The Rise and Fall of Bob McDonnell (Washington Examiner)

Washington Examiner, Jan. 3, 2014

The sidelight to the 2012 presidential election was the pageant of rising Republican stars jockeying for the torch in the next go-round. Few had a better resume than Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.

He was on the shortlist of names presidential nominee Mitt Romney considered for running mate. When Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin was tapped instead, McDonnell was on the shortlist for a Cabinet post….

No one could have imagined that he would also end up on the Justice Department’s shortlist of allegedly corrupt public officials. McDonnell now faces the likelihood of a grand jury indictment and, as the seconds tick down on his term in office, he is forced to weigh his legal future instead of his political future.

“The truth is his political career is over,” said Stephen Farnsworth, a political science professor at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia. “This is a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions. McDonnell could’ve had it all. He would’ve been able to go into future elections with bipartisan accomplishments and support of the religious right without being as scary as some other conservatives.”

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