- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 18, 2019


Terry McAuliffe, Terry McAuliffe, Terry McAuliffe.

American voters should get to know or reacquaint themselves with Terry McAuliffe.

He’s the Democratic Party’s don and king who seemingly doesn’t take the money and run but makes sure his own pockets runneth over.

As you are likely aware, Mr. McAuliffe’s name was on the long list of Democrats who are potential 2020 presidential candidates. However, he shortened that list on Wednesday by scratching his name.

“I’m going to work the next six months every single day to make sure Virginia, we win the House and the Senate, and then next year, I’m going to work like a dog to make sure that we are blue,” he said. “We were the only Southern state that went for Hillary in 2016, very proud of that. We need to do it again in ‘20.”

How generous of Mr. McAuliffe, whose je ne sais quoi and financial and political connections helped move Arkansas’ Bill and Hillary Clinton into the White House.

And remember, Mr. McAuliffe — the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee — tried a three-peat in 2008, but he and the Clintons misread Barack Obama and the party’s all-important black voting bloc.

And in 2016, Mr. McAuliffe missed again with Mrs. Clinton and fellow Virginian Tim Kaine on the ticket.

Donald Trump got in the way in the latter instance.

In between Bill and Hill’s presidential victories and her presidential defeat, Mr. McAuliffe fulfilled an ambition of his own: He ran for Virginia governor in 2013 and won.

For sure, Mr. McAuliffe’s eyes are trained on American voters, having followed trends and schisms of Virginia politics for generations.

He knows well that Virginia elected two Democratic governors in succession, Mark Warner in 2001 and Tim Kaine in 2005; then Republican Bob McDonnell; then himself; and then Democrat Ralph Northam in 2017.

The Democratic Party’s chief cook and bottle washer knows Virginia’s current blue tide is in trouble internally, with the AOC, Bernie, Beto and Pocahontas cliques, and the African-American bloc.

In announcing his noncandidacy, the former DNC chief boasted that he could whip President Trump “like a rented mule.”

But Mr. McAuliffe conceded Wednesday that Virginia is in trouble and that Democrats need to be whipped like a “like a rented mule.” In other words, Virginians can’t tell the differences between a donkey, a mule and a jackass. Hee-haw.

What he does understand quite well is that money talks and that Virginia’s rented mules — Gov. Ralph Northam, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax and Attorney General Mark Herring — aren’t weighted down by saddlebags of dough. They are burdened with racial issues and sexual misconduct allegations, amid cultural undertones of losing the Civil War but still placating plantation life.

“Ralph,” he said of Mr. Northam, “only raised $2,500 in the last quarter.” Tsk, tsk.

What a tangled web the Democrats weaved once they tried to deceive.

So, like a white knight (or Clint Eastwood), Mr. McAuliffe plans to ride to the rescue with more than one mule, as he not only has to help Virginia Democrats capture the statehouse but beat the Donald and Republicans like him.

If Virginia Democrats become enamored with a Republican like, say, Maryland’s Larry Hogan or even former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, the Democrats would truly have to regroup and admit that the commonwealth ain’t what they thought it was.

Here and now, allow me this: The only way Mr. McAuliffe can interject a winning strategy is to divide and conquer, and that is done by speaking in code to each demographic and not beating up on Donald Trump at every turn.

Watch out, black voters and white voters, and American Indian and Asian voters, and poor voters and disenfranchised voters.

Terry McAuliffe’s Democratic strategy is coming via a candidate near you.

Deborah Simmons can be contacted at [email protected]

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