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Now Is The Time for all good Obamacrats to Come to the Aid of Terry McAuliffe

Phil Krone 5 June 2009 No Comment

There are two gubernatorial races this off off year (2009): New Jersey and Virginia.  Republicans will obviously try to make these a referendum on President Obama and a harbinger of things to come.

I hadn’t intended to write anything on this subject, but having been in Virginia last week for several days I thought I’d like to weigh in.  Illinois was actually once part of Virginia, but that’s not the reason I’m writing this.

The Democratic Primary is next Tuesday, June 9 and I never thought I’d say this,  but I hope Terry McAuliffe wins the nomination. Terry was the former Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and the National Chairman of Hillary Clinton’s campaign committee for President so I was hoping that either of his two opponents would be the nominee.  But not anymore.  While the Washington Post endorsed one of his opponents, they called all three aspirants ‘qualified’.

Only McAuliffe can raise the money needed to win the general election and because he’s a Clinton insider, if he does lose it won’t be a loss for Obama.  However, if he loses the primary a lot of the right wing commentary will be that the Democratic Party is still divided and is punishing Clinton’s number one supporter.  The possibility of this was exacerbated when one of McAuliffe’s opponents ran a very negative commercial linking McAuliffe to Hillary, and did it solely on black radio stations.  The irony is that the genius behind the commercial was John Edward’s chief adviser, not an original Obama supporter. And if he wins the primary I hope that McAuliffe gets that adviser to assist him. But raising that issue had a reverse effect on me.

It is true that Terry McAuliffe was the most loyal supporter of Hillary Clinton.  As Secretary of State she is not allowed to participate politically so she cannot reciprocate the loyalty and hard work by McAuliffe which almost won her the nomination.  But its also true that after Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination,  McAuliffe did work tirelessly on his behalf as did Mrs. Clinton.  The proof is in the pudding. Obama won. Hillary became Secretary of State, and McAuliffe should at least be the Democratic nominee for Governor. Obama supporters generally, and African American Democrats in particular should vote for him on Tuesday June 9 first because it will demonstrate that the party is united and secondly is uniting behind the candidate who has the best chance to win in November.

McAuliffe has waged a very aggressive, high level, imaginative and exuberant campaign covering every county.  All three candidates are better than the Republican candidate, but Terry is the one who not only has the best chance to win, but because he is identified as a Clinton person, his unlikely defeat in November wouldn’t be counted as a loss for Obama.

One of his opponents is a state senator who wouldn’t step up to fight the construction of a highway through an urban park in his own district, and the other has a slogan that he will ‘fight for you”.  I’m sure McAuliffe knows how to fight if necessary, but having lived in Virginia for almost 20 years he knows that ‘Virginia is for lovers.’

I didn’t expect to be impressed with his campaign, but I was.  What Republicans don’t want is a Governor McAuliffe campaigning for Barack Obama for re-election in 2012.  I do. And my mother in law who lives in Virginia also does.  And she’s displaying a lawn sign too. And her vote will count.


Phil Krone is a regular contributor to the Chicago Daily Observer

image Underwood 3 typewriter, from which Phil drilled the post title

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