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Will Mitt Romney decide that Virginia's governor has become too controversial to be on the ticket?
By Ed Jones
VIRGINIA'S governor may be about to offer Mitt Romney his first big presidential test.
The word on the street, or perhaps I should say in the media, is that Bob McDonnell's VP luster has lost its shine due to that nasty ultrasound debate
So has the death knell sounded for McDonnell's national hopes? The answer could provide a telling commentary on Romney.
If he scratches McDonnell off the list, will Romney be seen by GOP conservatives as caving in to the pro-choice movement and the "liberal media"?
Sure, there are plenty
On the other hand, if Romney taps Virginia's governor for the No. 2 spot, will he widen the gender gap in favor of Barack Obama? After all, the national media are sure to rediscover that academic thesis by McDonnell from many years ago that offered a rather quaint view of women's roles.
What a difference a legislative session can make. McDonnell seemed to be flying high before the brouhaha over requiring ultrasounds before abortions. The biggest surprise of his tenure as governor has been his ability to develop bipartisan appeal among men and women.
His approval ratings, even with the hit for the legislative session, are still high. His 2009 election as governor was in part due to his strength in Northern Virginia, where the electorate is particularly sensitive to gender issues.
But then came the ultrasound debate in Richmond--and everything changed.
Suddenly a popular, articulate, amiable swing-state governor, with political roots in social conservatism and a governing style right out of Mitt Romney's pragmatic playbook,
Stay tuned for Romney's first presidential decision.
Ed Jones: 540/374-5401