Burning my nonexistent Terry McAuliffe bridge.

Here’s the thing about Terry McAuliffe: I don’t like him. At all.

Whether the man were a Democrat or a Republican I wouldn’t like him. I don’t trust him. I don’t believe that his motives are good. I think that he’s the opposite of what the Democratic Party needs, and I think he’s wrong for Virginia.* The DNC did terribly under his tenure. He’s never done anything for Virginia—and I’m not talking politically, although that’s clearly the case, too. He had to decide which state he was going to run for governor in—Florida or New York—and apparently found that the bar to running Virginia was the lowest. He’s routinely made an ass of himself on national television. He’s apparently willing to promise anything to anybody, regardless of whether it’s politically tenable, because that’s what people like to hear. (Norm Leahy provides a good example of this.) The man keeps his mouth moving long after his brain has disengaged.

I defy you to make it through this whole lowlights clip that Talking Points Memo put together without cringing at the thought of “Gov. Terry McAuliffe”:

There’s really nothing about McAuliffe’s candidacy that I like. That he’s made it this far boggles the mind. That he’s leading the polls makes me fear for the sanity of the populace.

It’s particularly stunning to me that some of my friends are supporting McAuliffe, and would like me to do likewise. It’s as if they’ve discovered Scientology, and are trying to recruit me. If you’d just go to an auditor, I could get you right with Xenu, I just know I could! It’s totally incomprehensible to me. Maybe there’s a form of Toxoplasmosis native to McAuliffe?

Brian Moran I like. Creigh Deeds I like a lot. There are a bunch of reasons why I think Deeds would do better in the general election than Moran, and I won’t belabor those, but the point is that I’d be proud to have either of them as the Democratic nominee, and I could get behind either one of them. The point here is that I’m not demonizing McAuliffe as a political opponent. I genuinely think he’s an ass. Because he is.

Vote for Creigh Deeds. Failing that, vote for Brian Moran. Failing that, don’t vote. Instead, consider Scientology.

* Understand, I’d still take the guy over Bob McDonnell. McAuliffe is a opportunistic hustler, while McDonnell is an opportunistic hypocrite who would lead Virginia backwards a good couple of decades. But it’s a lousy choice.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

39 replies on “Burning my nonexistent Terry McAuliffe bridge.”

  1. I would wager that the average Virginia voter knows nothing whatever about any of the candidates. Perhaps “McAuliffe” sounds euphonious, so when polled, they say, “Um, yeah, McAuliffe, that’s the one.”

    Most voters don’t read political blogs, and – when it comes to a governor’s race primary in June – unless they see something on TV (an ad, or perhaps some entertainingly nasty pundits) they have nothing upon which to base their choices.

    I cannot account for the bad taste of your politically savvy friends. That one’s a mystery. There may be something to your toxoplasmosis theory.

  2. “Correction of the Day” via Andrew Sullivan.

    From the WaPo: “A May 22 editorial on Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial primary incorrectly stated that Terry R. McAuliffe had described himself as a “huckster.” In his autobiography, Mr. McAuliffe described himself as a “hustler.”

  3. In an earlier draft of this blog entry, I included a bit about the definitions of the two words. “Hustler” is actually a much nastier term. A “huckster” is simply a salesman, while to “hustle” is:

    a: to make strenuous efforts to obtain especially money or business b: to obtain money by fraud or deception c: to engage in prostitution

    At least, if I may use the least-kind definition offered by Merriam-Webster. :)

  4. I have tried all this year to call attention to any number of things that should disqualify McAuliffe from being the Democratic candidate. The traditional media seems to be silent on some of the items I brought up. Questionable donations are not nearly as sexy as what outlandish and stupid thing McAuliffe did recently.

    I have been called a liar, and worse, for bringing these ‘negative’ facts to light. It is highly upsetting and dissonant to see someone comment on facts, call them lies, and never own up to anything that might be suspect with their candidate.

    Everything McAuliffe touches eventually turns to sh*t.

    I hope it doesn’t happen to Virginia.

  5. Waldo, it’s no secret that you and I disagree on most issues. Nevertheless, I want to go on record commending you for sticking with your ideals, and standing by your convictions. It’s a too uncommon trait in politics to see people — from either side of the aisle — who are steadfast in their beliefs, damn the torpedos. You are indeed worthy of respect for doing just that.

    I’m an ardent supporter of Creigh Deeds, and I hope I have the chance to vote for him in November. I do like McDonnell politically, but less so personally. I like Creigh Deeds both personally and politically, and the party affiliation is meaningless.

    So… for what it’s worth, you have my utmost respect for being a man of principle.

  6. You really nailed it in this post, McAuliffe supporters and Scientology.

    I’ve called a couple thousand voters so far in this primary and the few McAuliffe supporters I’ve found are barely coherent and rarely know his name. I get Terry Sutcliff, the Clinton guy, Hillary’s campaign manager, and some who ask me to list the candidates and then say “that’s him, McDaliffe” it’s a disgrace. Luckily there is a big difference between people who say they will vote and people who actually show up to vote in a Democratic primary.

