Bob McDonnell, the once golden Republican, is now  becoming a liability for Ken Cuccinelli in his face against Terry McAuliffe for governor.

Bob McDonnell, the once golden Republican, is now becoming a liability for Ken Cuccinelli in his face against Terry McAuliffe for governor.

As Richard Nixon was 39 summers ago for Watergate-worried congressional Republicans, McDonnell could become, with apologies to the late columnist Nicholas von Hoffman, a “dead mouse” to legislative Republicans: Everyone can see it. Everyone can smell it. Who’s going to throw it away? [Richmond Times]

VIRGINIA REPUBLICANS and friends of Governor Bob McDonnell are now speculating, openly but also anonymously, that he may be forced to resign. This rumor is being met by denials, but the scuttlebutt in Virginia is all bad news for Bob McDonnell, who was once considered vice presidential material for Mitt Romney.

The scandal is also ensnaring Ken Cuccinelli, while giving Terry McAuliffe’s run for Virginia governor more oxygen. Cuccinelli is looking even more craven than he is, a right-winger who thinks women’s lady parts are under the state’s jurisdiction.

The Daily Beast does a recap on McDonnell’s problems, which revolve around using his office to enrich himself. In Virginia, it’s the way politicians enjoy the privileges of power, but in today’s economic and political Tea Party reality, it’s not being dismissed like it used to be.

To recap: in March of last year, a disgruntled chef booted from the governor’s mansion informed authorities that a $15,000 catering tab for the June 2011 wedding of McDonnell’s daughter Cailin had been paid for by a rich political donor named Jonnie R. Williams Sr. The probing commenced, and soon it came to light that Williams had made several such displays of gubernatorial devotion, including underwriting a $15,000 shopping spree at Bergdorf’s for the governor’s wife, Maureen, and buying, at Maureen’s behest, a $6,500 Rolex for her to give her hubby.

Jeff Schapiro writing in the Richmond Times:

“What’s the purpose other than piling on?” says Saslaw. “There’s no question the governor is up to his … in alligators — and he knows it. Let’s just wait and see. All I know is I wouldn’t want to be in his situation.”

McDonnell’s situation is made worse by Cuccinelli. He, too, is stuck in the briar patch that is Jonnie Williams Sr. and Star Scientific. Cuccinelli’s effort to distance himself from McDonnell achieves the wrong objectives. It magnifies their shared humiliation. It is a reminder Cuccinelli is better at sticking it to McDonnell than sticking with him.

Cuccinelli isn’t the only Republican statewide candidate avoiding McDonnell — or availing himself of the opportunity to do so.
Mark Obenshain, the nominee for attorney general, is holding a fundraiser in Virginia Beach on Wednesday evening. The governor was supposed to be the headliner. But McDonnell’s office now says the appearance is off, that he’ll be on vacation all week with his family.

All of this is weighing down Cuccinelli, who has a myriad of problems because he’s far to right-wing for most Virginians.

Many Democrats don’t love Terry McAuliffe, though at our house he’s got a lot of support, because living in Virginia is reminiscent of the bad old day s of Missouri, where men and the legislature put limits on a woman’s privacy. McAuliffe is no doubt an old time establishment politician, which turns progressives off, but he is also a man with real heart and the talent that businesses in Virginia are slowly embracing.

Bob McDonnell’s career may be over on the national scene, which is truly a stunning development.