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McAuliffe Picks Up Support from Bloggers

Tim Craig

The three Democratic activists and bloggers who founded the "Draft James Webb" movement in 2006, which arguably is one of the reasons Democrats won back control of the U.S. Senate that year, announced today they are endorsing Terry McAuliffe's bid for the Democratic nomination for governor.

In a posting on the Blue Virginia blog, Josh Chernila, Lee Diamond and Lowell Feld said they are impressed with McAuliffe's message and his chances for success this fall against former attorney general Robert F. McDonnell, the GOP nominee.

"McAuliffe has a solid grasp of issues, takes strong progressive stands and is able to communicate and fund his message," Chernila said.

In recent months, McAuliffe has been making an aggressive push to win over liberal bloggers in Virginia, a state with some of the most active state-level Democratic blogs in the country.

Feld was one the founders and longtime keepers of the popular Raising Kaine blog, which disbanded after the November 2008 election. Feld, a longtime party activist, now operates the Blue Virginia blog. Feld said he finds McAuliffe to be an "engaging, smart determined, focused, positive person" and also a "surprisingly strong pragmatic progressive with a working-class, populist streak."

In 2006, liberal bloggers played a crucial role in not only urging Webb to seek the Democratic nomination but also in helping him to defeat attorney Harris Miller in the Democratic primary.

Last year, however, many of the state's liberal bloggers aggressively supported Leslie Byrne instead of U.S. Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.) in the race for the Democratic nomination in the 11th Congressional District. Connolly easily won that race.

Another Democratic blogger who played a big role in both the Webb and Byrne races, Ben Tribbett of the Not Larry Sabato blog, appears to be so far neutral in the governor's race.

Despite McAuliffe's success in winning over some Virginia bloggers, several well-known national progressive bloggers, including Markos Moulitsas of the influential Daily Kos, have been very critical of his candidacy.

"I'm officially against him," Moulitsas wrote in a posting in November.

By Tim Craig  |  March 12, 2009; 10:33 AM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Election 2009 , Terry McAuliffe , Tim Craig  
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They must have been for sale to the highest bidder. With McAuliffe everything is about money particularly how to game the system to ensure he personally gets more of it.
After all the effort that has gone into revitalizing the Democratic party in Virginia (while McAuliffe was busy sandbagging anyone who could remotely get in the way of his using his role therein to run scams like his "Global Crossing" investment - yeah right Terry it was just good luck that allowed you to parlay 80K into 18M on that Ponzi scheme) it would truly be a profound shame to turn it over to Terry McAuliffe. The only "big house" McAuliffe should be moving into is the one where he would be likely to have his compatriot Bernie Madoff as a roommate.

Posted by: Thominnj | March 12, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Feld, Diamond, and Chernilla have proven to be prescient in the past.

This race is shaping up to be a battle of the New Party v. the Old Party a la Miller-Webb. It's going to be interesting.

Comments like those by Thominnj are useless and make Moran's supporters look increasingly bitter and divisive. They ought to focus on policy differences and cut the ad hominem, or they are going to continue to destroy their candidate's chances.

Posted by: FederalGraphics | March 12, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Painting veteran political operative McAuliffe as the "New Party" in the mold of Webb is the most ridiculous comparison since the ones a couple of months ago that tried to shoehorn the race into McAuliffe as Obama and Moran as Clinton just because Moran had been the expected frontrunner and McAuliffe has a lot of money.

Posted by: jimeh | March 12, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

First McAuliffe is the Obama agent for change, then he is the Warner businessman, and now his is Webb the populist!

Turning chicken waste into real energy is an apt metaphor for the BS which McAuliffe is selling in Virginia.

Posted by: SPMET | March 13, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Terry McAuliffe: discovering Virginia politics since 2009.

Posted by: Odquest | March 13, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

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