Chris Graham: Paula Deen, Bob McDonnell lessons learned the hard way

chris-graham-header2I’m certainly not sure what chance Paula Deen might have had to avoid the lawsuit from a former employee that led to the overthrow of her cooking empire, but I’d be willing to bet that it was something that could have been avoided.

It’s too late now, of course – same as it’s too late for Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, whose ugly split with his former Governor’s Mansion chef last year led to a still ongoing investigation into questionable gifts given to the governor and his family by a campaign donor.

My best guess is that McDonnell didn’t need to be where he is now, either. Whatever it was between McDonnell and his chef, it likely wasn’t worth having a former close confidant spilling your secrets to investigators.

For McDonnell, now is the sure end of a political career seen as meteoric as recently as three months ago, back when he’d just negotiated a historic compromise providing billions to roads funding, something that his celebrated recent predecessors, Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, couldn’t get done.

For Deen, now is being dropped by the Food Network, several endorsements, her book publishers and even QVC.

Paula Deen was on top of her world, and Bob McDonnell was as close to the summit as you can get.

They’re falling hard on the way down, and it’s because they didn’t play nice when they were up there in the rarefied air.

Hard lessons learned.

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is now available at a special pre-sale discounted price of $20. The book is expected to ship by May 15, 2019, and expected to retail for $25.
Pre-order for $20: click here.

The book, with additional reporting by Scott Ratcliffe and Zach Pereles, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
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