McAuliffe to biz PAC: I’ll bring jobs by being super-good at drinking with people

posted at 10:01 pm on September 16, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham

I had no idea how thoroughly my University of Georgia education prepared me for public office.

More drama in the Virginia governor’s race, this time almost entirely of Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe’s making.

A PAC made up of Northern Virginia tech business types did interviews with McAuliffe and Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli last week before voting on an endorsement. They chose Cuccinelli. The group has endorsed Republicans in the past, but is filled with moderate-to-liberal techies from the bluest part of the state, so McAuliffe should have been able to make a good case. It turns out he didn’t even try.

The reasoning behind the NVTC TechPAC’s nod — Cuccinelli had detailed responses to questions in candidate interviews, three board members said, while McAuliffe was uninformed and superficial — bolsters the view that the Democrat’s breezy style doesn’t sit well with some Virginians. Two of the people said they were leaning toward Cuccinelli before the interviews; one disliked both candidates.

When Tech PAC announced its endorsement— a blow to McAuliffe but one probably only political junkies would have noticed—McAuliffe’s camp threw a fit, calling in reinforcements to strong arm the group and even threaten them:

“The pressure is hot and heavy,” Dendy Young, TechPAC chairman and chief executive of McLean Capital, wrote in an e-mail to TechPAC members Sunday morning. Young wrote that he received calls Saturday from Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), Lt. Governor Bill Bolling (R) and Aneesh Chopra, the former U.S. chief technology officer and Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor. Young also said that, on the other side of the issue, Cuccinelli called him, too.

But it’s the state Democrats who kept it really classy:

But e-mails obtained by The Post make clear that the lobbying effort on McAuliffe’s behalf was intense.

“I urge you to stop any endorsement of Cuccinelli,” state Sen. Janet D. Howell (D-Fairfax), told PAC leaders Friday in an e-mail. “The ramifications of his being endorsed will be huge within the Senate Democratic caucus. . . . The response [from legislators] will be frigid and doors will be closed [when the council seeks help with its legislative agenda]. Achieving the goals of NVTC will be difficult to impossible.”

Senate Minority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax) and Sen. Barbara Favola (D-Arlington) seconded those sentiments in their e-mails. In interviews, the senators said the messages should not be perceived as threats but as expressions of their frustration

Nice community of tech entrepreneurship you got there. Shame if anything should happen to it.

Now, please witness the spectacle that made Tech PAC choose Cuccinelli (as if McAuliffe’s cronied-up business flop, GreenTech weren’t reason enough). The man is a cartoon:

Cuccinelli impressed the board’s majority as a serious, detail-oriented candidate while McAuliffe seemed to wing it, according to three board members present for the interviews who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak frankly.

“Terry was his normal, flamboyant self,” said a board member present for both interviews. “He didn’t want to get pinned down to any details. He didn’t give any details. He was all about jobs, jobs, jobs — ‘I’m just going to take care of the situation when the time comes. I’m just going to do it.’ It was all [expletive].”

Cuccinelli, by contrast, the person said, “was precise. He was thoughtful. He thought through all the issues. He had a clear position on all those issues, and he didn’t agree with the council on all the issues.”

Two people present said that in response to a question about how he’d accomplish his goals as governor, McAuliffe told the PAC board that as an Irish Catholic he’d be adept at taking people out for drinks and doing whatever it takes to get things done. McAuliffe is well known as a schmoozer, but he seemed to badly misread his methodical audience with that answer, several of those present said.

On a question about whether Virginia should stay in something called the “open-trade-secrets pact,” Cuccinelli gave a thoroughly researched response, the person said.

But McAuliffe answered, according to the source: “ ‘I don’t know what that is. I’ll have to look it up later.’ And then he turns back to the guy [who asked] and said ‘Well, what do you think we should do?’ And the guy says, ‘We want Virginia to stay in it.’ And then Terry says, ‘Okay, we will.’ ”

Read the whole thing, which also highlights and explains the curious case of Cuccinelli rival and fellow Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling making his first, obvious pro-McAuliffe move.

I’m not surprised Cuccinelli was well-prepared. He’s an extremely smart and well-spoken guy who doesn’t deserve the caricature Democrats create of him (though sometimes he doesn’t work hard enough to avoid playing into it). The interaction these two had with the Tech PAC board feels like a metaphor for interactions of Republican and Democratic candidates with the media and electorate lately, particularly the Obama/Romney battle of 2012.

