As Virginia’s governor, Bob McDonnell, claws his way through another day in office, he has been quick to point out some of his administrations perceived benefits for the state of Virginia, including Virginia’s comparatively low prices for gasoline.
According to a statement released from Gov. McDonnell’s office, “Gas prices are falling across the commonwealth, and that is good news for Virginians.” The implication that McDonnell is attempting to make in his statement is that his “signature” transportation funding law that passed in the 2013 General Assembly has reduced the price of gas for individuals across Virginia.
McDonnell added, “After nearly three decades of gridlock, we came together this year and passed a historic bipartisan transportation funding solution, which reduced the tax on gas, and now motorists are seeing the results at the pump.”
As with so much else related to McDonnell, outward appearances are deceiving. It is unclear if McDonnell’s proposal of transferring Virginia’s 17.5 cent-per-gallon tax to a 3.5 percent wholesale tax on gas is changing the price of this Jurassic commodity. What is clear is that while McDonnell continues to tout the supposedly low prices of gasoline in Virginia, per gallon prices for gas have quickly edged upwards over the past week.
In highlighting McDonnell’s transportation package, the ‘gov’ may be trying to accomplish a few objectives. First, putting a spotlight on McDonnell’s premier legislation may take Virginia’s mind off of (if only a little bit) the scandal collecting more steam around Gov. McDonnell.
Second, McDonnell may be using his remaining time in office to shape his own image as a successful bipartisan governor. While posterity should look upon McDonnell’s administration as an unequivocal failure in light of ‘gift-gate’, McDonnell is doing his utmost to ensure that he gets some of his own words and views put into the historical record.
Lastly, there is of course the possibility that McDonnell still thinks he has a political future and is operating with his next political office in mind. This is the year of political comebacks, right? For the sake of the governor’s remaining shred of integrity, I hope this isn’t the case.
The next few months will tell if McDonnell is a man desperately clutching for political straws or attempting to put back the pieces he can of his fractured ‘legacy’ before the final trumpet sounds on his time as governor of Virginia.