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VA-Gov: The Macker Is In

Former Democratic National Committee Chair Terry McAuliffe announced his bid for the Virginia governorship via video this weekend, a candidacy that ensures a national spotlight will shine on the Commonwealth this year.

Best known for his work as a fundraiser and surrogate for former President Bill Clinton and New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, McAuliffe's decision to become a candidate himself isn't terribly surprising -- he had been putting a campaign team together and traveling the state for the last few months.

Whether he can win a contested Democratic primary is more a matter of debate. Both former state Rep. Brian Moran and state Sen. Creigh Deeds have spent the better part of the last four years positioning for this race.

Moran and his surrogates have worked hard in the early going to paint McAuliffe as a carpet-bagger; Moran recently rolled out a proposal that would bar any of the trio from accepting donations from non-Virginians -- an obvious attempt to curtail McAuliffe's massive fundraising prowess.

Deeds has been far less aggressive when it comes to McAuliffe, believing, rightly, that having a second northern Virginia candidate splits that treasure trove of votes and makes his chances of putting together an outstate coalition much more likely.

McAuliffe as a candidate is almost entirely undefined but in his announcement video he gave strong indications about how he would run: as a businessman outsider with a strong touch of the power-to-the-people grassroots appeal that carried President-elect Barack Obama to the presidency. ("Yes we can do it again this year," McAuliffe says at the end of the video, aping Obama's successful campaign mantra.)

Will it work? It's tough to know. But, there's one thing that for sure about McAuliffe's candidacy: the Virginia governor's race this year just got a whole lot more interesting.

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 4, 2009; 10:31 AM ET
Categories:  Governors  
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Comments

What a tedious man – another of the partisan crowd we've had more than enough of from both parties. He stays close to the hack reporters, though, so we'll probably see/hear him all over the MSM for the foreseeable future.

Posted by: FlownOver | January 5, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Virginia is not NY. It won't buy into the carpetbagging tolerated in the Empire State. Moran is well regarded in Va. and he patiently waited his turn. Advantage: Moran.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | January 4, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Who cares Chris!!!!!
The news of today is Bill Richarson withdrew his name from Sec of Commerce.
The Republican party will NOT come back in 2010 or 2012.
They keep going against our popular president OBAMA.
Arlen Spector will upset his constituents by voting against Eric Holder and stimulus package.
I see another Democratic surge in 2010.

Posted by: mattadamsdietmanager1014 | January 4, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Virginia is normally a republican state, however Virginia voted democratly in presidential election and luckily McAuliffe is a Democrat. This should be interesting not only because he doesn't have much political experiance but because he is mainly a buisness man. Perhaps his buisness skills will stimulate the economy exponentially. This being said he is very good at fund raising so his campaign should have enough money, but not as much as it would have had because he is not allowed to get out of state donations. All we can do is wait to see who wins this next race. In my opinion i think he has a lot of potential to win. His video was very convincing and touched topics that are now sensative to people more than ever ( the ecnomoy ) he goes to say that he basically knows exactly what to do with a detailed plan. He didn't sound like he was full of B.S. Good luck McAullife

Posted by: ralphbray | January 4, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Who cares! It's too damned early to worry about the next election. Give us a break. We have not finished the last election! What is that guy Coleman up to now that he surely will lose the senate election in Minnesata.

Posted by: Opa2 | January 4, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats on the streets (the ones who canvassed, pay the regular dues at the grassroots level) in most of Virginia want Brian Moran to run. Can you please cover Brian Moran as much as McAuliffe??

Posted by: Vaughan1 | January 4, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

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I have a confession to make. When I complain about people "harassing other posters," well, I'm the only one being harassed, so I'm talking only about myself.

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Just so I can stay on topic, I will also say that I think Terry McAuliffe is sexy. Too bad he's a Democrat.

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Posted by: Yes37thAndORules_Forever | January 4, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Yuck. I'd rather have a republican than McAuliffe. And where is the Franklin wins column Chris?

Posted by: havok26 | January 4, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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