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VA-Gov: The Macker Makes a Move



Could former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe make a run at Virginia's top job? (Jae C. Hong -- Associated Press)

The news that Terry McAuliffe, a longtime national party operative/cheerleader and friend to the Clintons, is seriously weighing a run for governor of Virginia next year ensures that all will not be lost for political junkies when this election -- the greatest ever? -- is over in 41 days.

McAuliffe's latest move is the hiring of Mo Elleithee to help weigh a possible bid in 2009. Elleithee has deep roots in Virginia politics, having served as press secretary in former Gov. Mark Warner's 2001 bid and then as communications director for Gov. Tim Kaine four years later. Elleithee also worked as an adviser to the unsuccessful Senate primary candidacy of lobbyist Harris Miller in 2006. He spent most of 2007 and 2008 traveling with Hillary Rodham Clinton, helping handle press operations for the New York senator's presidential campaign.

The hiring of Elleithee signals publicly what many Virginia insiders have known privately for several months: McAuliffe is almost certain to run for governor -- joining state Del. Brian Moran and state Sen. Creigh Deeds, who came within a few hundred votes of winning the attorney general's office in 2005. Republicans have united behind the candidacy of state attorney general Bob McDonnell.

What does the likely candidacy of McAuliffe a.k.a. "The Macker" mean for the contest? That depends on whom you ask.

McAuliffe allies paint him in the same mold as Warner way back in 2001. Both are successful businessmen focused on pro-growth policies without a voting record on which they can be attacked either in the primary or general election. And, both men had long been associated with politics as operatives -- Warner in Virginia, McAuliffe at the national level -- before getting involved in their own right.

What remains to be seen is whether McAuliffe can recreate the hybrid appeal of Warner -- equally able to sell himself to northern Virginia liberals and southwestern Virginia conservatives, all because of his calls for an economic renaissance across the state.

McAuliffe's detractors argue that the comparison is facile but mistaken as Warner spent a decade learning the politics of the Commonwealth and sowing the seeds of his eventual bid while McAuliffe has done none of that.

They also point to a recent editorial in the Virginian-Pilot newspaper that casts McAuliffe as shopping for an elected office with little real appreciation or affiliation with the Commonwealth.

"He's toyed with gubernatorial runs in New York and Florida," read the editorial. "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."

Even so, McAuliffe would bring obvious advantages to a primary race.

First, he is almost certainly a more known commodity than either Deeds or Moran, and McAuliffe's quasi-celebrity status will give him a chance to speak with blocs of voters who might not listen to a Democrat otherwise.

Second, Virginia's lack of any contribution limits plays right into McAuliffe's hands. He has raised hundreds of millions of dollars as both national party chairman (2001-2005) and for the presidential bids of Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton. McAuliffe knows every major -- and minor -- donor in the country and most of them (in all likelihood) owe him a favor or two. It's hard to imagine that McAuliffe couldn't raise massive amounts of money to finance his bid, well in excess of what either Deeds or Moran -- and maybe both of them together -- can collect.

Knowing how McAuliffe will impact the race is difficult given the lack of competitive gubernatorial primaries in recent modern political history in the Commonwealth. The last time there was a serious fight for the Democratic gubernatorial nod was way back in 1985 when then state Attorney General Gerry Baliles and Lt. Gov. Richard Davis squared off. Davis ultimately dropped out before the party convention. (McAuliffe, Deeds and Moran will run in a primary next year not a convention.)

The Macker's mere presence in the race, however, is sure to give it a national profile that it otherwise might not have. And, for anyone who follows the Macker, he's almost certain to make the race more, how to say it, interesting.

For more on the McAuliffe effect, make sure to check out Post Virgina politics reporter Tim Craig's take on the three-way Democratic primary.

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 25, 2008; 12:01 PM ET
Categories:  Governors  
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Comments

Most Virginians would say "Terry Who?" Until they point out that he was a big friend of the Clintons. 'Nuff said.

Posted by: lpryluck1 | September 26, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

.


Chris:

Is there anyway to track the comments back to Obama Paid Staffers at Obama Headquarters in Chicago - they have shifts of people who come in - these people are paid by Obama to harass and mock other posters who are exercising their Freedom of Speech which is guaranteed by the Constititution.


I am sickened by the behavior of the paid Obama staffers at Obama headquarters in Chicago.


