Oh, Bob. Bob, Bob, Bob.
Remember those days when everyone talked about Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell as the next big thing in national Republican politics? Those times when pundits — including this one — put him on the 2012 vice presidential short list the minute he was elected in 2009?
It wasn’t all that long ago. But, man oh man, are those days long gone. McDonnell has spent the past few months taking fire for his relationship with a wealthy donor named Jonnie Williams. The latest blow came this past week when The Post’s Roz Helderman reported that Williams donated an unreported $70,000 to a business owned by McDonnell and his sister, as well as a $50,000 check to McDonnell’s wife, Maureen.
That’s on top of the $25,000 Williams gave the McDonnells to defray costs associated with the weddings of two of their daughters. Williams’s company, Star Scientific, was also allowed to use the governor’s mansion to launch a new nutritional supplement in 2011. All told, Williams donated about $145,000 to the McDonnell family in 2011 and 2012 alone.
McDonnell, throughout the ordeal, has denied doing anything wrong in regard to Williams’s donations. “The rules that I’m following have been rules that have been in place for decades,” he said on a radio show Tuesday.
Of course, whether McDonnell broke the law or not — Virginia’s disclosure rules are decidedly lax — really doesn’t matter all that much when it comes to his political future, which is now nonexistent.
Bob McDonnell, for further ensuring the governor’s office is the last elected one you’ll hold for a long time, you had the worst week in Washington. Congrats, or something.
Have a candidate for the Worst Week in Washington? E-mail Chris Cillizza at email@example.com.