David Frum

07.02.12

McDonnell's VP Problem: Virginia is too Successful

Picking Bob McDonnell as Romney's VP is a tricky choice. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports on how low unemployment in the swing state of Virginia might complicate the Romney messaging operation there. Recent reports of the state's 5.6% unemployment rate, well below the national average, are a mixed blessing:

highlighting the balancing act, the Republican National Committee on Wednesday was using the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to paint a gloomy picture for the state, blaming Obama.

"The latest jobs report showing unemployment rising in all but one of Virginia's metro areas is further proof President Obama's policies are continuing to inhibit Gov. McDonnell's positive work to help the private sector create jobs," said Michael Short, the state's RNC Victory communications director.

To win Virginia, the Obama, Romney, and McConnell campaigns will have show who can better master the commonwealth's mixed economic messages:

"Romney will have to ensure that his broader attacks on the federal government, especially in Northern Virginia," don't "completely ignore the important role it plays in the overall Virginia economy," he said.

Low unemployment in an other swing state with a Republican governor causes a similar problem:

The precariousness of the situation in Republican-governed states has gained national attention in recent weeks. Bloomberg reported that Romney's campaign had asked Florida Gov. Rick Scott to tone down his cheerleading of the state's declining unemployment rate, which is still above the national average of 8.2 percent.