General Talk (Updated)
Wednesday, April 05, 2006 :::
Attorney General Bob McDonnell played host to a few bloggers (and lurkers) on a conference call this evening. The format was wide open, and the AG seemed at ease, informed and willing to take on whatever came his way.
So, I asked him about one of my bete noirs, eminent domain. Yes, he was disappointed nothing emerged from this session -- the only item on his own legislative agenda that did not pass. And he believes there will be another attempt next year. I was glad to hear that, but I hope when the parties gather 'round to discuss matters next time (some of them will be doing so very soon), that the consensus will be around a far stronger bill -- one that, hopefully, will not have been drafted by the counsel for condemnors.
I also asked a broader question about meth and polices to control it. Basically it came down to this: are we at a point where society is willing to sacrifice liberty to increase security? He picked up on the allusion (bonus points if you can tell me who said it), and said that Assembly has passed a law removing over the counter cold remedies from the shelves. It may take a few moments longer to get your Sudafed, and this sort of control might not work in the long run. But he's willing to give it a try.
I disagree -- as the implication of such a policy is that every cold and allergy sufferer is presumed to be running a meth lab under such an arrangement. But I suspect I'm in the distinct minority on that topic.
And so I also asked the Big Question about 2009. After mild prodding, he said the governorship is something he's looking at, but that the best way to earn the trust of the people to be considered for that office is to be an effective Attorney General.
Can't argue with that. And honestly, I didn't expect him to answer otherwise.
It was encouraging to have McDonnell reach out to bloggers like this (thanks, Tucker). And it shows that he, like Tim Kaine before him, sees the value in talking, as he said, without the interference of editorial boards. I sincerely hope McDonnell ventures out this way again soon.
And next time, maybe I'll quiz him on his knowledge of Frank Leahy.
More Comments and Observations
Vincent at Too Conservative offers his impressions of the call here -- McDonnell's response to VT's immigration question was probably the strongest of all.
Flora McDonald has this, with particular emphasis on the question she asked regarding the ACLU v. the Boy Scouts. Again, McDonnell gave a strong response, and he seemed genuinely pleased to get this question. As the father of a Cub Scout, I wish him all the luck in the world with the appeal.
Meanwhile, Nick has his recap and manages to make some laughable career advice along the way (the TD is in enough trouble already, don't you think Nick?).
Meanwhile, NLS has yet to post anything on the call. But he's got other fish to fry today.
::: posted by Norman Leahy at 4/05/2006