This behavior is indicative of the GENERAL HOSTILITY TOWARD THE CONSTITUTION WHICH OBAMA AND HIS WIFE MICHELE HOLD - CLEARLY BOTH OBAMAS RESENT THAT THE CONSTITUTION ALLOWED THE JIM CROW ERA - BOTH OBAMAS ARE ALSO ANGRY THAT THE CONSTITUTION ALLOWED THE SLAVE TRADE TO CONTINUE UNTIL 1808 - AND THEY ARE BOTH ANGRY ABOUT THE 3/5 COMPROMISE - CLEARLY THIS HOSTILITY HAS MANIFESTED ITSELF INTO A GENERAL HOSTILITY TOWARD ALL THE CONSTITUTIONAL FREEDOMS AMERICANS HOLD DEAR.


SERIOUSLY THIS IS AN ISSUE - THE PHILADELPHIA SPEECH MADE CLEAR REFERENCES TO THE IDEAS WHICH INDICATED THIS HOSTILITY TOWARD THE BASIC FRAMEWORK OF OUR GOVERNMENT NAMELY THAT INDIVIDUAL FREEDOMS ARE SUPREME TO THE GOVERNMENT.


CLEARLY BOTH OBAMAS HAVE A HOSTILITY TOWARD THE GOVERNMENTS OF THE PAST WHICH ALLOWED THE JIM CROW ERA, THE SLAVE TRADE, THE DRED SCOTT DECISION, THE 3/5 COMPROMISE AND THE FUGITIVE SLAVE ACT - THEY HAVE MANIFESTED THIS ANGER INTO A HOSTILITY AGAINST CONSTITUTIONAL FREEDOMS SUCH AS FREEDOM OF SPEECH - THUS THEY HAVE NO PROBLEM HARASSING BLOGGERS ON THE INTERNET WHO DO NOT AGREE WITH THEM, THEY HAVE NO PROBLEM SHUTTING DOWN FREEDOM OF SPEECH AT STREET FESTIVALS IN CHICAGO, THEY HAVE NO PROBLEM INTERFERING WITH ELECTIONS IN MICHIGAN AND FLORIDA AND ACTING TO PREVENT THE CITIZENS OF MICHIGAN AND FLORIDA REVOTES WHICH WOULD CONFORM AFTER THE DATES, THEY HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH AFFIRMATIVE ACTION WHICH IS DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WHITES AND DEPRIVES PEOPLE OF WHAT THEY HAVE EARNED BASED ON MERIT - THE OBAMAS ARE HOSTILE TOWARD THE FREEDOMS OF THE CONSTITUTION AND THEY BOTH BELIEVE THEY ARE JUSTIFIED IN TRAMPLING ON CONSTITUTIONAL FREEDOMS BECAUSE OF THE JIM CROW ERA AND BECAUSE THE CONSTITUTION ALLOWED SLAVERY FOR 75 YEARS FROM 1790 - 1864.


.

Posted by: 37thandOStreet | September 26, 2008 7:08 AM | Report abuse

Arnold is CA Gov, but he's hardly the first celebrity in office. Jesse Ventura?? Minnesota doesn't tend to be known as celebrity-worshipping. Sonny Bono too. Here's a longer list: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/2006/01/the_fixs_grab_bag_of_celebrity.html

Aye yi yi. We need McAuliffe to run for Governor like we need a lobotomy. wickerparkbob said it well.

Posted by: JonSM99 | September 25, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

kingofzouk,
it's "hussein" not "hussain"
if you're going to post bigoted racist information, at least have the decency to do it properly.

Posted by: nsc-alb |


you mean like his name? you Libs are positively nuts.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | September 25, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

You know, Obama and Kaine and Warner have been working very hard to turn the state blue this presidential election, and it may just happen. the one way to turn it back red again, and maybe set the democratic back several decades in virginia, is to elect terry mcauliffe. it would be a total disaster for the dems and for virginia. he's an obnoxious opportunistic loud-mouthed dim-witted hack (and i'm a democrat).

Posted by: wickerparkbob | September 25, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

McAuf betrayed and is betraying Obama. He'll never be elected here in Virginia.
Clinton mojo is dead.

Posted by: wpost4112 | September 25, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

mcfelix the cat any more tricks in that bag? foxnews still at their silly ass rhetoric as if mcfelix playing the leadership role. hahahahhahahahahahha

Posted by: felix's brother | September 25, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

We have come a long way from Everett Dirksen and Adlai Stephenson.

