Also not invited to CPAC: Bob McDonnell

Remember how McDonnell’s and Christie’s gubernatorial wins in 2009 gave conservatives a jolt of optimism after the catastrophe of 2008? Good times, good times.

No surprise here after he broke his promise not to raise taxes in order to fund Virginia’s new transportation bill, but still newsworthy:

Chris Christie isn’t the only Republican governor getting snubbed by the Conservative Political Action Conference. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was not invited, according to someone close to CPAC who was not authorized to speak publicly.

McDonnell, a potential 2016 candidate, spoke at the conference for the past two years. Like Christie, McDonnell is popular in his state. But he has come under fire from conservatives for backing a transportation deal that raises taxes.

Ken Cuccinelli will, of course, attend.

Question: Does the snub matter more to him or more to Christie? Christie’s a mixed bag because the RINO label helps him short-term in his reelection bid but hurts him — maybe — in the presidential primaries in 2016. McDonnell doesn’t have to worry about reelection; Virginia, unusually, bars governors from serving consecutive terms. He also doesn’t really have to worry about the presidential primaries: He’s an attractive candidate on paper but he’s apt to be swallowed up by the star power of Rubio, Jindal, Christie et al. if he ran. Which I doubt he will, especially since he’ll have been out of office for years by the time the race begins. Unless he plans on challenging Mark Warner for Senate in 2014, he’ll have plenty of time to make amends to Virginia conservatives ahead of running again for governor in 2017 or challenging Tim Kaine for Senate a year after that. Or, of course, he could always team up with Christie to form a Bloomberg-backed independent RINO ticket in 2016 and rock America’s world.

Speaking of CPAC, via Jorge Bonilla of the Shark Tank, here’s ACU chief Al Cardenas talking about how the conference will be used this year to hopefully steer conservatives around to supporting the dismal McCain/Schumer/Rubio Senate immigration bill. Make sure closed captioning is enabled and pay attention at around 1:10.