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McDonnell in 2012? Part 1 of 831.

There are more signs that presidential buzz is going to follow Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell, probably right up until the nomination process gets going in 2012. Nate Silver, the statistician-pollster who founded the Web site was on Keith Olbermann's show on MSNBC last night, assessing the chances of a Sarah Palin presidential run in four years.

But Silver suggested repeatedly that the GOP may find better luck with a candidate who doesn't feel like a has-been to voters. Someone like ... Bob McDonnell, said Silver.

"If you had someone who was a fresher face, someone like a Bob McDonnell in Virginia, maybe, if he were ready to run in 2012, that might give Palin some worry," Silver told the show's substitute host Lawrence O'Donnell.

Later, he said, "If they're smart, they will push someone like a [John] Thune or a McDonnell. I mean, these people haven't necessarily been in the national spotlight. They could have some learning curve, like Palin did. But I'd be looking for some outside-the-box alternatives.

Is this a serious notion? Certainly there are no signs at the moment. McDonnell has described the idea as "a pipe dream down the road." But the fact that his name -- probably unknown to national audiences just a couple of weeks ago -- has entered the lists of those regularly mentioned for 2012 is a sign of just how far and fast his star his risen.

Watch the appearance here. McDonnell's name comes up at about the 3:16 and 4:40 marks.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  November 19, 2009; 3:09 PM ET
Categories:  Robert F. McDonnell  
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Next: Stoney out, Cranwell in


he hasn't even done anything yet. not that I'm expecting much, but can't it at least wait until we see whether or not he screws up virginia?

Posted by: anon82 | November 19, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

funny, I saw a lot of GOP criticism directed at Gov Kain for being out of the VA during his last few months in office after he was appointed DNC Chairman - I can only imagine the GOP hypocrisy rationalizing away all the time O'Donnell would be out of the Commonwealth if he ran for President.

Posted by: hohandy1 | November 19, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Not if the Washington Post can help it!

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | November 19, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

More Pat Robertson! Less Science!

Are we really ready for that?

Posted by: free-donny | November 19, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

This blog thought it was hilarious in October when a reporter suggested McDonnell was in the conversation for a presidential run. Of course, the reporter on this blog might have mistaken a McDonnell run for a Deeds run. And she might have mistaken the presidential race for the Virginia governor's race . . .

Posted by: OlMcCreedy | November 21, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

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