Tuesday night on “The Rachel Maddow Show,” host Rachel Maddow wondered aloud about the current whereabouts of the $6,500 Rolex watch that was among the gifts given to Virginia’s Gov. Bob McDonnell by Johnnie Williams Sr., a dietary supplement tycoon and friend of the McDonnell family. Maddow — who nicknamed McDonnell ‘Gov. Ultrasound’ when he mandated medically unnecessary invasive ultrasound exams for women seeking abortions — even went on the online auction site eBay in search of the watch, but was unsuccessful.
She began by discussing the celebration of President John F. Kennedy’s 45th birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden in 1962. Actress Marilyn Monroe attended to sing the president “Happy Birthday,” and she also brought along a Rolex watch to give to the president, who she was having an affair with.
The gift was accompanied by a love poem and on the back of the watch was engraved, “Jack, with love as always, from Marilyn, May 29, 1962.” Apparently Pres. Kennedy took one look at the watch and said, “Get rid of it.”
A similar conundrum now faces Gov. McDonnell, whose watch is engraved “71st Governor of Virginia.” The watch was one article in a series of lavish gifts and sums of cash given to McDonnell and his family by Williams, who was trying to persuade the state government to enter into a business relationship with Star Scientific, his supplement company.
Now that the grift has been exposed, McDonnell is under pressure to return all of the gifts. He told a reporter this week that all “tangibles” have been returned.
So, where is that Rolex now? Maddow wondered.
“In other words, he told somebody to get rid of it,” she said. But to whence? Williams can’t “take it back to the Rolex store” now that it’s engraved. “Do you pawn it?” she asked. “Do you put it on eBay?”
She and producers went on eBay in search of a Rolex marked “71st Governor of Virginia,” but, sadly, were unable to find one. They found a gold vintage Rolex engraved with the Masonic seal and a silver one stamped with the General Motors logo, but no Rolex marked “71st Governor of Virginia” or even “Governor Ultrasound.”
“As far as we can tell, Gov. McDonnell’s Rolex is not on eBay yet,” said Maddow. “What will happen to it?”
In the meantime, she said, we’re just going to have to take Gov. Ultrasound at his word that the gifts have all been returned.
“When do we stop doing that?” she asked.
Watch the video, embedded via MSNBC, below: