It is not easy to create a legacy when you are a governor of Virginia. When you are limited to one term and are working with a legislature with no term limits, it is difficult to forge ahead on initiatives that can stand the test of time.
That doesn't mean Bob McDonnell doesn't intend to try. He has had some success meeting many of his campaign promises (as PolitiFact Virginia is closely tracking), but that one signature accomplishment has yet to come to fruition.
In addition to being remembered, McDonnell also has the companion goal of remaining politically viable after he leaves office. Unlike his predecessor Tim Kaine, McDonnell doesn't have federal electoral success to point to and could use a positive legislative accomplishment to fall back on.
The first big example of his legacy building efforts was this morning's transportation announcement. Our Brent Solomon covered the announcement. The plan would overhaul the transportation funding structure. It would be a long lasting reform. A reform that if it works, would be something he could point to in a future political campaign. Something liberal blogger Lowell Feld skeptically pointed out today.
Here is my report on this important session for Bob McDonnell from NBC12:
RICHMOND (WWBT)- Wednesday marks the start of the Virginia General Assembly session. There are showdowns expected on transportation, uranium mining and texting while driving. While some of those bills will draw some attention the overriding story is Governor Bob McDonnell's last opportunity to shape his legacy.Governors in Virginia are in a unique position. The only chief executives in America constitutionally prohibited from running for back to back terms.
"Where are all of you at my normal press conferences?" the governor joked this morning to a packed house.
With only four years McDonnell is running out time to shape a legacy and he is pushing to make his last year count.
Tuesday he unveiled an ambitious plan to fund transportation that eliminates the gas tax and bumps up the state sales tax. It was a promise he made when he ran for governor.
"If this was easy it would've been done 26 years ago," he said.
That was the last time a long term transportation funding plan was put into place. Creating a new one would help McDonnell's legacy to stand out.
To this point it's something he has been unable to do.
McDonnell has stumbled at transformational reforms like attempting to privatize state ABC stores. He plans to use 2013 as his chance to finish things off.
In addition to transportation, McDonnell has already proposed a plan to increase pay to teachers, along with a system to fire those who aren't performing. He could expand his effort to increase college degrees and he still needs to figure out how to handle President Obama’s health care reform act.
read and see the rest of the story on NBC12.com
We should get our first glimpse into just how ambitious the governor will be at tomorrow night's State of the Commonwealth. It starts at 7pm. I will be there for the speech and it will be streaming live on NBC12.