Terry McAuliffe for Governor of Virginia?

Terry McAuliffe (AKA "The Macker""T-Mac") has, for quite a while, been shopping around for a place to spend his substantial fortune trying for a gubernatorial seat. He's wanted to be a governor so much that he's appeared quite flexible as to the name of the state that would follow "Governor of" on his business cards. In fact, now he's up for the name of a commonwealth gracing his campaign letterhead.

Following the election, McAuliffe filed papers to run for Governor of Virginia (there is no mechanism for an exploratory committee so this was necessary for McAuliffe to start raising -- and spreading around -- the big, big bucks). His plan has been to officially announce on January 7th, the day the Commonwealth will be mourning the 400th Anniversary of the first structure fire in the new world, a conflagration that destroyed almost all of Jamestown.

But before getting into the nitty gritty of the marquee 2009 Virgiana Gubernatorial race, it is important to look at the McAuliffe Gubernatorial campaigns that weren't:

Potential opponents dismiss him as a cynical Daddy Warbucks who has long plotted to buy himself a governorship -- claiming he even mulled runs in his native New York and Florida, where his wife's family lives.

What went wrong with Terry McAuliffe running for Governor of his first two choices?


Despite some questionable real estate transactions outside Orlando (where "The Macker" either scored $2.4 million off of no investment or $2.45 million off of a $100 investment), McAuliffe dangled his toes in the water when it came to running for Governor of Florida. The only problem was, Florida expected a chief executive that, you know, actually lived there:

McAuliffe gave his enemies serious ammunition in 2005, when his spokesman was asked about a report that he was mulling a run against then-Gov. Jeb Bush. The flack shot down the report, citing Florida's seven-year residency requirements -- not McAuliffe's undying love for Virginia.

"He's incredibly flattered, but he will not be a candidate for '06," DNC spokesman Tony Welch told The Miami Herald at the time. "He's intrigued by the idea, but the residency requirement is what it is."

To be fair, apparently the constitutional requirement wasn't common knowledge among gubernatorial hopefuls as Lawton "Bud" Chiles was also thinking of carrying on the family tradition until he read in the newspaper about McAuliffe not being able to run and realized the rule applied to him also.

Florida had long been on McAuliffe's mind. As DNC Chair in 2002 he promised, "Jeb Bush is gone" (he was actually re-elected in a 13 point stomping).

And Florida was still on his mind last week, as was linked all the way to Miami, Not Larry Sabatobusted Terry McAuliffe forgetting he is running for Governor of Virginia, not Florida.

If not Florida, then...

New York

McAuliffe's home state of New York would have allowed him to move into the state and quickly establish the residency requirements. In fact, he knew the routine well, as McAuliffe had offered up seven figures so that Hillary Clinton could establish New York residency for her senate run.

Unfortunately, there were problems with running for Governor of New York also. When he blew the 2002 Florida gubernatorial race despite his promise, at least he appeared like he was trying to win. Not quite the same in New York, where McAuliffe knee-capped the Democratic nominee while DNC Chair to the reporters of the largest paper in the state:

''I've got to put the resources where we can win elections,'' Mr. McAuliffe said at a lunch with reporters and editors of The New York Times.
The comments could not have come on a worse day for Mr. McCall, who was hoping to jump-start his campaign today by enlisting the support of Bill Clinton, one of Mr. McAuliffe's closest friends.

This afternoon, the former president appeared with Mr. McCall at a rally in Washington Heights, and later was host at a fund-raising dinner.

Mr. McCall no doubt wanted the campaign message of the day -- not to mention the television news -- to show a campaign energized and enlivened by the famed Clinton charisma. Instead, he was publicly undercut by the very man Mr. Clinton handpicked to lead the National Democratic Party.

As you can imagine, not the best way to build up goodwill among the Democrats necessary for a primary campaign. If not New York, then...


