July 27th, 2008

Terry McAuliffe Continues Reign of Terror

by Philip Baruth

Honestly, VDB has never had a great deal of respect for Terry McAuliffe. Back in the day, during the boom-boom years of the Clinton presidency, he was a driving force behind the worst sorts of commercialization of the White House: the renting of the Lincoln Bedroom was only icing on an extremely unappetizing cake.

And then, during the recent primary wars, he became a bizarre caricature of himself, with even more volume and even less conscience than ever before. Given all that, it’s difficult to take the man seriously, here in his post-primary rehabilitation phase. But if you have a minute, here’s an account of a meeting with some Virginia activists that’s worth a look.

Some nuggets: 1) the Obama campaign has opened 33 offices in Virginia, to McCain’s 1; and 2) McAuliffe is now pushing Governor Tim Kaine for VP, rather than the woman he touted endlessly as ready on Day One.

Keep in mind that for McAuliffe, it’s generally about McAuliffe, his (marketable) access to the Office in question. In this case, his support for Kaine suggests not only that Hillary’s name is off the table, but that McAuliffe would like to replace it with someone he sees as similarly approachable, and perhaps even more malleable. Given that McAuliffe lives near Falls Church, Virginia, and that Kaine is his home-state Governor, it all begins to make a certain slippery McAuliffian sort of sense.

Not to say that Obama should strike Kaine from his list. A Virginia pick wouldn’t hurt at all.

But anyone on the Short List at this point should be willing to sign a sworn statement that the only time Terry McAuliffe will ever, ever enter the White House will be for the Inaugural Ball, and then only if he’s managed to find work with a reputable caterer.