The 90-day campaign promise has begun…

January 17, 2010, 10:12 PM

How appropriate that I am writing this from my parents’ house in Virginia where, in traveling to get here, I passed three shuttered rest areas. While my sister was out getting married (more on that later), Republican Bob McDonnell was being sworn in as the 71st Governor of Virginia.

The reason I mention this is because during the gubernatorial campaign, McDonnell made a promise to reopen the rest areas that were closed last summer. I certainly could have used one or two of those on the way down here. It is very convenient to exit the highway into a rest area, get out of the car, go in, do one’s business, and then hop back in the car and go. Compare that to the alternative. That involves taking an exit to a local road and finding a place, and you’re never sure what you’re going to get, plus having to battle local traffic. I got off at Woodstock to use the restroom on the way down, and battling local traffic was not exactly a walk in the park. And if you’re stopping just to take a potty break with no intention of buying food or gas or otherwise, that’s what rest areas are for. Otherwise, you’re just clogging up local roads and such and eating up parking spaces for a non-revenue (for the private operator) visit. If you are also buying food or gas or what have you, then by all means, take the exit and use the restroom while you’re at it. But otherwise, that’s what rest areas are for. Get off, use the restrooms, stretch your legs, and then get going again.

So Mr. McDonnell has 90 days – until April 16th – to hang out the welcome sign on the rest areas that were closed. It appears that he intends to honor that promise (he’d better).

Either way, the clock is now ticking. McDonnell had better get cracking.

Web site: Richmond Times-Dispatch article from last summer about the rest area closure

Song: Definitely the bell sound I use for text messages on my phone. I'm going to get my bi-annual upgrade tomorrow, and it's probably going to be a Droid, which I've been describing as, "The iPhone for people who don't want to switch to AT&T." In preparation for switching phones, I found the files for my ringtone and my text message chime, and got them ready for transfer onto the new phone.

Quote: Meanwhile, Virginia governors are kind of unaccountable once elected. They are constitutionally barred from serving multiple consecutive terms in office, and so if McDonnell doesn't follow through, it's not like Virginia voters can hold him accountable by voting him out in 2013. There will be two new candidates in 2013, and he's gone in January 2014 regardless of what he does. There needs to be a state constitutional amendment in Virginia to allow the governor to serve at least two consecutive terms so that governors have to answer more directly to the public by asking them if they may serve another term.