Flamboyant Terry is all track record of cronyism and failure, a hefty dose of arrogance, and ridiculous public statements papered over with shallow “war on women” memes. Cuccinelli is a far more competent alternative too easily caricatured by McAuliffe’s memes. In the case of the Tech PAC meeting, when the battle was fought on policy intricacies, Cuccinelli was the clear winner— please see Mitt Romney, 1st Debate. The problem is those moments don’t come along that often in modern campaigns, and they don’t reach very many voters. Tomorrow, McAuliffe will be back to the equivalent of Big Bird and Binders attacks. Luckily, his hissy fit alerted everyone to a Cuccinelli moment of strength that would otherwise have gone mostly unnoticed.

Maybe next time they’ll serve beer, Terry.


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Blessing the cup.

Bmore on September 16, 2013 at 10:08 PM

This guy has a drinking problem.

Blake on September 16, 2013 at 10:10 PM

The AG is being interviewed interrogated by the FBI.

The FBI will see right through his and BM’s BS — transparency.

anchorchick on September 16, 2013 at 10:13 PM

Hamm’s article point’s out that they sent the black and tan shirts after the PAC leaders because they didn’t give that piece of Schlitz a blue ribbon almost puts a tear in my beer.

Flange on September 16, 2013 at 10:14 PM

Ham, you’re losing it.

Story and angle, all true. Attacking the booze angle… as the Duck Dynasty boys would say, naaw.

Also, you’re “prose” is getting too long.

Yeah, that thing they call the “real life” is no reason to slack in the blogosphere hot, young, mama.

Get it together.

swamp_yankee on September 16, 2013 at 10:17 PM

Terry Mcauliffe acts just like a Clinton — entitled. But VA deserves his smug, stupid looking smirk. He will perform equally drunk or sober because Clinton level sober is drunk for the rest of us. Howard Dean is the only person lower on the Clinton ladder than TM. But CooCooCuch can’t even keep pace.

You have state utero wands going wild, a Neo-Confederate black man who is universally reviled for his bigotry and an AG who can’t even compete against a Clintonian reject.

Virginia is for lovers losers.

anchorchick on September 16, 2013 at 10:18 PM

I guess Bill decided to go full traitor with his snit fit.

Spade on September 16, 2013 at 10:23 PM

Get it together.

swamp_yankee on September 16, 2013 at 10:17 PM

In “real life” adults know the meaning of “prose” and don’t use words they don’t understand to hit on women 20 years younger than them.

anchorchick on September 16, 2013 at 10:31 PM

Get it together.

swamp_yankee on September 16, 2013 at 10:17 PM

I can tell how old most guys are by their pick-up lines. You’re 48-53 years old. Age does not excuse your lameness. But it explains it.

Lots of guys do what you’re doing. Dont’ feel too bad; but it is pretty lame.

anchorchick on September 16, 2013 at 10:32 PM

But McAuliffe answered, according to the source: “ ‘I don’t know what that is. I’ll have to look it up later.’ And then he turns back to the guy [who asked] and said ‘Well, what do you think we should do?’ And the guy says, ‘We want Virginia to stay in it.’ And then Terry says, ‘Okay, we will.’ ”

It is sad that a state that gave this country so many Founders and leaders over the years ends up with this sorry excuse for a human being as even a choice on a ballot, for anything.

But it was not just the Virginians who let this happen. It was all of us allowing the federal government and its bureaucracy to grow so large that they spread out like a cancer among the various states that surround DC and, guess what, a lot of them don’t want to vote themselves out of a job and, hence, vote D. So, this cretin, McAuliffe could well win.

Then again, the Ds and LIVs voted not only once but twice for Putin’s Bitch as president.

TXUS on September 16, 2013 at 10:32 PM

But McAuliffe answered, according to the source: “ ‘I don’t know what that is. I’ll have to look it up later.’ And then he turns back to the guy [who asked] and said ‘Well, what do you think we should do?’ And the guy says, ‘We want Virginia to stay in it.’ And then Terry says, ‘Okay, we will.’ ”

It is sad that a state that gave this country so many Founders and leaders over the years ends up with this sorry excuse for a human being as even a choice on a ballot, for anything.

