VA-GOV: McAuliffe’s In

Former DNC Chairman and Hillary Clinton campaign chair Terry McAuliffe is officially running for Governor of Virginia.

McAuliffe was Chairman of the DNC from 2001 to 2005; in that time, Democrats lost two elections; the party’s fundraising consistently lagged behind the GOP’s; messaging and party discipline were terrible; and the party backed a slew of idiotic self-defeating policies.

But it would be completely unfair to blame all of that on McAuliffe–even if he did everything right, he might not have been able to single-handedly solve those problems.

What I do blame McAuliffe for, though, is the way he ran the party: poorly.   Under his leadership, state Democratic parties atrophied, starved of funds and talent.  Little to no effort was put into building the kind of web-based small donor network that propelled Howard Dean to national prominence under McAuliffe’s watch.  Under him, Democrats were consistently incapable of putting enough boots on the ground to win elections.  Under McAuliffe, the networks of volunteers and experienced political operatives that would go on to elect  Barack Obama President were never built.  Under him, millions of dollars of potential donations from small donors was never collected.

McAuliffe is politically old-fashioned.  He’s from the school of thought that says as long as you have enough wealthy donors willing to max out and as long as you can afford a lot of television commercials, you’ll win.  His leadership was fundamentally out of touch with the reality of American politics.  Every advancement Howard Dean made could have at least been started under McAuliffe; he simply refused to take a risk and modernize the Democratic Party. And that’s not the kind of leadership we need here in Virginia.

So, unless something major changes, I won’t be voting for Terry McAuliffe.  Thanks, but no thanks.