McDonnell: Scholar…Governor…Both…Neither…?

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell is confronting a particularly tricky political opponent: himself. Twenty years ago, at the age of 34, McDonnell wrote an academic thesis titled “The Republican Party’s Vision for the Family: The Compelling Issues of the Decade.” Among other gender-based policy topics, his thesis opposed federal tax credits for child care expenditures, because the credits encouraged women to enter the workforce, and criticized a Supreme Court decision that legalized contraception for unmarried couples.

McDonnell’s past writings and current candidacy provoke an interesting question: Should we judge political candidates by their decades-old academic views? McDonnell claims that many of the views he expressed in his thesis have changed, in light of his growing family, his work experience, and his legislative activities. He no longer believes that family stability depends on women being excluded from the workforce, but he does still support an especially controversial position in the paper: that marriage should be heterosexual.


Published in: on September 21, 2009 at 7:31 am Comments Off on McDonnell: Scholar…Governor…Both…Neither…?