  7. Yeah, I am totally baffled by the McAuliffe support. Perhaps it’s because Deeds is too far to the right for primary voters and Moran… doesn’t have as much money? I really don’t know. Are McAuliffe ads all over the place or something?

    Thanks for writing about this, Waldo. If someone can convince me Moran has a better shot than Deeds, I’ll vote for him, but as of right now, I’m planning to cast my vote for Deeds.

  8. I can’t stand Moran or McAuliffe, so supporting Deeds is easy for me.

    That being said, I like Deeds a lot and I glad to be able to enthusiastically support someone.

  9. I suspect that a solid thrashing in a general election may be exctly what some Democrats need to remind some them that, no, we really can’t get just any ole’ schmuck elected. Unfortunately, (a) that’s not what Virginia needs, and (b) a lot of these same Democrats don’t have a great track record on learning humility from their spectacular failures anyway.

  10. I’d expected to wake up this morning to find myself on the receiving end of a solid thrashing from at least a couple of McAuliffe supporters, rather than a bunch of friendly comments, links, and a few happy e-mails. OTOH, maybe this is tough to argue with, in the sense that I’m describing how I feel, and you can’t really rebut somebody’s feelings.

    Anyhow, thanks.

  11. I think that Waldo is being too kind to the Hustler and I hope he is the nominee of the democratic party. Really my guys are in desperate need of a win and Terry’s nominaton is just the kind of thing we need to get one. BTW I’m not all that bothered if Moran gets it either.

  12. I love the smell of burning bridge in the morning! Your previous comments about Democratic election success bringing out every tom, dick and harry candidate seems to be operational. When McAuliffe announced, he brought two things that were music to the ears of the DPVA and Committee Chairs – enthusiasm and money. Virginia Democrats are going to have to become more disciplined. Moran and Deeds have been building the Party for years. In 2004 McAuliffe was content to cut Virginia Democrats loose. He should warm the bench or work the concession stand for a few years.

  13. But Terrance has more money than GOD and can bribe people with real Puerto Rican alcohol! Let’s see Deeds or Moran do that!

    Waldo, you’re spot on. Yes, I’m a Bob McDonnell supporter, but Terry McAuliffe has got to be the worst possible candidate. He has baggage that would sink any other candidate but the money and slick charm to easily pay it off. Those elements never end well. Yet it’s easy for those kind of candidates to win – the general public doesn’t pay enough attention to really see past the slick ads and toothy grin. Especially when everyone else doesn’t have the money to counter his point of view. Especially when everyone else has actual records that can’t please everyone 100% of the time, so it’s easy to find one or two flaws and highlight them and claim to be the right man for the job.

  14. I’m leaning McDonnell as well, but wouldn’t have much of a problem if Deeds won the general. If McAuliffe wins the general… look out, bad times ahead. Deeds at least seems genuine (and genuinely interested in the betterment of Virginia). McAuliffe only seems interested in the betterment of his career.

  15. This was more or less the preamble to the conversation I had with myself on who to support. I came down on the side of Moran, you of Deeds, but we had the same primary conversation and the same general respect for both of the other candidates. Thanks.

  16. Great post, one of your best. When Terry Mac announced I thought he would squander a lot of money and go nowhere. Shows what I know. I hope that Moran can pull this one out. The Scientology reference was hilarious.

  17. For what it’s worth, I’ve been phone banking and canvassing for Brian Moran from day one. We have been calling and knocking doors of people who have actually voted in a Democratic primary and Brian is so far ahead in NoVA among this group it’s a little scary. There are however, still a lot of undecided (more than 40%). They are mostly breaking between Creigh and Brian and not McAuliffe.

    However, Deeds was off the radar in NoVA (less than 2%) until the WaPo endorsement but even with the uptick, he will be lucky to achieve 6% in NoVA and with a laid off staff and no concentrated base to GOTV, I really don’t think Creigh has a realistic shot. Brian has an incredible base in NoVA, which is the biggest base in VA and we expect to GOTV NoVA rather well for Brian and will be flushing key areas. I would just keep that in mind, while pondering the possible outcomes.

  18. I actually don’t get the toxoplasmosis reference, but I do find this fascinating from the wiki entry on toxoplasmosis:

    “It has been found that the parasite has the ability to change the behavior of its host: infected rats and mice are less fearful of cats — in fact, some of the infected rats seek out cat-urine-marked areas. This effect is advantageous to the parasite, which will be able to sexually reproduce if its host is eaten by a cat.[16]”


  19. I agree with you completely. I don’t live in Virginia anymore so I haven’t followed the race too closely, but I was horrified when I learned that crazy-eyes was doing well in the polls. Democrats cannot allow this to happen.

  20. Have you met Terry? Spent any time with him? Read his proposals?

    I believe you would be voting for him after spending an hour with him.

    Would he be the best ambassador for the state? Work harder/smarter than the other 3 as governor? There’s no question if you have seen him campaign.

    We can certainly disagree on the value of his contributions over time to the party – but it takes all of the different roles in the party – volunteer, manager, fundraiser, promoters, candidates, politicians to make it work and bias against him because he performed his roles well I think is a little misplaced.

