Bob McDonnell takes the high road. And Obama...?
By Lee Hockstader
Bob McDonnell, the newly installed Republican governor of Virginia, took pains in his winning campaign to praise President Obama's education policies. That bow to bipartisanship, amid a generally positive and disciplined campaign, went over well with Virginia’s independent voters, many of whom had backed Obama but broke overwhelmingly for McDonnell last November.
But when the president dropped by an elementary school in Northern Virginia yesterday to push his “Race to the Top” education program, the White House didn’t bother to invite McDonnell, who took office last Saturday and has maintained a refreshingly bipartisan, even-keeled demeanor.
McDonnell, though reported to be irked, took the high road in his public statement. "It is always an honor to have the president in the Commonwealth,” he said.
The president and I are of different parties, but when it comes to expanding positive educational opportunities for our young people we are of like minds. The president and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who joined him today, are committed to dramatically increasing the number of charter schools in the nation and enacting education reform. Virginia is the perfect state to lead this effort.
So in a critical swing state, the White House has now managed to make a Republican governor look like the bipartisan grownup. At the same time, it has made the president look partisan and churlish.
Memo to the White House political office: Hello? Is anyone home?
| January 21, 2010; 12:16 PM ET
Categories: Hockstader | Tags: Lee Hockstader
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