November 4th, 2009
05:37 PM ET
12 years ago

Obama calls McDonnell to offer congratulations

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Virginia Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell, a Republican, told reporters Wednesday that President Obama called to wish him congratulations after his win Tuesday."]
RICHMOND, Virginia (CNN) - Virginia's Republican Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell took a congratulatory phone call from President Obama the morning after his landslide victory over Democrat Creigh Deeds, McDonnell told reporters Wednesday.

The call came shortly after 11 a.m. this morning, he said.

"He was exceptionally gracious and kind," McDonnell noted. "We had a couple of laughs. He said that be sure the first thing you do is thank your wife."

"He also told me he thought we ran a very good campaign that it was a good contest, and now that the campaign was over he hoped we would work closely together to govern, especially with Virginia being a neighboring state to the District of Columbia," he said.

The White House said Wednesday that the president called the winners of all of last night's races, including Republican Gov.-elect Chris Christie of New Jersey, Democrat Bill Owens of New York's 23rd congressional district, and independent New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The Republican added that he and his campaign manager Phil Cox also chatted with White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett.

McDonnell also joked that he borrowed a page from the president's successful 2008 campaign playbook.

"I commended him and in fact told him that one of the reasons I thought we won is that we hired the text messaging company that he had last year," he said.

McDonnell was referencing Tusk Mobile, a division of Distributive Networks, the mobile marketing firm that helped the Obama campaign target voters in 2008. McDonnell hired Tusk Mobile in the early days of the governor's race, and his advisers believe he is the first Republican to have successfully leveraged an aggressive text messaging strategy in a high-profile campaign.

Filed under: Bob McDonnell • President Obama
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. TBA

    Now the question is McDonnell going to bow down to Rush Limbaugh like Micheal Steele does?

    November 4, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  2. suresh

    I wonder how Rush and Beck will spin this call from Obama to the Republican winners? Most likely they will say that the President is asking for their help because he cannot handle the job he is doing.

    November 4, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  3. TangledThorns

    Obama wants to learn how to run a positive campaign.

    November 4, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  4. Please stopr censoring...thx S Callahan

    I like that...a real sportsman! 🙂

    November 4, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  5. george cook

    A gracious thing to do Mr. President. and don't believe this 2-state Republican win has "nothing" to do with the Administration's Agenda - it clearly does!!! Making "Promises' that you cannot keep ( just to get elected) will come back to haunt you., People have long memories and do not forget! Decisions have to be made and Rhetoric and Photo Ops will NOT get the job done. Take one agenda at a time and see it through to a finish – that will CLEARLY and without doubt serve all peoples. Ramming a 1990 page Universal Health Care Bill through Congress that clearly everyone has not read and the common man on the street has NO idea of what is in it, besides Universal Health Care...and tell the people that it will not cost us incrementally at all ( based on fuzzy math ) is purely hysterical. We don't need anymore LEGAL terms in bills that cannot be read or understand, per Senator John Kerry, by the average American Citizen/Voter....we need "Plain Talk, Plain Language " that we can all understand.

    November 4, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  6. The Essential Republican

    This is criminal! It proves something absolutely unforgivable about Obama, as soon as I can come up with something.

    November 4, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  7. irise

    Obama's classy. He reaches out to the Republican lawmakers and seeks common ground. That's an earmark of a statesman as opposed to a politician.

    November 4, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  8. William, CA

    What did he call him? A closet misogynist?

    November 4, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  9. Scott, Tucson

    I can't wait for obama to give the congratulatory phone call to the next newly elected President in just 3 years time.

    November 4, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  10. GIBBS

    what took obama so long to call and congratulate him....?

    November 4, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  11. m smith

    Our president has a lot of class and I will vote for him again

    November 4, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  12. Objective Thinking

    I love how when a Democrat wins a race, people say it's because the Democrat was better and had ideas. But when a Republican wins a race, people say it's because the Democrat ran a poor race, not making it clear what his ideas are.

    What a double standard.

    November 4, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  13. susie

    What took him so long?

    November 4, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  14. Willy Brown

    Obummer get use to calling republican starting in 2010.

    November 4, 2009 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  15. Indy

    he called him when he found out the results because we all know He didn't even watch last night, he watched what was it the Bulls ! I woulda hung up on him!

    November 4, 2009 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  16. Donkey Party

    Nothing but class. Way to be the bigger man President Obama.

    November 4, 2009 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  17. AugustS816

    I am encouraged that an early dialogue will be able to be carried out as such to ensure that the best interest of the state and ultimately the nation will be the focus and not the media driven partisanship as reflected in the extremist. This is the UNITED States of America. President Obama is responding in the gracious manner that I would expect of a man of his caliber. It's also refreshing to hear of the congenial responses from each of the governors, even though they are of different parties. Vigorous debate and dialogue are important, but not idiotic sensationalism like you hear from the likes of a Limbaugh or Beck.

    November 4, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  18. peter

    Gracious Lord! this president is what America need for the years to come.First he never put is head down when his side lost and second he know no matter what the outcome of the win from his opponents he always show humility and care.

    November 4, 2009 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  19. Hope to Change

    Becare full McDonnell don't be so full of yourself we the people will vote you out.

    November 4, 2009 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  20. T'SAH from Virginia

    He is such a gentleman and NOT a sore loser... Maybe President Obama does not look at this as a LOST but CHALLENGE.... Yes We Can!!!

    November 4, 2009 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  21. Reformed Republican

    That Obama is really classy.

    McDonnell on the other had offered Pres. Obama a signed copy of Jerry Falwell's legislative agenda (a bible) and told him that the First Lady and the rest of the women living in VA that they will soon be able to buy their burkas and hijabs on his web site – Only after they quit their day jobs and agree to stay home of course.

    McConnell also pitched his version of health care reform and the public option – He'll rememeber the sick and dying of VA in his prayers..

    Good luck VA, you're gonna need it...

    November 4, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    I would expect nothing less from President Obama. Our President is a class act. And McDonnell seems like a nice guy. Sorry, but Deeds was a weak candidate, and that's coming from a Democrat.

    November 4, 2009 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  23. Sam

    I like this. Even though I'm a moderate Democrat I think McDonnell ran an exceptional campaign. I was never fond of Creigh Deeds and his negative campaign tactics. But I think McDonnell has some good ideas for Virginia. He can be a staunch Republican on some issues but on education he fairs well in my book. I hope this phone call is only the beginning of a strong partnership between Governor-elect McDonnell and President Obama.

    November 4, 2009 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  24. Tim

    Axelrod said NY 23 was the only race that mattered. Just goes to show you, Obama throws a lot of money and political capital at things that don't matter. Let that be a forewarning on healthcare.

    November 4, 2009 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |