreaded as the bogeyman by mainstream Republicans like McDonnell, gets to be GOP gubernatorial candidate rather than friendly, likeable and loyal Bill Bolling?
Maybe this explains McDonnell’s little tantrums. On the call for state cuts, well maybe part of that is normal, but it is disingenuous for McDonnell to suddenly discover just after Obama’s victory that there is sequestration and tax changes a’coming!
No S–t, Dick Tracy, it’s only been common knowledge since the summer of 2011 when John Boehner and especially fellow Virginian Eric Cantor refused to compromise with the Obama Administration on debt ceiling issues.We’re paying for their intransigence. Obama deserves a good bit of the blame.
This has been known for more than a year. Even so, McDonnell is launching into emergency mode conveniently days after the electoral shellacking. It seems especially odd since we all thought the state budget was in such wonderful shape (of course that was before the election).
As for ObamaCare, it is more of the politics of denial. Everyone knew about the exchanges — they can be set up by the feds, the state or a hybrid — since the law passed. The McDonnells of the world dallied on making plans, saying they wanted to see what the U.S. Supreme Court said. Well, in June, the court upheld the vast majority of the bill. Then the McDonnells said let’s wait until the election because if the GOP wins, it might be repealed. Well, Obama won and the Republicans do not have the votes for a repeal.
So, Bob says he doesn’t know enough about it, as have Republican governors of a few other states.
Dilly, dally. Pout, pout.