On Thursday, Governor Bob McDonnell took the stand in his own defense. It was Day 19 of his corruption trial, and the time had finally come for him to tell his side of the story.
As one Politico reporter said, "He didn’t simply throw his wife, Maureen, under a bus to keep himself out of prison. He laid her down gently on the road, with a pillow and blanket."
Indeed. Governor Ultrasound painted himself as a man with a wife he just couldn't control anymore. He would tell her to do things and she wouldn't do them!
It was a jarring contrast to the rest of McDonnell’s testimony, in which he repeatedly portrayed himself as the ethical half of the couple. He said he scolded Maureen for accepting another gift from Williams — a $50,000 loan — and for keeping a roughly $7,000 refund from the wedding reception rather than giving it to Cailin, as he wanted.
“I was just very upset with her. I was astounded,” McDonnell said of the $50,000 loan from Williams. He acknowledged that the McDonnells had racked up a lot of credit card debt, but he insisted they were paying it off and didn’t need the money.
And on the refund, McDonnell sounded like he could be any fed-up husband complaining that his wife never does what he asks her to do.
“I told her, you need to give this money to Cailin. It’s her money,” McDonnell said in an exasperated voice. “There have been several examples where I would ask Maureen to do something, and then I’d find out some time later that it wasn’t done.”
Damn that woman anyway.
From all reports, McDonnell did a wonderful job of playing the sad trombone for the jury about his marriage but wasn't quite so successful when it came to explaining his acceptance of gifts, trips and airplane rides. It seems that his strategy is simply to argue that Maureen was the one who instigated all of the goodie-giving, and since they were not close at the time, he couldn't have conspired with her because they weren't really speaking to each other.
What a guy. I will be interested to see if Mrs. McDonnell is willing to play along, or whether she'll give back what she just got -- a knife in her back while her assailant smiled wistfully.
There you have it, folks. Conservative family values on parade for all to see.