It is interesting that I received in my email inbox Terry McAuliffe’s kick-off video, announcing his decision to enter the Virginia Governor’s race with this message: “You are receiving this message as a member of Hillaryclinton.com’s online community. Please take a look at the message below from Terry McAuliffe. Friends of Terry McAuliffe is solely responsible for the content of this message.”
It seems then that in exchange for all those millions (hundreds of millions) he raised for the Clintons, they provided McAuliffe with an extremely valuable email contact list. That will significantly help his fundraising efforts, but it’s also likely to rekindle opponents’ attacks that McAuliffe is a national figure and a typical political operative — not the sort who has led the state in the past. If the dig at incumbent Tim Kaine is that he is “too partisan” and not enough of a deal-maker, how will McAuliffe make the case that he — the quintessential Democratic moneyman — is a good fit for the state that has largely favored nonpartisan figures? Certainly borrowing the Clintons’ mailing list complicates matters.
And speaking of Kaine, he’s now been tapped as head of the DNC. That isn’t going to go over well in his state, as the Washington Post points out:
It will also make Kaine an irresistible target in his home state among critics who have long accused him of putting partisan politics ahead of governing. State GOP leaders are sure to accuse the governor of doing what he said he would not: shift his attention away from a state during a budget crisis that demands swift action.
Kaine also previously swore off the position, declaring he didn’t view that role as “consistent with being governor.” State Republicans will, no doubt, agree. It remains to be seen whether this move will confirm Virginia’s status as a Blue state — or potentially risks a backlash just in time for this year’s governor’s race.
For now, state Republicans are licking their chops, and banking that partisan Democrats aren’t what Virginians have in mind to lead the state. McAuliffe isn’t, after all, what comes to mind when you think of “change” or New Politics.