Former DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe Loses Democratic Primary for Virginia Governor

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Terry McAuliffe Loses Democratic Primary for Virginia Governor

June 9th, 2009

On June 9, Virginia Democrats held a primary to choose a gubernatorial candidate. Terry McAuliffe, former chair of the Democratic National Committee, placed a distant second to a Virginia state legislator, Creigh Deeds. See this story. McAuliffe spent the most money, and had been endorsed by former President Bill Clinton, and had once been considered the front-runner.

But McAuliffe received bad publicity less than two weeks ago, when Theresa Amato’s book about the Nader 2004 campaign was published. The book, “Grand Illusion: the Myth of Voter Choice in a Two-Party Tyranny” revealed that McAuliffe had told Nader in early 2004 that Nader must not get on the ballot in 19 particular states, and that if Nader agreed, McAuliffe would steer campaign contributions to him for his campaign in 31 other states. The press asked Nader to corroborate the story, and he did so, and that made the news.

16 thoughts on “Former DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe Loses Democratic Primary for Virginia Governor

  1. Kimberly Wilder

    Someone in Loudon thinks Nader had an affect:

    http://www.loudouni.com/news/-dartboard/2009-06-09/deeds-and-wagner-win-democratic-primary

    –…However, Deeds gained significant ground over the past few weeks, first because of his selection for the endorsement of the Washington Post…Deeds also benefited from accusations of bribery against McAuliffe by former third-party presidential candidate Ralph Nader, and an exactingly implemented final media push by the Deeds campaign. –end quote

  2. Catholic Trotskyist

    Yes, yes, yes, but not in the way you think. This was actually a defeat for Nader, because Nader recruited McAuliffe into the Naderite/Republican fascist/stalinist New World Order control conspiracy, McAuliffe’s supposed sabotage of Nader ballot access was false flag operation against the Democratic Party to make it look like Nader and McAuliffe aren’t really friends, which they are. God bless our Holy Revolutionary commander Creigh Deeds, a fellow traveler of Catholic Trotskyism, for fighting off the NWO-control conspiracy. I’m on another mission for the Vatican until Monday, but with this success, I can now devote all my spiritual energy to the New York Senate situation. Behave yourselves until I come back.

  3. Chris Moore

    As someone that lives in Virginia and followed the Dem. primary, I can assure you that Amato’s book and Nader has absolutely nothing to do with McAuliffe’s loss.

  4. Richard Cooper

    Deeds was the only candidate not from the Washington, DC suburbs. It shouldn’t be suprising then that he would win in a three way race.

    Similarly, when Barr lost to Linder in the GOP primary it wasn’t the LP ads that mattered but the new district after redistricting was two thirds Linder’s old district and one third Barr’s, in terms of voters.

    Why would Nader impact voters in a VA Democrat primary for governor? Where is the evidence?

  5. Chris Moore

    Furthermore, Deeds is a moderate Democrat. Most Virginia Dems are moderate/conservative in comparison to national Dems. Hell, Tim Kaine, Mark Warner and Douglas Wilder would be considered Republicans in some states.

    McAuliffe’s loss boils down to the following:

    * Deeds has a long history with the Virginia Democratic Party and only lost to the Rep. nominee for the AG spot by 360 votes four years ago.

    * McAuliffe is a Virginia transplant, only here because the Virginia side of DC is nicer than the Maryland side.

    * Brian Moran sucked up all the liberal votes.

    * McAuliffe spent most of his television ads talking about how wind mills will create jobs. I still don’t know WTF he was thinking with that tactic.

    * McAuliffe attacked Deed’s stand on gun issues and his endorsement by the NRA, when many Virginia Dems are FAR more suspicious of gun control than an outsider Dem (like Terry) would assume.

    * McDonnell’s campaign was DROOLING over the prospect of running against a D.C. Democrat with a sketchy past as a political influence peddler, with numerous shady business dealings, who claimed to be a man who could create jobs when he has never run a single business that created a single job outside of politics. Deeds never had to bring this up since Brian Moran did it for him.

  6. HS

    This implication that the Nader thing had anything to do with this is such a stretch. Mainstream voters, let alone those voting on a stormy day in early June, can care less about Nader or any third party wackiness. The Loudoun County article was just doing the piling on, but in reality, the issue of Nader had absolutely nothing to do with it.

    McCaullif lost in suburban DC because the idea is to become head of the DNC AFTER you become governor ala Tim Kaine, not before. Moran ran a bad campaign and shifted to the left to compete against McCauliff while Deeds ran smart and steady.

  7. Chris R

    What a spankin’. This is excellent news for Virginia. I cannot wait to see Deeds in the Governors mansion.

  8. Ross Levin

    I’ve heard from VA voters that Nader had an impact (even if it was small). So some people are paying attention.

  9. Third Party Revolution

    Sadly, Deeds and McDonnell will be the only choices for Governor of Virginia. so it does not matter who you vote for, because one way or another the Democratic and Republican Party are the same freaking thing. So the end results will be the same.

  10. Erik Geib

    I also live in Virginia and heard nothing of the Nader story outside of this website. I’d be very surprised if even 100 people were impacted by the story.

    Moreover, given Democratic grudge-holding back at Nader (wrongfully so, in my opinion, might I add) about 2000, I’d think this could make some even more likely to vote for McAuliffe, but who knows.

    At the end of the day, what I’ve read/heard most, both before and after the fact, was that people were uncomfortable with McAuliffe since he hasn’t lived here long compared to Moran or Deeds, and that Deeds is more in line with Virginia Democratic thought anyway.

    It’s also of incredible importance to note (which nobody has done so far, not even in the papers, to my knowledge) that Virginia has an open primary. Given that the Republicans picked their nominee at their state convention, it wouldn’t terribly surprise me to learn that a fair number of Republicans voted in this race for Deeds as well.

  11. Scott Sptizer

    Chris Moore and Erik’s comments are pretty spot on. I live in Virginia as well, and to be honest, though I consider myself pretty active in politics, I’d never heard of this until *after* the primary. I really don’t think enough people even knew about this to make a difference, and I really doubt those that did would really care that much. There were much bigger issues at stake here.

    I’m a pretty hard-core libertarian, but I participated in the primary and voted for Deeds mainly for the reasons Chris Moore highlighted above for McAuliffe’s loss. I think many, many Virginians felt as I did, that McAuliffe was a sleezy transplant who is in no way “Virginian.” I’d be disgusted to have him running (or even associated with) our state, and that was enough to get me to the polls to vote against him.

    I think McAuliffe’s attacks on Deeds in the gun control area alone was enough to secure his defeat. Virginia is definitely in a political transition period, but we’re still no where near embracing ultra-liberal political philosophies. I would think someone who claims to be such an expert in politics would know that those pretty extreme socialist and environmentalist positions wouldn’t fly with mainstream voters here.

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