Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was all ready to be Mitt Romney's vice presidential running mate, but the call he got Friday from the Republican nominee was an order to stand down. Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, he was informed, would be the chosen one.
According to the Richmond Times- Dispatch
, McDonnell was about to board a flight for Puerto Rico when got the call from Romney about 7 p.m., ending what the newspaper Sunday called the governor's "none-too-subtle campaign" for the job, "one in which he may have shown a little too much leg."
McDonnell had worked to put himself in a position to be one of the first mentioned as a possible running mate, the newspaper reported, citing his willingness to be a big spokesman for the party, multiple visits to the early GOP primary states, and his early endorsement of Romney.
In the last few days leading up to Romney's announcement Saturday of Ryan as his pick, McDonnell was also being pushed heavily in a series of news stories, Internet blogs, and Twitter feeds. As the governor of a key battleground state, many Republicans figured the governor could deliver a huge vote for Romney in November.
But the Times-Dispatch suggested McDonnell may have been ruled out a while back, perhaps as early as this past winter when "his image as a nonthreatening, purple-state conservative" was damaged by the Virginia GOP-controlled legislature's approval of mandatory ultrasounds for women seeking abortions.
The newspaper said his consolation prize came when he was named a few weeks ago as the chairman of the platform committee at the Republican National Convention beginning Aug. 27 in Tampa.
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