Chris Graham: What happens if McDonnell ends up veep?
The question could apply to either scenario, too. Even a candidacy for vice president could force McDonnell’s hand regarding his current job as Virginia governor. It was so much politics, but several Virginia Republicans were putting pressure on then-Gov. Tim Kaine to step aside in 2008 when his name was mentioned as a top candidate to run alongside Barack Obama on the Democratic Party national ticket.
A victory in November would render that issue moot.
Getting us down to the brass tacks. McDonnell as vice president. What happens in Virginia?
In the immediate term, Bill Bolling becomes governor. That much is obvious. The lieutenant governor moves one step up the ladder.
But what does that mean for the brewing race between Bolling and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for the Republican Party gubernatorial nomination in 2013?
Does Bolling, currently viewed by more than a few as the underdog in the race, suddenly elevate to frontrunner status?
He does, in the above scenario, after all, sort of run as the incumbent, a rarity in Virginia politics, where governors can’t run for a second consecutive term.
It would seem to be hard for Republicans to pass by a sitting governor to run for re-election, even if it is only a technicality.
Does this prospect entice McDonnell, who has publicly backed Bolling for the GOP nomination in 2013, to decide to step aside even before the November elections? After all, McDonnell’s political career in Virginia is over, by and large, unless he decides to challenge Mark Warner for his U.S. Senate seat in 2014.
(Or Warner decides, as some, including me, are suggesting he will, and he runs for governor in 2013, leaving the U.S. Senate seat open thereafter.)
So much to speculate about. Ain’t Virginia politics fun?