Now that Texas Governor Rick Perry has officially launched his presidential run, the Republican Governors Association needs a new chair, and they have found it in Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. According to McDonnell’s statement, “I look forward to working with my fellow Republican governors to expand our majority and ensure the RGA remains the most effective political committee in the nation. Republican governors are leading the way in helping the private sector create new jobs, reforming government and getting our economy back on track.”
Republican governors did have an explosive year in 2010, riding the wave of public dissatisfaction in the Democratic party to huge electoral victories. Since then, with rabidly right wing governors like Florida’s Rick Scott, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, Ohio’s John Kasich and Michigan’s Rick Snyder, many states are facing unprecedented budget crises, loss of social safety net programs and assaults on union workers and voter rights, with some even considering governor recalls for the first time in decades.
Still, if running the RGA itself is enough to start presidential ambitions running, McDonnell is ready to take over. He’s already hinting at a desire for a vice presidential berth in 2012, and a possible run in 2016 if Obama does get reelected in 2012.
Of course, by that point he’ll have to try and elbow out Mitch Daniels and Chris Christie, two other Republican governors no doubt waiting eagerly in the wings. We’ll have to see if his clout as RGA chair can push him in front of the others. Needless to say, it wasn’t very helpful for Haley Barbour.
Photo credit: Jonathan McIntosh