BET co-founder Johnson talks up McDonnell as 'presidential material'
Although Virginia's new governor, Robert F. McDonnell, has barely had time to settle into the executive mansion, if he's thinking of moving into a bigger, whiter house someday, he already has an influential and wealthy backer behind him.
As an honored guest at the First Lady's Luncheon, Sheila C. Johnson, the co-founder of Black Entertainment Television, presented Maureen McDonnell with a framed painting of all Republican presidents.
"I'm just looking ahead to the future," she said, to whoops and applause in the Omni hotel's ballroom. "This is for whatever room they're going to hang this in, so he can start studying this and preparing."
Afterwards, Johnson elaborated on her belief that McDonnell, 55, has the right stuff.
"I think he is presidential material. I really do," Johnson said. "I think Bob McDonnell represents all that is good in this country. I really do. I've been around a lot of politicians and thousands and thousands of people, and there's something very special about this man. I knew it from the moment I saw him and interviewed him for the primary election. And once the primaries were over, and I saw him again, that's when I made the leap that I did. It was a big leap. And I tell you I knew from the bottom of my heart."
Johnson's endorsement of McDonnell in the gubernatorial campaign played a key role in hammering down the support of moderates, some blacks and members of the business
Maureen McDonnell spoke of her experience the attendees that, as the daughter, daughter-in-law, wife, and mother of military veteran, she would devote her time as first lady to issues of concern to Virginia's military family.
January 17, 2010; 4:24 PM ET
Categories: Fredrick Kunkle , Robert F. McDonnell
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