NYT: Virginia Gov. McAuliffe learning the hard way that “jollity” and “bipartisanship” are not the same thing

posted at 12:41 pm on March 24, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

It didn’t matter that he hadn’t actually had any executive or governing experience, Gov. Terry McAuliffe repeatedly assured Virginians during last year’s campaign and again at his inauguration in January, because he would wine and dine his way into the legislature’s hearts and minds the same way he had boozed and schmoozed Democratic donors into donating millions of dollars over the decades. Persuading opposition lawmakers on partisan policy positions and cajoling Democrats into giving money to causes in which they probably already believe is more or less the same thing, right?

No. The NYT has noticed:

But Mr. McAuliffe has had a hard comeuppance, as his gift for persuasion has met a conservative Republican majority in the House of Delegates unmoved by the charm offensive. The regular 60-day legislative session ended in stalemate two weeks ago without a state budget. As a special session begins on Monday with both sides raising the specter of a government shutdown, Republicans charge that the governor, serving in his first elected office, is all schmooze and little substance.

“I think he was under the impression you just come down here, slap everybody on the back, have a few cocktail parties and we’d pass things where we have real differences in philosophy,” said Kirk Cox, the Virginia House majority leader. “I don’t think that’s worked for him.” …

In an interview, the congenitally upbeat Mr. McAuliffe said, “Most people would say I had a more successful session than any first-term governor.”

But William J. Howell, speaker of the House, is not one of those people. “I’ve never seen, Republican or Democrat, anybody come in with so little an agenda and so little attention to the process,” he said.

I find it uniquely, poignantly, and painfully hilarious that Team McAuliffe tried their darndest to associate Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli with national gridlock and the federal shutdown last fall, a fate that McAuliffe claimed he was well-qualified to avoid — and yet that could potentially be what’s happening in Virginia under the first few months of his leadership. The state legislature is going into a special session today, because their regular session ended a couple of weeks ago without a budget and without having expanded Medicaid — a prize that both McAuliffe and the Obama administration have been pushing hard as a top priority. State Republicans are the ones who would like to decouple and pass a “clean” budget from the Medicaid issue, so they can avoid a potentially looming shutdown (which would start on July 1st) and debate the Medicaid issue later in the year (Virginia lawmakers generally only meet twice a year for six weeks each, a rule of which I am excessively fond), but McAuliffe and his fellow Democrats know that separating the two action items will leave them without much leverage to go on. Oh, how the tables have turned.

Anyhow, in opening up the session this morning, McAuliffe introduced a possible idea for a trial “pilot” program in the hopes of moving Republicans toward his own line of thinking; we’ll see where that gets us:

Gov. Terry McAuliffe is proposing expanding Medicaid under a two-year pilot that he says could end at that time without financial penalty to the state. …

McAuliffe said he has assurance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that Virginia can launch a two year pilot to use the federal funds and get out of it with no obligation.

 

The letter he said opens the door for “a pragmatic and balanced approach to closing the health care coverage gap.” …

 

If expansion ends, he says he will take the responsibility. …

 

 

“Everybody else is off the hook,” he said.


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That’s their reward for electing this jackhole.

Ward Cleaver on March 24, 2014 at 12:48 PM

“Everybody else is off the hook,” he said.

Or, said another way, “I won’t sting you this time”, said the scorpion to the frog.

MTF on March 24, 2014 at 12:52 PM

“Everybody else is off the hook,” he said.

Riiiiiiiiiiggghhhhhtttttttt…….

GWB on March 24, 2014 at 12:53 PM

McAuliffe thought he was Obama Jr.
Pffft.

22044 on March 24, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Way to go Virginia. You just NYC’d yourself. Just as DeBlastoff is proving to be a disaster so will Terry McAwful.

Dogs, fleas etc…

Embrace the suck

neyney on March 24, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Gov. Terry McAuliffe is proposing expanding Medicaid under a two-year pilot that he says could end at that time without financial penalty to the state. …

So two years from now the filthy incompetent bastard can scream that the GOP wants to kill women and children by cutting Medicaid. I hope the House of Delegates isn’t stupid enough to fall for this tactic.

Happy Nomad on March 24, 2014 at 12:59 PM

McAuliffe thought he was Obama Jr.
Pffft.

22044 on March 24, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Yeah the only problem is that he doesn’t have the power he thinks he has, VA’s legislature is highly sensitive to the process, and the GOP’s demand for a clean bill is utterly reasonable.

Happy Nomad on March 24, 2014 at 1:03 PM

You get what you vote for…

PatriotRider on March 24, 2014 at 1:07 PM

So a smooth talking, long-legged mack daddy with no experience and created by a political machine is inept at actual governing?

