Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was the first guest for Rep. Tim Scott's popular presidential town hall series who is not a primary candidate, but it was clear that Scott and others in the crowd were anticipating a new role for the governor.
"Mr. Vice President," Scott said when he first handed the microphone over to McDonnell. "I like to get used to the new title and it gives him an opportunity to warm up to it as well."
As a Southern governor, McDonnell would be an appealing choice for any shortlist for running mates. McDonnell made no reference to Scott's remark, but did a good job making the argument for himself, particularly touting Virginia's low unemployment rate.
"We know what works," McDonnell said. "We've tried to cut taxes in those areas that impair the ability of businesses to create and grow access to capital. We've tried to bring some targeted incentives by looking at what Virginia is good at."
McDonnell also offered a similar stump speech to the GOP Primary front runner, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
"The president is a nice guy, a good family man," McDonnell said. "But his policies are flat wrong. He's attacking people who are successful, creating this class warfare argument that somehow if you've been successful, if you've taken risks and seen a return, that somehow you're stomping on other people's rights — we should condemn that. It's wrong. That's not the American formula for success."
Buz and Victoria Williams of Myrtle Beach are Virginia transplants who came out to hear the governor speak after hearing about the town hall on the news. They welcomed the shortlist speculation.
"That would be fantastic," Victoria Williams said. "We know what he has done in Virginia."
McDonnell also talked about the value of having a governor in the oval office.
"When I see the failures in leadership and direction of this administration, I think the skill set best suited to fix that is what governors have to do every day," he said. "You have to balance budgets every year. You have to take direct responsibility for how competitive you are making your state."
Looking back over history, McDonnell also noted the number of men from the commonwealth who became commander-in-chief.
"I think Virginians make good presidents," McDonnell noted. "But I'm not running."
The lingering word left unsaid was "yet." He's not running yet.