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Has McDonnell's national rehabilitation begun?

Rosalind Helderman

If Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) is going to have a political resurrection on the national stage, articles like this one will likely help.

After getting tagged with the "rising star of the GOP" label for his big win in November in purple Virginia, McDonnell's national prospects, by all accounts, took a huge hit after he issued a proclamation in honor of Confederate History Month that omitted any reference to slavery.

For the last month or so, the conversation among the national chattering class about McDonnell was whether a guy who had widely been considered a contender for the vice presidential nomination could ever recover. (He was even the subject of a rather biting joke by Jay Leno at this year's White House Correspondent's Dinner.)

In this week's edition of Time, political writer Alex Altman presents the Confederate History Month stumble as a particularly clumsy unforced error by McDonnell and his staff, but also a dark hole from which McDonnell is already successfully emerging.

In the article's most telling paragraph--and the one bound to have caused broad smiles in the governor's office, Altman writes:

McDonnell's resurrection has not been flashy. Its mileposts have been a mix of small-bore initiatives, behind-the-scenes coalition building and an intense focus on job-friendly policymaking. McDonnell's makeover from conservative champion to centrist governor has riled some allies and failed to mollify fervent opponents, but earned him plaudits from lawmakers on both sides of Richmond's split legislature. More importantly, it is a sign that a politician who inexplicably kneecapped himself is clawing his way back.

Altman sure seems to think McDonnell can make a comeback--and saying so in the national news magazine may help make it so.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  May 24, 2010; 11:43 AM ET
Categories:  Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Next: UPDATED: McDonnell meets with legislative black caucus


We need more evangelicals in politics like we need more Pakistanis in the US.

Posted by: kenk3 | May 24, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

We deserve politicians that live and think in a 21st century way.

Posted by: jckdoors | May 24, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

well thats some good news for mcdonnell, but cuccinelli is going to be an albatross around his neck. every crazy thing cuccinelli does is going to haunt mcdonnell if mcdonnell seeks a national office. mcdonnell needs to muzzle cuccinelli.

Posted by: MarilynManson | May 24, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

If you're going to make a huge unforced error, you can't pick a better time that McDonnell did. He even manages to look moderate in comparison to Cucinelli and his crusade against the 21st century.

Posted by: krickey7 | May 24, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

get a life leftists..

Posted by: wewintheylose | May 24, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

nothing is going to rehabilitate this idiot. he will continue to make a fool of himself.

Posted by: slim4 | May 24, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

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