Former, scandal-scarred Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell went on the witness stand for his defense Wednesday and said he really didn’t do “all that much” to help Star Scientific, the company where the CEO lavished he and his wife with more than $170,000 in gifts, cash and loans.
McDonnell might actually be telling the truth in that. In reality, he served four lackluster years as a governor who didn’t really do much of anything, except live large at taxpayers’ and donors’ expense,
As governors go, McDonnell was about as useless as they come. He was a pretty boy with a former pro football cheerleader wife who smiled a lot, devastated the Old Dominion, drove around in a borrowed Ferrari, sported a ill-gained Rolex and accomplish nothing of real value.
When it came to delivering the goods to help Star Scientific promote its dietary supplement, the real issue is not that he didn’t accomplish much — it’s that he was too incompetent to deliver on the promises to Star CEO Jonnie Williams, who was paying the tab for results.
As governor, he pandered to lobbyists and Virginia’s GOP right wing and ignored the needs of the bulk of the Commonwealth’s citizens.
“He was a poster-child governor,” says GOP consultant Ron Winger. “Now, even the poster is tattered and torn.”
But, in Virginia’s “promise anything, deliver nothing” atmosphere of government and virtually non-existent campaign ethics laws, McDonnell could escape any real punishment for his many misdeeds.
And that will be in a crime in itself.