I guess McAuliffe could run in Virginia.
Elizabeth Taylor became a "Virginian" for
a little while.
Who would manage his campaign Carville?

Posted by: menopausequeen | September 25, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

McAuliffe is the single biggest weasel I have ever seen. Please, people of Virginia, just say no.

Posted by: steve boyington | September 25, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

kingofzouk,
it's "hussein" not "hussain"
if you're going to post bigoted racist information, at least have the decency to do it properly.

Posted by: nsc-alb | September 25, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

bsimon:

Ah-nuld was only elected in California because we have a severe case of celebrity worship out here. He was only slightly more qualified than Gallagher and Gary Coleman, but has had more box office success. ;)

Posted by: CaliforniaMonkey | September 25, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Maybe O.J. and Britney Spears can
run too and join the circus. They should
paint the Capitol dome like the Big Top.


Posted by: menopausequeen | September 25, 2008 2:04 PM

Need I remind you that al Franken is the actual Lib candidate for Senate.

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 25, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Or Chuck Robb? Or George Allen?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

"He will lose to Moran. He's not a Virginia(n)."

And, Brian Moran is? Or Mark Warner? Or Tim Kaine?

Posted by: Nor'Easter | September 25, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Since when are John Murtha and William Jefferson considered part of the Democratic leadership?

Although I think Murtha was in the running for House Majority Leader, but I don't think he had a chance against Hoyer.

But Jefferson? The only thing he's known for is the freezer thing. He's also a Harvard Law grad. Maybe we should check Obama's freezer as well.

Posted by: DDAWD | September 25, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

think the current political climate, complete with the two worst examples of Presidential candidates and the utterly ineffective and buffoonish Speaker and Senate leader, naturally leads to circus type pols like McAwful.

Just consider who is running the country:
Barney Frank - who saw no crisis and no need to act.
Chuck Schumer - ditto
Rangel - writes tax laws, doesn't pay them
Reid - limpest leader in history
Pelosi - greatest accomplishment - renaming post offices
Jefferson - freezer man
Murtha - only ex-marine in history

These clowns have not passed a single substantial law in their tenure, yet feel they deserve to be re-elected to do more of nothing.

their leader B hussain Obama, also suffers from the do-nothing record. Not a single item of substance in his life, despite all the AA opportunities. his quest to find himself will come at our expense.

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 25, 2008 1:05 PM
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Now Now your Majesty, they aren't completely worthless. They spent several days on steroids in baseball and the big debate about the Senate dining room. These above clowns and Larry "wide stance" Craig still a member in good standing (so to speak). Maybe O.J. and Britney Spears can
run too and join the circus. They should
paint the Capitol dome like the Big Top.

Posted by: menopausequeen | September 25, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

He will lose to Moran. He's not a Virginia. What egos these people have: I can go anywhere, do anything, and the world MUST love me. Nope. He will get nowhere.

Posted by: sayitain'tso | September 25, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Indeed, bsimon, the economy and the US capitalism is indeed strong and perfroming well. If it weren;t for that pesky Lib congress always meddling, we would be doing better.

B Frank - crisis, what crisis?

Walter williams said:


Dr. W. Michael Cox and Richard Alm, of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, in the July/August 2008 edition of The American, have an article titled "How Are We Doing?". Wages and income are frequently used to measure progress but Cox and Alm say that a better measure is consumption. For example, while gasoline prices have skyrocketed, the average worker has to work about two hours to earn enough to purchase 10 gallons. In 1935, it was six hours and in 1950, over two hours. A basket of groceries that took four hours of work in 1950 to purchase now takes 1.7 hours. Annual hours of work have fallen from 1,903 in 1950 to 1,531 today. Real total compensation -- wages plus fringe benefits, both adjusted for inflation -- have been rising steadily for several generations. Fringe benefits have become a greater share of our earnings, thus dampening statistics on wage increases.

Today's Americans are healthier than ever. In 1950, life expectancy was 67 compared with today's 78. Death rates from diseases, once considered a death sentence, are in steep decline. With advances in medicine and medical technology we're receiving much better health care. The increase in quality explains part of the higher health care costs. But health care costs would be dramatically reduced if there were more competition and less government intervention and third-party payers. Cox and Alm say that competition works but because of third-party payers, consumers have little incentive to shop around. They point out that prices for Lasik eye surgery, a procedure rarely covered by insurance programs, have fallen in the past decade because consumers shop around and take their business to surgeons who offer the highest quality service at the cheapest price.