    He is going to win and a lot of Virginian Democrats are going to need to make peace with that fact to ensure his administration has a chance to exist after the general this fall.

    I’ll best after 4 years of his administration, you’ll disagree with your post.

  21. Have you met Terry? Spent any time with him? Read his proposals?

    I’m as familiar with McAuliffe as I am with Scientology.

    Would he be the best ambassador for the state? Work harder/smarter than the other 3 as governor? There’s no question if you have seen him campaign.

    I have seen him campaign, Bill—I watched him campaign for Hillary Clinton, and I watched him become a national laughingstock. He behaved like a clown, and was ridiculed accordingly.

  22. Bill, our strong Brian ID’s are filled with people who have known Terry for years and are voting for Brian. The few people we are finding that are supporting Terry don’t even know his name. We have to list the candidates for them. A certain mayor in Tidewater who had endorsed Brian met with Terry for over an hour after the State JJ in Richmond and concluded Terry was the most arrogant person they had ever met.

  23. Todd,

    I have probably made 3000 calls this primary. I have not found what your finding at all. I believe you believe what you are saying. The truth of the situation will be clear on the evening of June 9th.

  24. Waldo,

    I would ask, if McAuliffe wins the primary, to take a second look, in person rather than through a video.


  25. We had a Brian supporter this morning at the Burke Farmers Market tell us she had been contacted 6 times by the McAuliffe campaign and each time told them she was strongly supporting Brian and yesterday asked what they could do to take her off their list and they told her the would put her down as “deceased.” This seems to indicate that some McAuliffe volunteers are not recording support for Brian, which is probably why they think it is neck and neck.

  26. Oh, god, have we started sharing anecdotes? Ew.

    Todd, your entire premise is based on anecdotal evidence combined with meaningless numbers that serve to only show how awesome and dedicated a volunteer you are (My goodness, you’ve been there since day one! Clearly, you are possessed of absolutely no bias, know everything going on at all times in all the campaigns, and will be able to interpret data and see into the future without error, because you have been there since day one. Thank god you didn’t start on day 2- then your predictions would be useless!).

    If your candidate is actually winning, can’t you back that up with something better than a lame story about how one time, you met someone who said that Brian, I don’t know, saved their cat from a Terry induced drowning? Can’t we all just compare Terry to Xenu and move on? (On that note- if T-Mac = Xenu, who is Tom Cruise? Or is Terry Tom Cruise? Waldo???)

    Let me illustrate why your approach to convincing The Internet(z) that My Candidate = win is not working.

    One time, I saw a Brian Moran supporter (ok, Brian wasn’t running for governor at the time, but whatever! Terry wasn’t running for governor when he said a lot of the stuff in the video) quite literally turn his back on a woman he deigned not to be enough of a Democrat and proceed to talk loudly about how she was “destroying the Democratic message” to others working at the polls where they were because she had the nerve (how dare she!) to talk to the Republican mom of one of her students, who was also volunteering at the polls that day.

    Therefore, people who volunteer for Brian are evil people who hate teachers and by extension, children. From that, this would seem to indicate that Brian is evil and hates teachers and children. From that, we can surmise that he’s going to lose, because, hell, I’ve seen movies, and good always triumphs over evil in the end.

    God, I hate anecdotes. Really? That’s the best you’ve got against T-Mac? At least Waldo had a video and actual information that wasn’t, I don’t know…hearsay?

    (For the record, I don’t vote in Virginia anymore.)

  27. Please forgive me. How dare I share personal accounts on a blog. What was I thinking? Thank you for straightening me out. I will say, Terry’s wife does remind me of Kelly Preston, who is married to John Travolta, who is a Scientologist, so that explains a lot. (I actually like Terry’s wife, she seems quite normal).

  28. Watching Terry willfully disconnect from reality towards the end of Hillary’s campaign definitely made me believe he should never hold any sort of elected office. I think his evident self-absorption is dangerous. I don’t vote in Virginia anymore, but I’m making sure I steer every friend I have who does away from McAuliffe.

  29. the way Bill and Genevieve talk on this thread makes me dislike McAuliffe even more.

  30. Actually, as a carpet-bagging Yankee, I don’t vote in Virginia, Cecil, and thus support no one in this race, so I guess I have even more in common with Terry than the rest of you. ;)

  31. well, if I am wrong about how people are reacting when we make outreach calls, so are the pollsters covering the race…

  32. Thank you Waldo, I could not say it this well, but my feelings exactly mirror your own on T-Mac and Bob McD.

    It took me a long time to decide between Moran and Deeds; and I really like them both for different reasons; but I don’t think Virginia is ready for Moran yet, and I don’t think Moran is ready for all of Virginia yet either. My concern about him (Moran) tilting at windmills is what tipped the balance for me.

    As for Bob McDonnell vs Terry McAuliffe? Please, please don’t let it come to that – either way Virginia will be very poorly served by the wrong people.

  33. Totally agree with the post. I have no inside dope of any of these fellows, but Deeds has long seemed like the genuine article and Terry M. has long deemed like a goober. I’ve met no Virginia primary voters who intend to vote for him.

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