Two friends .. Bob and Bill
At this 2014 Burgers With Bill event, the crowd sang “Happy Birthday” to former Governor Bob McDonnell and former Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling who share today as their birthdays. In November 2009, Bob won by historic proportions with Bill easily winning reelection. Together, they made a good team for Virginia with both recognizing the importance of cultivating a relationship not just with Virginia’s citizens but also with Virginia’s citizen journalists — the bloggers.
Bob and Bill were some of the first politicians who worked with bloggers at a time when that group was trying to break through as an information network. Bill hosted an annual Bloggers Day in Richmond for seven years, held while the General Assembly was in session, setting up opportunities for those writing for blogs to sit in on meetings at the capitol, meet with GOP legislators and leaders, and observe the State Senate and House of Delegates in action (see LG Bill Bolling hosts 5th annual Bloggers Day). It always ended in the evening with a complimentary dinner at a nearby downtown Chinese restaurant hosted by Lieutenant Governor and Mrs. Bolling … except the year we all were invited to a reception at the Governor’s Mansion hosted by Governor and Mrs. Bob McDonnell. All were wonderful opportunities.
At one of the Republican Party of Virginia Advances, probably around 2004, then-Attorney General Bob McDonnell, who would become the next governor, hosted a meeting of bloggers attending the annual event at the Homestead. Congressman Eric Cantor also recognized bloggers and welcomed them to his events.
Bill’s Burgers With Bill became an annual cookout fest. The last one was two years ago when over 400 guests joined him along with Mrs. Bolling in Richmond on a hot afternoon. It offered the opportunity to spend time with fellow Republicans who had worked together for years, and to greet Mitt Romney, Ed Gillespie, and many other familiar faces — a fantastic event that was much appreciated by all.
Happy Birthday, Bob and Bill! Thank you for all you’ve done throughout the years for Virginia Republicans … we have not forgotten.