Where have I heard this story before?

HumpBot Salvation on March 24, 2014 at 1:08 PM

Look up hack and there you will find McAuliffe. How this completely unqualified dufus got elected shows how downright stupid the electorate can be. That he got so much backing is proof that it is all about the party and power and not was is best for the country. The Clintons knew he was a snake, he worked for them after all, and they still endorsed him. Sad and predictable.

major dad on March 24, 2014 at 1:10 PM

Here’s your sign, Virginia.

gryphon202 on March 24, 2014 at 1:14 PM

We elected a bona fide crook. The land of liberty, now the land of lobbyist, corporatist, and statist bureaucrats residing all within 50 miles of DC. From sic semper tyrannis to semper acceptus tyrannis. Time for me and the mrs to move to Texas.

cthemfly on March 24, 2014 at 1:16 PM

McAuliffe said he has assurance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that Virginia can launch a two year pilot to use the federal funds and get out of it with no obligation.

Also known as the “let me just put the tip in” gambit.

Midas on March 24, 2014 at 1:19 PM

The problem for Gov. McAuliffe is that many real conservatives have fundamental values that can’t schmoozed away. Virginia has a lot of real conservatives, thus the problem for the Governor.

I think this something many Democrats have no context with which to comprehend true conservatives, and therefore they really and truly hate us and think us evil for daring to not be like them, and for criticizing faults in their plans and putting up resistance to implementing them.

Because they can’t comprehend fundamental values being so firmly held as to have such a solid impact on one’s decision making process, they decide our motives must be stubbornness, racism, or something like that, that keeps us from being ‘reasonable’.

s1im on March 24, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Poor Mac has realized he ain’t so powerful not a pawn of the Clintoon Arkansas Mafia and without Janet “Barbecue” Reno to gleefully ignore any and all lawbreaking by the syndicate.

viking01 on March 24, 2014 at 1:21 PM


Here’s your sign, Virginia.

gryphon202 on March 24, 2014 at 1:14 PM

Gee, what could that sign possible say? “I’m with Stupid”, “I AM Stupid” “Stupid is as Stupid Votes”? Have fun VA. It’s going to be a looooooong 4 years for y’all!

HomeoftheBrave on March 24, 2014 at 1:22 PM

McAuliffe thought he was Obama Jr.
Pffft.

He is. That’s the essence of the problem.
…well, that and utter lack of talent and leadership experience. But sorta redundant there, yes?

orangemtl on March 24, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Yeah the only problem is that he doesn’t have the power he thinks he has, VA’s legislature is highly sensitive to the process, and the GOP’s demand for a clean bill is utterly reasonable.

Happy Nomad on March 24, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Good assessment.
He is. That’s the essence of the problem.

…well, that and utter lack of talent and leadership experience. But sorta redundant there, yes?

orangemtl on March 24, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Also well stated.

22044 on March 24, 2014 at 1:26 PM

McAuliffe repeatedly assured Virginians during last year’s campaign and again at his inauguration in January, because he would wine and dine his way into the legislature’s hearts and minds the same way he had boozed and schmoozed Democratic donors into donating millions of dollars over the decades.

At least he is aware that people have to be heavily intoxicated to agree with his policies.

Valkyriepundit on March 24, 2014 at 1:30 PM

“So you want to be… a lion tamer? What sort of qualifications do you have?”

“Well, I’ve got a hat….it says Lion Tamer on it…”

—- Vocational Guidance Counselor skit, Monty Python’s Flying Circus

viking01 on March 24, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Because they can’t comprehend fundamental values being so firmly held as to have such a solid impact on one’s decision making process, they decide our motives must be stubbornness, racism, or something like that, that keeps us from being ‘reasonable’.

s1im on March 24, 2014 at 1:20 PM

I’m hoping he remains ignorant through November. Mark Warner could be in real trouble if VA voters are ticked off by Obamacare and McAuliffe pushing Medicaid expansion, easing of abortion laws, and tighter gun restrictions (all campaign promises).

Happy Nomad on March 24, 2014 at 1:38 PM

“Everybody else is off the hook,” he said.

As he can only serve one four-year term, this is a very hollow promise.

ladyingray on March 24, 2014 at 1:49 PM

IF you don’t like your medicare expansion you don’t have to keep it-period.

I’m sure his word is good.

jmtham156 on March 24, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Virginia like NYC is facing the reality of 4 years of failed leadership how much worse off things will be because they voted for socialism over ability.

But until those addicted to the govt sugar teat, crash and burn they will continue to line up to surrender their freedoms while they cheer on socialist tyrants, happy to enslave them under the dictates of big govt socialism

tuttle from tacoma on March 24, 2014 at 2:13 PM

…shithead…is a shithead?

