The Old Dominion started a new era Saturday. Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell took the oath of office and carried his wife, Maureen, over the threshold of the governor's mansion signaling a drastic shift in political power after an eight year rein by Democrats.
He succeeds Gov. Tim Kaine, who is also the chairman of the Democratic National Committee. McDonnell, like virtually ever other governor in the Union, faces lots of challenges. Most of them stem from the Commonwealth's $4 billion budget shortfall. McDonnell has pledged to use conservative Republican principles to close the budget gap. He'll also be asking God for guidance.
Speaking at a prayer breakfast before his inauguration Saturday, McDonnell compared his public service to a "ministry." Beltway Buzz was there and captured this exclusive video (McDonnell's full remarks run eight minutes). Read highlights of his remarks below.
"The book of Romans says, there is a Scripture there that is very important, says the civil ruler is the minister to do you good and then to punish the evil doer, but primarily he's a minister so I look at this role in public service really as a form of ministry and it truly is public service.
Jesus said something very important. His disciples were bickering over who was going to be the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven and he calmed them down and they were all sullen after he looked at them and he said the son of man came not to be served, but to serve and in fact that the greatest among you is the servant of all. What a remarkable definition of greatness. That is in service to one another, service to others and loving one another and the giving of ourselves that we become great. Very different definition than we often read and see in modern life.
So as I embark on this journey I just want to say, as the Attorney General-elect prayed, I do pray for the wisdom of Solomon. Last year I prayed for votes and money, (laughter) this year, this year it's wisdom....and money, but uh, that's public money that I'm praying for this year. "