It’s unseemly to be an avowed candidate for the Veepstakes.
You can’t openly seek the position, especially before your party even selects its nominee.
Best to be silent and have others singing your praises.
It’s especially helpful when the news of your accomplishments comes from an independent source with whom you have no direct connection.
Governor Bob McDonnell got two such testimonies last week.
First, CNBC rated Virginia the “best state for business” in the entire nation.
It’s not the first time Virginia has received this kind of accolade.
You might recall when Doug Wilder was Governor in the early 1990’s Virginia was rated by Financial World magazine the “Best Managed State” in the country for two consecutive years.
Since Wilder’s time and the institution of the rainy day fund, Virginia always seems to rate high on almost all the independent rankings about state government management.
But the CNBC bouquet comes at a great time for McDonnell and provides a powerful one-liner for any Republican national candidate-
”Yes, my state is the best state for business in the country.”
But that was just the beginning of McDonnell’s week.
By Wednesday, a new poll from Quinnipiac University observed that McDonnell’s favorability ratings were in the top echelon of all the country’s governors.
He polls very strongly with his GOP base.
But what might be equally interesting to a Republican presidential nominee, McDonnell is rated very highly by independents in Virginia.
Isn’t this the formula Republicans are looking for:
Eexcite the base and attract independents?
In some ways, it’s way too early to be talking about this.
We have the 2011 Assembly races in Virginia in which McDonnell’s political capital will be put on the line in the GOP effort to retake the Senate.
We have an Assembly session where the proposed budget will be entirely McDonnell’s.
And we have an ongoing Senate race that will be both contentious and unpredictable- who knows how this will impact McDonnell.
Still, it’s hard to imagine that a Republican governor
In a battleground state, with high approval ratings, and a best for business designation, will not be
On everyone’s short list.
June 23, 2011
Hon. Robert McDonnell, Governor
Hon. Mark Warner, Senator
I hope this note finds you well. I write to forward an idea proposed to me by one of your constituents whose family owns a construction firm here in Patrick County.
According to press reports this week (Reuters), existing home sales were down 3.8 percent in May, with no anticipated improvement on the horizon.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested on Wednesday that modifying more mortgage loans and upping the pace of foreclosures would perhaps clear the inventory underbrush clogging the system, and in doing so re-set the housing industry for future growth.
Your constituent has, in my opinion, a better idea:
On an emergency basis-something pegged to the unemployment rate-he proposes a joint federal-state initiative, consisting of a limited waiver of the federal overtime wage requirement-by ten hours per work week-and, simultaneously, a temporary suspension of the state sales tax, as they both apply to the construction trades.
He tells me his company would routinely deploy its workforce 50 hours per week, as opposed to 40, if the company didn’t have to pay time-and-a-half wages for the last 10 hours. Of course, participation in this expanded workweek at straight-time pay would be strictly voluntary.
He believes-and I think he is correct-that such a joint effort would favorably impact the economy of Virginia in several ways:
1. It would increase employment.
2. It would increase individual earnings and spur spending on the margin. At an average local hourly wage of $12, employees-eager for the additional earning opportunity-would put more than $5000, less the normal withholdings, into their pockets each year. These additional earnings would equate, dollar-for-dollar, to additional spending, providing a welcomed nudge to our local economy.
An additional $5000 per year in income would strengthen any mortgage loan application, and go a long ways toward meeting the average monthly mortgage payment.
3. It would, I believe, lower the overall cost of housing, new and renovated, and shorten the housing delivery time.
4. Even with a temporary waiver of construction-related sales taxes, it still would increase the construction-related fees and permits that gird our local government revenues.
5. From a purely political perspective, such an initiative would constitute a wonderful demonstration of Republicans and Democrats working together at the local, state, and federal level in an effort improve our economic prospects.
I personally feel his idea is forward thinking, non-partisan, has considerable merit, and warrants your attention. There may be insurmountable obstacles to it. Worst case, it could spur better, additional thinking, and that would not be a bad thing.
All kind regards.