Virginia's popular Governor Bob McDonnell has been all over the news lately, showing up on Fox News, gracing the front page of the Washington Examiner earlier this week, and frequently mentioned by talking heads.
Has that popularity plus his overwhelming November 2009 gubernatorial win helped pull the 2012 National Governors Association (NGA) to Virginia for its annual meeting? Having former Republican Party of Virginia communications director Tim Murtaugh, who was part of the historic 2009 McDonnell win, working for the Republican Governors Association probably didn't hurt either.
Governor McDonnell noted, “In 2012, America will meet in Virginia.” Indeed, governors from throughout the Nation and the commonwealths of Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico, as well as the territories of American Samoa, Guan, and the Virgin Islands, will meet July 13-15, 2012, in Williamsburg. It will be the first time in over 50 years the respected event will be held in Virginia. Previous gatherings took place in Williamsburg in 1957, and in Richmond in 1932 and 1912.
The NGA has been meeting since 1908 at various locations twice a year -- the Winter Meeting in February and the Annual Meeting in July -- offering an opportunity for each state's top executive and senior staff members to participate and discuss key federal issues and develop solutions to public policy.
The NGA chose Williamsburg because of its hotel and meeting facilities, and because of the rich history of the city and Virginia as well as the overall appeal of the area. Virginia is indeed steeped in history, as noted by Gov. McDonnell when notified of the selection of Virginia for the 2012 meeting:
“There is no more fitting location for a meeting of America’s governors than our nation’s birthplace. Virginia is the home of the 'Father of our Country', four of the first five presidents, the author of the Declaration of Independence, the 'Father of the Constitution' and Yorktown.
"It was Williamsburg where many of our Founders studied, learned and debated the concepts, principles and ideas that would ultimately create the government we have today. ... Just as the Founders debated the matters of their day, we will discuss the issues of ours. While separated by centuries, we are part of the same journey. I look forward to hosting this great event, and the opportunity to continue to tell the story of Virginia, which is the story of America.”
Cross-posted at The Washington Examiner