After being rejected by Florida and New York, McAuliffe started his gubernatorial outreach:

McAuliffe spoke at the Albemarle County Democratic BBQ a couple of months ago. While he was up on stage, I was talking to a friend about him. My friend, David, was enthusiastic about McAuliffe's candidacy. He'd talked with McAuliffe at the JJ Dinner, and David was enthusiastic about McAuliffe's experience and energy. A little surprised, I asked if perhaps McAuliffe's total lack of involvement with Virginia at any point in his career wasn't a disqualifier. David looked confused. "Virginia?" he asked. "I thought he was running for governor of New York."

He won't be supporting McAuliffe for governor.

And that is pretty much where things stand now. As the Virginian-Pilot noted:

The National Democrats' Schmoozer in Chief is keeping Virginia atwitter with speculation that he may run for governor. But the idea of a Gov. Terry McAuliffe is jarring for the Old Dominion's old-timers.

Could the consummate name-dropper refrain from lacing his State of the Commonwealth addresses with anecdotes about his golf games with Bill Clinton, hunting trips with King Juan Carlos of Spain, bowling matches with Ben Affleck or sun-worshipping vacations with Julio Iglesias?
He's toyed with gubernatorial runs in New York and Florida. If he's dead set on running a state, perhaps he should reconsider those options. He'd probably fit in better on Broadway than he would in downtown Suffolk.

In the end, this whole saga kinda seems like some silly teen-movie with the geeky lead character getting turned down for a prom date everywhere he goes until finally settling for whatever he can get. But can he even get Virginia? At this point, he has a very distant shot of buying the Democratic Primary. But as for the fall, he'd be in worse shape than the Florida and New York nominees were in 2002 with McAuliffe running the DNC.

Tags: Florida, Governor, New York, Terry McAuliffe, Virginia (all tags)



Re: Terry McAuliffe for Governor of Virginia?

Unfortunately, Raising Kaine is shutting down and won't have coverage of the marquee 2009 Virginia gubernatorial race.

by Bob Brigham 2008-11-23 04:04PM | 0 recs
now that's terrible news

Though of course it's nice to hear Lowell et al. will move on to other things.  I trust some of the frontpagers will start a new site.

by John DE 2008-11-23 04:20PM | 0 recs
Re: now that's terrible news

Virginians have learned to expect solid local blogging, so with plenty of other good blogs and the most-watched statewide race in 2009, I'm sure there won't be a lack of blogging.

by Bob Brigham 2008-11-23 04:24PM | 0 recs
McAuliffe as Virginia's Governor

It would continue a tradition of Virginia's governors being people who've made millions on telecommunications.

by kaleidescope 2008-11-23 04:34PM | 0 recs
Real Virginia

Wait until he has to campaign in "real Virgina."

I don't think he's making it out of the primary.

by esconded 2008-11-23 04:37PM | 0 recs

I am excited about him running. The day he announced an exploratory, I handed him 10 bucks, and signed up for his letters. He WILL be the next gov of VA, you mark my words. He's got the money and knows the Virginia machine to knock out his dolt opponents.

by Lakrosse 2008-11-23 04:53PM | 0 recs

Haha, good one. I always love a good joke.

by who threw da cat 2008-11-23 04:58PM | 0 recs
Dolt opponents like a state senator

and state assemblyman?  One of which came within a few hundred votes of being AG?

Sheesh.  Talk about arrogance and being completely out of touch.

by auboy2006 2008-11-23 05:20PM | 0 recs

Looks like Jerome and I will be having fun working against ya, bud. ;)

by ragekage 2008-11-23 05:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Terry McAuliffe for Governor of Virginia?

You if you ask me, I don't quite get this whole..."anything to deal with clinton, is bad"

Terry is a liberal. That's all I care about! He stands for a lot of the same things we all do! Ya'lls clinton hated is so pathetic!

Get over it, hillary lost obama won, the primary is over! Im sure kos and americablog have plenty of room for  anything clinton haters.

by boxer4hrc 2008-11-23 05:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Terry McAuliffe for Governor of Virginia?

This isn't about the Clintons - it's about the fact that he's running for governor of a state where he has no meaningful ties.  He's going to be soundly beat in the primary.  This is pure hubris.  He's fishing for an easy governorship and it's an insult to Virginians that he thinks that Richmond makes a nice step to a staggering failure in national Democratic politics.

by auronrenouille 2008-11-23 06:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Terry McAuliffe for Governor of Virginia?

