Ring the Bell…but what of Character?

Former State Senator Brandon Bell, endorser of Creigh Deeds, has now come out for Bob McDonnell.

This situation brings to mind a Winston Churchill comment.  Churchill began his career in Parliament as a Conservative, crossed to the Liberals, and in the aftermath of WWI and the virtual dissolution of the Liberal Party went back over to the Tories.  When questioned, Churchill said:

“Anyone can rat, but it takes a certain ingenuity to re-rat.”

(NOTE: in British english, the term “rat” refers to a change of political affiliation.)

I have to wonder what is driving this decision. Former Senator Bell was quoted by the McDonnell camp as saying:

“I’ve watched this campaign unfold since both candidates secured their respective nominations. In the four months since that time Bob McDonnell has impressed me with his campaign, and his determined focus on rolling out specific policy proposals for Virginia’s future. His plans to encourage job creation, reform our schools, maximize our energy resources and create new opportunities for Virginians are exactly what we need. Furthermore I am increasingly concerned about the dramatic expansion of the federal government and the impact of that expansion on our everyday lives. I am confident that as our next governor, Bob will stand up for Virginia against any federal policies that may have a negative impact on the Commonwealth and our citizens. His campaign demonstrates his capacity for leadership, and his commitment to Virginia’s future. I strongly endorse Bob McDonnell for governor, and look forward to working with him in the years ahead as he continues to serve the people of Virginia.”

VERY pretty!

But I have to wonder if anything beyond poll numbers drove this decision.

Why do I ask? Because last July I wrote a blog piece about a slew of sour grapes endorsements of Creigh Deeds by former GOP office holders. Bell caught special notice because he endorsed Bolling and Cuccinelli, but not McDonnell. Former Senator Bell responded to my post.

What was his decision based on? Brother Bell declared it was about Character. He wrote (in part):

I know I am hard to figure out but my choice for Governor was made purely on character not ideology. I have had a unique opportunity to work with both men. I am further unencumbered by being in political office and “being required” to support the nominee.

H’mmm…endorsed Deeds in July 2009 because of his “character” before real polling started coming out, and now endorses McDonnell for all sorts of reasons, but omits “character” from the list…

Is this all the result of wanting to back the winner? Something big must have happened to cause him to jump the Character Train…

It would be interesting to get the real story…so if anyone knows the real story, please let us know!


One thought on “Ring the Bell…but what of Character?

  1. Bwana

    Here are my thoughts on this FWIW.


    I’ve spoken to Brandon over the last few days and I’ll take him at his word on this. One reason I do so is because Brandon was really not interested in promoting this, he just wanted Deeds and McDonnell to know he was switching his vote. Even once it went public, he did it in a way (after the Roanoke debate) so as not to draw too much attention to it.

    Anyway, as I said in my post, questions like yours are valid and appropriate and Brandon now gets to prove himself. I’ll certainly be watching.


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