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What Gov. Bob McDonnell could have learned from Richard Nixon

July 30, 2013, at 12:41 PM
 

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) said in an interview on WTOP that he is working with his lawyers to arrange the return of many gifts he accepted from a political donor, Jonnie Williams Jr., including a $6,500 Rolex watch.

This follows his announcement last week that he would repay approximately $120,000 in loans to Williams.

Said McDonnell: "My intent is everything I have received from this particular donor... that those gifts that I have in my possession, I am working with my counsel to be able to return."

But as TPM reports, McDonnell also threw his wife under the scandal bus claiming that it was her office that organized a 2011 event for Williams and his company at the governor's mansion. He claims to have known nothing about it.

McDonnell could have learned a few things from another politician with presidential aspirations who faced a similar gift scandal: Richard Nixon.

In 1952 as he was fighting to retain his spot on the national Republican ticket as the vice presidential nominee, Nixon gave his famous "Checkers speech," which set the modern standard for a politician appealing directly to the public to save his political hide.

McDonnell should have watched it before his interview today.

 

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