As expected, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was named chairman of the Republican Governors Association after Texas Gov. Rick Perry jumped into the 2012 presidential race, the association announced Monday.
“It is a tremendous honor to lead the RGA,” said McDonnell, who until today was the association’s vice chairman. “Thanks to the strong leadership of Gov. Perry and the nation’s 29 Republican governors, the RGA is in position to have an unprecedented impact this election cycle.
“I look forward to working with my fellow Republican governors to expand our majority and ensure the RGA remains the most effective political committee in the nation Republican governors are leading the way in helping the private sector create new jobs, reforming government and getting our economy back on track.”
The post will give McDonnell another launching pad to boost his national profile, as well as access to deep fundraising pockets for any potential future bid for higher office. Next month, McDonnell will also headline the New Hampshire GOP’s annual fundraiser, which a handful of presidential contenders are expected to attend.
The announcement comes as Politico is out with an article in which McDonnell, as he has for some time, said he’d be “very interested” in a spot on the national ticket in 2012, though he’s “not asking for the call.”
“I’ll be looking for a job in January 2014, but that’s an eternity in politics,” he told Politico. “I’ve got to do in four years what most governors get eight years to do if they’re doing a good job. So we’re just laser-focused on (getting) lots of results. By that time, my kids will all be out of college and my life will be a little bit different in 2016. So I don’t know. It’s so far down the road I’m not focused on it.”