Recall that during President Carter's last year in office in 1980 what was called the "misery index", which was defined as the sum of the inflation and unemployment rates, was about 22 percent: inflation averaged 14 percent; unemployment was 7.5 percent. Today's inflation just became 5 percent, having been between 1 and 3 percent for a decade, and unemployment is 6.1. Cox and Alm say that today's problems "will turn out to be mere footnotes in a longer-term march of progress." They add that, "Since 1982, the United States has been in recession for a mere 16 months, the present slowdown notwithstanding. Over that period, the country more than doubled its inflation-adjusted output of goods and services and created jobs for an additional 50 million workers."

Things are not nearly as gloomy as the pundits say. Most of today's economic problems, whether it's energy, health care costs, financial problems, budget deficits or national debt, are caused by policies pursued by the White House and Congress. As my colleague Dr. Thomas Sowell suggested in a recent column, we don't look to arsonists to put out fires that they've created; neither should we look to Congress to solve the problems they've created

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 25, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

zouk writes
"Just consider who is running the country:"

Zouk, you missed the decider, who until last night claimed the economy was fundamentally sound, and his potential 3rd term, who as recently as last Monday repeated that the economy was strong. If you're going to rip on shortsighted political leaders, rip on them all.

Posted by: bsimon | September 25, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I hate to ask, but has he actually run anything other than a campaign before? I suppose of Schwarzeneggar can waltz into the California governorship, anyone with a nice smile and the ability to raise money can run for governor of Virginia, or just about any other state.

Posted by: bsimon | September 25, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Couldn't agree more - with the Virginian-Pilot. McAuliffe is a terrible fit for Virginia, not to mention for Democratic primary voters. He has no significant name recognition advantage over Moran in NoVA, and none whatsoever in those key SW areas over Deeds. His appeal will mostly be in the wealthier, "insider" areas in NoVA, where Moran has been campaigning (and serving, for good or ill) for years.

Posted by: shades | September 25, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Some would say McAuliffe's more of a "knaker" than a "macher".

Posted by: Catawba | September 25, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Chris... Relevant points:

McAuliffe is a native upstate New Yorker (Syracuse native) who might be considered as something of a carpetbagger, despite his longtime residence in Northern VA.

Also, McAuliffe's financial dealings have been the subject of much reportage, especially his lucrative stake in Global Crossing, the former telecom firm that suffered a collapse amid much scandal.

Third, given what's happening today... who cares? Next...

Posted by: Outside the Box | September 25, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I think the current political climate, complete with the two worst examples of Presidential candidates and the utterly ineffective and buffoonish Speaker and Senate leader, naturally leads to circus type pols like McAwful.

Just consider who is running the country:
Barney Frank - who saw no crisis and no need to act.
Chuck Schumer - ditto
Rangel - writes tax laws, doesn't pay them
Reid - limpest leader in history
Pelosi - greatest accomplishment - renaming post offices
Jefferson - freezer man
Murtha - only ex-marine in history

These clowns have not passed a single substantial law in their tenure, yet feel they deserve to be re-elected to do more of nothing.

their leader B hussain Obama, also suffers from the do-nothing record. Not a single item of substance in his life, despite all the AA opportunities. his quest to find himself will come at our expense.

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 25, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

What a dirtbag. The total lack of class this guy showed in the epic saga that was Hillary's eventual concession to Obama ensures he will not get my vote.

Posted by: lj6971 | September 25, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Terry McAuliffe ... you either love him or you hate him. I don't know what that says about his chances for election, but the man will definitely run a lively campaign. I guess the real question is whether Virginians want such a flamboyant governor?

Posted by: Kay Decker | September 25, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Terry McAuliffe has the attention span to be Governor.

Maybe Dick Morris could be his lieutenant governor.

Posted by: bondjedi | September 25, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

You mean "Macher" rather than "Macker". It's a Yiddish term. See the two references below.

http://www.asinine.com/essays/yiddish.html

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=big+macher

Posted by: THS | September 25, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

McAuliffe may be popular with the Kool Kids inside the bubble, but even for rank-and-file Democrats around the country he's the epitome of the deceptive, pure partisan pol who will say anything for the slightest advantage. If Obama turns out to be the "two steps forward" of 2008, McAuliffe is definitely the "one step back."

Posted by: FlownOver | September 25, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Um, no. This is not the greatest Presidential election. It is perhaps the most ridiculous.

Posted by: DDAWD | September 25, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

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