But it was not just the Virginians who let this happen. It was all of us allowing the federal government and its bureaucracy to grow so large that they spread out like a cancer among the various states that surround DC and, guess what, a lot of them don’t want to vote themselves out of a job and, hence, vote D. So, this cretin, McAuliffe could well win.

Then again, the Ds and LIVs voted not only once but twice for Putin’s B!tch as president.

TXUS on September 16, 2013 at 10:34 PM

“I urge you to stop any endorsement of Cuccinelli,” state Sen. Janet D. Howell (D-Fairfax), told PAC leaders Friday in an e-mail. “The ramifications of his being endorsed will be huge within the Senate Democratic caucus. . . . The response [from legislators] will be frigid and doors will be closed [when the council seeks help with its legislative agenda]. Achieving the goals of NVTC will be difficult to impossible.”

…it’s not Chicago …is it?

KOOLAID2 on September 16, 2013 at 10:43 PM

Then again, the Ds and LIVs voted not only once but twice for Putin’s B!tch as president.

TXUS on September 16, 2013 at 10:34 PM

.
LOL

ExpressoBold on September 16, 2013 at 10:47 PM

No surprise, but doubt it will matter. And can I just say how much I despise Bolling for trying to kneecap Cooch? I am sick and tired of these sore loser moderates deciding they’d prefer the dem, and a douche like McAuliffe no less, over their party’s nominee. It’s just confirmation they shouldn’t have gotten the GOP nod in the first place.

changer1701 on September 16, 2013 at 10:55 PM

Maybe next time they’ll serve beer, Terry.

….ha!

KOOLAID2 on September 16, 2013 at 11:05 PM

This guy has a thinking problem.

Blake on September 16, 2013 at 10:10 PM

There.

Jaibones on September 16, 2013 at 11:09 PM

I really enjoyed this, Mary. I thought of that first debate between Obama and Romney while reading it. Romney destroyed Obama! He looked like a sick dog after Romney called him out on his pathetic first term. But the media quickly jumped into the Prez’s corner for the remainder of the debates. Logic doesn’t make sense to low-info voters. Btw, how old am I, anchorchick on September 16, 2013 at 10:31 PM?

Scotty J on September 16, 2013 at 11:14 PM

Shorter McAuliffe: I’m really experienced in white collar government corruption.

Dusty on September 16, 2013 at 11:55 PM

New troll on this thread

22044 on September 17, 2013 at 7:46 AM

Virginia is for lovers
I am a loser!

anchorchick on September 16, 2013 at 10:18 PM

Fixed for accuracy.

22044 on September 17, 2013 at 7:49 AM

New troll on this thread

22044 on September 17, 2013 at 7:46 AM

.
It seems to be local to McAuliffe threads only.

ExpressoBold on September 17, 2013 at 8:01 AM

“…McAuliffe told the PAC board that as an Irish Catholic he’d be adept at taking people out for drinks and doing whatever it takes to get things done.”

Speaking as a first generation American of Irish parents, nice to see him perpetuating the sterotype.

And it’s totally hilarious that he would try such a tactic on a bunch of engineer/computer science types. BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

NavyMustang on September 17, 2013 at 8:07 AM

It seems to be local to McAuliffe threads only.

ExpressoBold on September 17, 2013 at 8:01 AM

I agree

22044 on September 17, 2013 at 8:48 AM

I sure hope my new home state doesn’t go the way of the one I fled. (Illinois)

I wish I could say I have confidence Virginia’s voters would not put a slime like McAwful in office, but many (likely pushing most, now) people are more concerned with bread and circuses than with good governance.

makattak on September 17, 2013 at 9:51 AM

It’s pretty obvious McAuliffe, couldn’t have cared less about the fact he was totally unprepared. He’s significantly ahead in the polls, and he rightly believes he is going to win. Northern Virginians aren’t going to vote for anyone who might, in any way, be a threat to their six figure government jobs. Count Virginia as lost to the red column.

kjatexas on September 17, 2013 at 12:41 PM

I heard from boots on the ground in Virginia that many women have fallen for the McAuliffe ads and think Cuccinelli is “bad”.

Angineer on September 17, 2013 at 9:29 PM

WaPo Confirms: WH’s Favorite Report is ‘BS’

slickwillie2001 on September 17, 2013 at 10:38 PM