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Clinton To Campaign With McAuliffe

Anita Kumar

He's coming.

After considerable speculation about what role former president Bill Clinton would play in campaigning for his best friend, Terry McAuliffe, the answer should become considerably more clear Monday.

McAuliffe ClintonClinton will campaign with the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Richmond and Roanoke.

For years, Clinton has made a powerful case for Democratic candidates around the country. But this time it's personal. The two were thick as thieves during Clinton's two presidential bids, and McAuliffe was chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign last year.

Clinton made a surprise appearance at a New York City fundraiser for McAuliffe, and served as the keynote speaker at the Jefferson Jackson dinner. But this will be his first trip to Virginia specifically to campaign for McAuliffe.

"We're thrilled to have President Clinton join Terry on the campaign trail," McAuliffe campaign manager Mike Henry said. "As a former governor and close friend of Terry's, he'll talk with Virginians about why Terry is best suited to turn Virginia's economy around. And as America's last great job-creating president, he'll help make the case as to why Terry will be Virginia's next great job-creating governor."

So how will the former president play with a Virginia audience?

Democratic strategists say Clinton could be a strong tool in helping McAuliffe win over the same working-class white votes that proved to be a major engine for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. The former president was also once a powerful motivator in the black community, which is up for grabs in the governor's race, though its unclear how the much-publicized friction with the Obama campaign during the 2008 presidential primaries has resonated.

By Anita Kumar  |  April 22, 2009; 10:01 AM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , Terry McAuliffe  
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Next: McAuliffe: Virginia Can Do Better on Job Creation


Well this is rich. VA Democrats just got asked to help pay off Hillary's old campaign debts in an election year where we will surely be outspent by the GOP. And the former campaign manager who mismanaged Hillary's campaign is now going to tool around the commonwealth with Bill explaining why he is going to do a better job as Governor of Virginia. Yeah, right. That makes total sense to me. Bill Clinton will surely be a drawing card and I hope lots of Virginians get a chance to see him. I also hope they have the good sense to take advantage of the spectacle of this traveling carnival while avoiding purchasing the snake oil being sold.

Posted by: csread | April 22, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Bring it on! Hopefully he can go mano a mano with Howard Dean who will most likely be supporting someone qualified and of good character.
It would be a hugely tragic mistake for Virginians to nominate McAuliffe, he gives carpetbaggers a bad name.
Terry McAuliffe should not be nominated, he should be indicted!

Posted by: Thominnj | April 22, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Interesting note that the columnist here referred to Clinton and McAuliffe being "thick as theives" during Clinton's two presidental bids ... I think that is right on the point regarding the two "gentlemen."

Posted by: Viennacommuter1 | April 22, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Democrats are the party of the "big tent". We are inclusive not exclusive. Mr. Clinton and all great Democrats are welcome to support his/her choice. Welcome Mr. Clinton!

Posted by: Willis3 | April 22, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

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