A little background for those outside of the Virginia political dialect. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell ran his 2009 campaign for Governor with the theme "Bob's for Jobs". His recent turncoat power move to push through Virginia's largest tax increase says Bob is for himself and not for grassroots conservatism. Hence, Bob is for Bob.
What a dastardly thing to do, Governor McDonnell. Throwing what thousands of Virginians believed in you and the principles you campaigned for under the bus to advance your political career. Your actions have floored grassroots conservatives throughout the Commonwealth. What you had built over the years in trust with conservatives in Virginia and beyond has been sorely damaged.
Recent communications attempts made by the Governor to "smooth out" the conservative push back has not resonated with Virginia voters. Clearly, this move had motives beyond the pale.
What was your motive? Either you abdicated your fiscal conservative principles just to top off your legacy as Governor, or you were attempting some twisted political move to position you in favor with the left and independents for a run for United States Senate in 2014.
Perhaps this is another example of a once conservative leader becoming consumed with his power that he tramples on the very values and principles that put him in office. This usually happens in Washington, but now it's in Richmond.
One thing is for sure. Governor McDonnell has lost a significant portion of grassroots strength that was backing him. Conservative grassroots supporters have indicated this transportation tax plan was a deal breaker for them helping him with future campaigns. Social media was ablaze over the last few days with many ground level activists pulling back since McDonnell's fiscal betrayal.
Virginia conservatives did not need this. Grassroots volunteers throughout the Commonwealth are still reeling from the 2012 election defeat by Obama and Tim Kaine. Volunteers had spent many long hours and personal assets to support Mitt Romney and George Allen in 2012. After the November defeat, many Republicans took solace knowing that that had a "friend" in the Governor's Mansion. This is yet another kick in the gut from the Republican establishment.
One thing is for sure. Governor McDonnell made this choice. He chose to consort and bond with the far left element of Dick Saslaw and Don McEachin. Rather than to stand on conservative, fiscal principles that propelled him in to office. This may be one choice Bob McDonnell will long regret. A part of his legacy he can't shake.