Readers Respond to McDonnell's Response 

The economy has undoubtedly had an impact on advertising dollars and may help explain why Style Weekly could allocate such page space to Senior Contributing Editor Edwin Slipek Jr.'s devoid rant (“Hollow Hall,” News & Features, Feb. 10). What an honor and increased exposure for the Commonwealth of Virginia and our new governor to be entrusted with the recent State of the Union GOP response, regardless of venue.

Hopefully, Mr. Slipek's comments are more indicative of his own underlying political sour grapes than those of Style Weekly? The only thing I feel that may have further enhanced Gov. Bob McDonnell's commendable presentation would have been the addition of the newly elected senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown, amongst the “stage props” you referenced. Mr. Slipek, you might want to concentrate on your coping skills as further disappointment is in the forecast for November.

Gary W. Grubb

I'm not yet sure if I am a fan of Gov. McDonnell, but one thing I am a fan of is responsible journalism, and that is why I am disturbed by Edward Slipek's commentary. He accuses Gov. McDonnell of stooping to politics with his placement of “an Asian man and an African-American woman” in strategic positions just behind the governor during his Republican response to the State of the Union address. A quick check with the governor's press office, or in my case, a quick Google search, would have determined that the individuals were James Cheng, the governor's secretary of commerce and trade, and Lisa Hicks-Thomas, his secretary of administration, individuals certainly deserving of a spot on the podium.

So while Mr. Slipek and his viewing friends may be correct to suggest that Asians and African-Americans are not proportionately represented in the General Assembly, or possibly in the rest of the audience that night, they are prominently represented in the governor's cabinet. That particular comment didn't add weight to the thesis Mr. Slipek was attempting to support, that the House of Delegates chamber should not be used for non-Virginian political events, and given who we now know those individuals to be, just looks like shoddy journalism.

Andy Brownstein

Thank you Eddie for writing this, and thanks to Style for printing it. I watched this bit of theater from “Pretend-sident McDonnell” (as Stephen Colbert called him in his send up of the same thing) with my mouth open in disbelief at the pretension and absurdity of it all.

Posted on, Feb. 12, 2:52 p.m

Seems especially frivolous and pretentious since McDonnell STILL has not proposed a budget for the Commonwealth. Compare McDonnell's rhetoric at this creepy photo op with his actions as executive and you have to wonder: Is he just an empty suit?

Posted on, Feb. 10, 1:52 p.m.


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