Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It has started

Earlier in the month, I wrote on Moran's call out of money McAuliffe raises from out of state. I said that Moran is going to cry foul when it happens, but McAuliffe won't listen. And, I questioned if the out-of-state/district-money meme really resonates with average voters in the first place.

Well, it has started.

Last week, McAuliffe held a fundraiser in Park Avenue in New York, one attended by Pres. Clinton. At that fundraiser, McAuliffe raised a hefty $350k. Today, the Moran campaign has fired back. Saith Moran strategist Mame Reiley:
"Last week, Terry McAuliffe was up on Wall Street at a glitzy Park Avenue location, collecting money while Brian Moran was announcing the boldest environmental plan of any candidate," Reiley wrote. "Yesterday, McAuliffe announced he's spending that Wall Street money on high-priced TV ads in Virginia."
On a side note, generally when a campaign attacks your campaign, your communications director should always parry with "Candidate X is focused on getting down to the issues and solving our problems." Right on cue, McAuliffe Communication's Director, Lis Smith responded:
"We know that Brian and Creigh are both good Democrats and that they both understand that Virginians aren't interested in the old way of campaigning," Smith said. "That's why Terry is staying focused on important issues like getting the economy back on track. We look forward to a discussion about these issues in the coming months."
The only part left of my initial theory is whether this will resonate with Democratic activists. I am skeptical, but we are about to find out.


Andrew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew said...

I'm a friend of Matt and Mandy and I'm considering getting in on the Gubernatorial race in Virginia. I organized in Georgia and Florida for Obama during the general and came back to Georgia to be destroyed in the Martin/Chambliss run-off. Both times Matt & Mandy put me up in their spare room like the awesome people they are. Matt actually talked about your campaigning in Virginia quite a bit so when i got an e-mail from an Obama organizer saying i should get a job on the Terry McAuliffe campaign. Now honestly i don't know a huge deal about the difference between the candidates on the Dem side, but i was checking up on McAuliffe and he seems pretty good. Now Mandy says you are supporting Moran and may actually be working for him so i was wondering why you are going with Moran over the other 2.

Drew said...

Andrew, welcome. Matt and Mandy are great friends, as evident by Matt's constant commenting on here.

To your question: there is little difference on the issues between the three candidates. Right now, I guess you can put me in the Leans Moran camp. I was predisposed to vote for Deeds as he was very helpful to Rep. Tom Perriello in our campaign - his state senate district overlaps the Charlottesville part of Tom's congressional district. But Deeds hasn't really done the campaigning here in the Southside. Moran has shown up, and I have talked with him several times in a number of counties. That and it doesn't hurt that Moran knows me and can start a conversation up with me personally.

I have met McAuliffe twice and he seems like a very energetic and capable guy. But there are several personal characteristics and facts that give me pause. First, when he came down to stump for Obama, in his earliest stages of contemplating a gubernatorial run, he joked a lot about sex in a public forum. Now, it was entertaining, but I left an unprofessional taste in my mouth. Second, the time when he was doing TV interviews for Hillary and he was wearing his Hawai'ian shirt and holding a bottle of rum, was embarrassing to our party, I thought. Finally, this is his third contemplation for a gubernatorial run. He considered a run in Florida and Pennsylvania in earlier cycles. So while he has been a huge activist within the Democratic national stage, on the statewide level, he has not been present. Moran was the Democratic Caucus chair for 8 years for the House of Delegates, and Deeds is an influential state senator. It's not that a person has to put in their time to run for governor, but for McAuliffe it whiffs of opportunism and buying public office. Just my take.

Anonymous said...

Moran should get the "New York Lawyer" backdrops from Virgil Goode -- he does not need them anymore.

Drew said...

Anonymous. Bravo! I can't believe I didn't make that connection.

Andrew, with all of that said, McAuliffe's fundraising prowess make him a very formidable candidate. He and Moran are the front runner.

Darren Staley said...


I'm not in VA so I have no dog in this hunt, but I do have to ask the question.

You were a very early supporter of Obama. It could be argued that the Clintons (with McAuliffe) got pretty nasty at times.

Does that in any way affect your thinking here. There isn't anything untoward if it does, but it is a reasonable question methinks.

Drew said...

Darren, a very good question. In my mind, I McAuliffe's support of Clinton isn't a reason that I am skeptical of him. He was embarrassing at times in that support ... kinda like Lanny Davis.

I guess, there is something emotive to his lack of establishment in VA politics and his presumption that big national supporters can win him the nomination here.