KOOLAID2 on March 24, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Just like Obama, McAuliffe finds that winning a substance-free campaign based on scaring single women/college kids and caricaturing your opponent doesn’t really give you a mandate to expand Medicaid, or anything else on the liberal agenda. If Virginians really wanted that crap they would have voted more Democrats into the legislature.

The Republicans have all the leverage there. McAuliffe’s going to be a one-term Governor with no coattails.

rockmom on March 24, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Virginia used to be one of my favorite states, but they must now suffer the consequences for having voted for this chalkboard-scratchin’ Yankee mf.

vnvet on March 24, 2014 at 3:00 PM


Here’s your sign, Virginia.
gryphon202 on March 24, 2014 at 1:14 PM


Gee, what could that sign possible say? “I’m with Stupid”, “I AM Stupid” “Stupid is as Stupid Votes”? Have fun VA. It’s going to be a looooooong 4 years for y’all!

HomeoftheBrave on March 24, 2014 at 1:22 PM

Well, so far the Republican majority in the House of Delegates has done a decent job of keeping the buffoon (apologies, monkeys) in check. Yes, the main contention is the Medicaid expansion.

Didn’t/wouldn’t vote for the McAwful (as someone put it) but Northern Virginia has been a growing hot bed of liberalism (next to DC, as a reminder) for quite a few years. Add to that the Virginia Beach area doing the same thing. The majority the state (area wise,) like a lot of states, is still mostly conservative.

But there is also a network of “good ‘ol boy” republicans that tries to keep real republican-conservatives out of the political process. Their antics is why Cuccinelli did not win a close governor’s election.

TerryW on March 24, 2014 at 3:37 PM

I still have a good number of friends in Virginia, among them a fair number who are employees of the Commonwealth who proudly voted for the little smarmy crook McAuliffe.

When he shuts down their government over his personal desire to stick the state with expanded Medicaid (and don’t be fooled by tricks, once the benefit is given, it cannot be taken away), many of them may find themselves without paychecks.

Just wanted to let y’all know, don’t call me. I tried to warn you.

Adjoran on March 24, 2014 at 3:39 PM

McAuliffe isn’t the only one who thought smoozing was the same as convincing were the same thing. As I recall the usual members of the national kamikaze brigade were so sure that Republicans would just sellout for a few drinks and caviar. This a big I told you so moment for me. When don’t have complete control you can only stop an initiative and not start one. If Ted Cruz and his kamikaze brigade supporters understood that the Republicans would have a lock on the Senate in 2014.

jerryofva on March 24, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Spring Break.

Time for flash mobs in Virginia Beach.

MichaelGabriel on March 24, 2014 at 3:55 PM

What was Terry McAsswipe before he was a bag man for the Clintons?

myiq2xu on March 24, 2014 at 4:07 PM

To answer my own question:

He was a crony capitalist!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_McAuliffe#Business_career

myiq2xu on March 24, 2014 at 4:12 PM

McDunbass was, is and will always be a conniving sleazebag. We need a big pro-liberty backlash to overcome the Beltway/Richmond/Norfolk Democrat axis. And I think that is how it must be framed – individual liberty, not the more abstract conservative moniker.

As a native Virginian, the conversion to purple is just plain painful. We can only hope that Mark Warner reaps the Obamacare whirlwind. The problem I am seeing is how the establishment Republicans are pushing all the “next in line” candidates for other offices such as retiring Frank Wolfe’s. These are all the same pro-amnesty, go-along get-along hacks who left Ken Cuccinelli out to dry. I could do without them and have decided not to vote for anyone who waffles on Obamacare, abortion or are backed by the traitorous, amnesty-loving Chamber of Commerce.

ironked on March 24, 2014 at 4:41 PM

At least it’s almost time to hit the New River. Hang in there Virginia.

mike_NC9 on March 24, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Someone is going to end up in Fort Marcy Park,

RandallinHerndon on March 24, 2014 at 5:33 PM

These are all the same pro-amnesty, go-along get-along hacks who left Ken Cuccinelli out to dry. I could do without them and have decided not to vote for anyone who waffles on Obamacare, abortion or are backed by the traitorous, amnesty-loving Chamber of Commerce.

You mean the same go-along, get-along hacks who are standing up to McAuliffe? It is this kind of attitude that will keep Virginia blue at the state level and put Obama in office for a second term. You may like cutting off your nose to spite your face but as long as I get screwed in the process I am going to call idiots like you out.

jerryofva on March 24, 2014 at 5:40 PM

Correction
: The VA General Assembly meets once a year. 60 days in even numbered years and 45 days in odd number years.

stop2think on March 25, 2014 at 11:24 AM