How about the fact that his stint as head of the DNC was a disaster?

by TheUnknown285 2008-11-23 06:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Terry McAuliffe for Governor of Virginia?

What do you expect him to do his first week on the job, trash Terry McAuliffe for emptying the bank account during his last week on the job?

by Bob Brigham 2008-11-24 09:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Terry McAuliffe for Governor of Virginia?

If you live all things Clinton you should probably be mad at McAuliffe for bringing her down. If you love Virginia, you should be worried.

by Bob Brigham 2008-11-23 06:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Terry McAuliffe for Governor of Virginia?

You if you ask me, I don't quite get this whole..."anything to deal with clinton, is bad"

I don't get this whole "If you don't have nothing but praise and adoration for anyone who supported the Clinton campaign, you're a Clinton hater!" drivel.

Get over it, hillary lost obama won, the primary is over!

Oh, the irony ...

by Collideascope 2008-11-24 04:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Terry McAuliffe for Governor of Virginia?

Mike Henry, who managed Tim Kaine's 2006 gubernatorial campaign and Warner's 2008 Senate campaign, is managing McAuliffe's campaign next year. I doubt McAuliffe is that distant a shot.

by souvarine 2008-11-23 05:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Terry McAuliffe for Governor of Virginia?

see, Clinton haters, even the Tim Kaine people of the world, who are commonly seen as friends of the Daily Kos, honors the Clintonites like Terry McAuliffe. He WILL get the nod, he can raise money, and the state AG who lost got outspent by a lot. McAuliffe is a winner, and will be VA's next governor.

by Lakrosse 2008-11-23 06:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Terry McAuliffe for Governor of Virginia?

I think Brian Moran is a better choice if one wants to pick a North East transplant.  He has most of the rest of Warner's campaign staff working for him.  More likely, I suspect Moran and TMac destroy each other fight over NOVA and Deeds wins a plurality since his base is in the rest of the state.

Then again, you did make a categorical statement, so I'm sure you're right.  Those are VERY persuasive.  Sort of like your old statements about how Hillary WOULD win.  Wait....

by HSTruman 2008-11-23 06:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Terry McAuliffe for Governor of Virginia?

T-Mac is the essence of loser.  I've never seen him do anything well.

by lojasmo 2008-11-24 01:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Terry McAuliffe for Governor of Virginia?

McAuliffe is a clown.

by KoolJeffrey 2008-11-24 07:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Terry McAuliffe for Governor of Virginia?

I'll be voting for Creigh Deeds. Creigh won't get slaughtered outside Northern Virginia like McAuliffe and Moran. Creigh also has substance and style, and not just money to throw around like McAuliffe.

by Steve24 2008-11-23 06:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Terry McAuliffe for Governor of Virginia?

Virginia's one-term limit is just the craziest thing I ever heard of.

Can't somebody start a movement to change that?

Not for the Democrats or Republics, but just for the good of the state?

by Bush Bites 2008-11-23 07:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Terry McAuliffe for Governor of Virginia?

I think Terry McAuliffe would make a good governor.  Plus, I think he'll be the most progressive candidate running.  He will really need to increase turnout, though - if he can do that he can win both the primary and the general election.  VA is a purple state, but I think the least likely voters are now Dems, which is different from the past.  Also, Terry McAuliffe has lived in VA for over 20 years and sent Kaine $5M from the DNC so that he cold get elected in 2005.

by econlibVA 2008-11-24 06:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Terry McAuliffe for Governor of Virginia?

Terry McAuliffe is a clown, as proven during the primaries when he brought booze along on cam on Fox News. He won't even get the Dem nomination.

by KoolJeffrey 2008-11-24 07:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Bob's record in Virginia isn't so hot

The polls at the time agreed he was on that track and I suggested he stop doing what he had just done. He did. He won.

I don't want to lose and if a clown buys the nomination I am very worried we won't continue to build off of the recent successes.

by Bob Brigham 2008-11-24 08:54PM | 0 recs


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