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McDonnell's latest moment in the national spotlight

Anita Kumar

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) found himself getting quite a bit of national attention Tuesday.

In his speech calling for the mass firing of the Obama administration's economic team, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) mentioned McDonnell and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as two public officials who are doing things right. (Read the full speech.)

In Virginia, Governor Bob McDonnell entered office facing an unprecedented $4.2 billion deficit. His predecessor, the chairman of the Democratic party, proposed closing the shortfall by imposing the largest tax increase in the state's history.

Governor McDonnell refused to balance his state's budget by making it harder for Virginia families and business owners to balance their own.

In New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie entered office facing an $11 billion deficit. His predecessor, also a Democrat, left behind a bloated government that used election-year property tax gimmicks to survive one set of broken promises after another.

Both governors forged bipartisan cooperation, set priorities, cut spending and closed their shortfalls -- without raising taxes.

McDonnell also was the subject of a Wall Street Journal editorial Tuesday and was a guest on "FOX and Friends." The subject both times was the state's $403.2 million budget surplus.

"From his first day in office, Mr. McDonnell took a tax increase off the table because he says 'it will injure our economy, slow the recovery, and cost us jobs,' '' the Journal wrote. "His strategy to cut spending across most categories stands in contrast to Washington's, where everything except defense gets branded as 'stimulus' to get more money. The feds could do worse than employ the Virginia strategy to close its deficit chasm -- and they almost certainly will."

McDonnell is no stranger to national attention. He got more than his share when he was involved in one of two gubernatorial races last year and when he was chosen to give the Republican response to Obama's State of the Union Address in January. But his announcement that the state has a bit more money than expected, some would argue through accounting maneuvers, has not been bad for his reputation of late.

By Anita Kumar  |  August 25, 2010; 5:24 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , General Assembly 2010 , House of Delegates , Robert F. McDonnell , State Senate  
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Gee, I guess the Gov. forgot about $2+B in that dirty stimulus money that he took to close the books. So, rather than getting accolades for his fiscal management, perhaps he should thank Pres. Obama for the stimulus. I'm guessing that won't happen. As to Boehner, as someone born and raised in Ohio, he is embarassing to all good Buckeyes.

Posted by: kinsman_bob | August 25, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

It's worth noting that both the Wall Street Journal and Fox are owned by News Corp., which recently gave $1 million in cash to the Republican Governors Association plus massive amounts of unpaid political advertising, on behalf of its owners, Rupert Murdoch and a Saudi prince.

Posted by: edallan | August 26, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Yes, the federal government could learn a lot from Mcdonnell.
if they did, they would have us pay our income taxes a year early to balance the budget, and then instead of calling taxes "taxes", they would instead call them "christmas presents".
The IRS would then be known as Santa Claus.

Everyone would be more then happy to celebrate Christmas and send Santa Claus his christmas presents a year early.

And you people thought the republicans have no new ideas!

Posted by: MarilynManson | August 26, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Gov. McHolyfather certainly has enough wealth and right-wing bona fides to pay the craven WSJ to publish such fawning praises.

Posted by: perryneheum | August 26, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Love how liberals are now attacking Republican Governors for using stimulus money. They forget the stimulus money belongs to all Americans and has to be paid back. Of course tax and spend liberals are trying to make only the "rich" pay for their greed. The next few months will be interesting as liberals begin to realize their campaign of "Hope and Change" turned into big government and debt that the majority of Americans are opposed to.

Posted by: topgun97365 | August 26, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Gee, it really SUCKS that Virginia came up with a surplus.

I suppose the Democrats of the state would prefer California's financials.

Some people will complain about anything.

Posted by: postfan1 | August 26, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

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