Governor Bob McDonnell has become a front runner in the Republican Party's Veepstakes. He, along with Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (see Alex Pappas at The Daily Caller), seem to sop up much of media mentions for the second spot, such as the time the media gives to the second spot at this stage. Normally, being the frontrunner for the presidency this early consigns him to the status of a coach who's received the owner's "vote of confidence" (i.e., he's not long for the job) much less one mentioned for the second spot. But at least those coaches get a vote. The potential Veeps seemingly are vetted only by the Great Mentioner — the amalgamation of omnipresent radio and cable pundits — who cannot even begin to conjure the myriad of factors that ultimately mix to produce a national ticket . . . such as . . . say . . . the presidential nominee himself . . . and his electoral strengths and weaknesses as well as all sorts of balancing acts including geography, age and even ethnicity, to name a few. But also personal chemistry. Which brings us to an announcement earlier today by the Republican Party of Virginia: It is having a fundraiser hosted by Governor Bob McDonnell and headlined by Texas Governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry (FoxNews.com). Let's face it: The state party with its governor in power does not randomly ask individuals to raise money for it.

Talk long has focused on how well the two get along and around Capitol Square there have been whispers that Perry has McDonnell in mind — already. Perry was the chairman of the Republican Governors Association while McDonnell was its vice chair, becoming chairman upon Perry's resignation to run for president. Add this friendship to Governor McDonnell's potential interest in the job (see Richmond Times-Dispatch) and the grassroots luncheon fundraiser takes on a new flavor. Because of his position with the RGA, word was Governor McDonnell would not endorse a candidate during the primaries (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog) — a silence normally employed by Veeps in waiting to make them plausible to whoever the eventual nominee is). That also make it easier on Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, very much tied to the governor, who enthusiastically chairs Mitt Romney's Virginia campaign, as he did four years ago (The Shad Plank).

Another hint of the governors' simpatico comes from RPV Chairman Pat Mullins, who said in a statement:

We're absolutely thrilled that Governor Perry will be with us for this event. Governor Perry's record in Texas of lower taxes, limited government, and job growth looks familiar to anyone who pays attention to Virginia politics. Like our own Governor Bob McDonnell, Gov. Perry has balanced his state's budget by making prudent decisions, rather than treating taxpayers like an ATM.

This is where we cue another expression: A picture is worth a thousand words. He may or may not endorse Rick Perry, but Bob McDonnell seems to be giving an indication as to who he prefers. The question is whether, if he wins the GOP nomination, Perry prefers Bob McDonnell.