Why Isn't Bob McDonnell Attending Obama's Virginia Education Event?

Newly sworn-in Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has praised President Obama's approach to education, particularly the broad outlines of his "Race To The Top" framework for ed policy. Indeed, during McDonnell's campaign, he repeatedly touted Obama's initiatives and invoked Obama's name -- a nice bit of bipartisanship for which he was given much credit.  Today, as Massachusetts shifts political hues, Obama motorcades to Fairfax County, VA for a major pivot to education and the 2010 kick-off of "Race To The Top."  McDonnell was not invited to attend.

At Graham Road Elementary School, Obama will announce a big expansion of the program. (BTW: nice bit of political staging by the White House -- Obama will get great local press coverage, correspondent Tony Lee reminds me, on Wednesday, as he prepares to get a thumpin' in the national press -- assuming Scott Brown wins.) In any event, for a White House eager to be even more aggressively bipartisan, McDonnell's absence is curious.

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Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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