Last night, Terry McAuliffe was one of two – count ’em – keynote speakers at the Arlington County Democratic Committee Jefferson-Jackson Dinner. The other speaker was former Rep. Tom Perriello, whose video I hope to post a bit later today. For now, though, listen to the guy who wants to be our next governor. A few highlights:
*Terry joked about how he ran in 2009 on “big ideas,” and that if people didn’t like them, they wouldn’t vote for him. “And you didn’t!” It’s a funny line, always gets a good laugh. I also have a feeling it’s effective politically.
*He talked about he’s been running around the state doing events, also working hard to push for things he believes in, like renewable energy. Specifically, Terry said it’s a “disgrace” Virginia doesn’t have a mandatory, renewable energy standard. I couldn’t agree more. He also noted that if you’re a clean energy investor, you’re going to go to the state that puts a priority on increasing that state’s share of wind, solar, etc.
*He noted that Bob McDonnell didn’t offer his car company any incentives to come to Virginia, while Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour did. “You’ve got to bid on these things to get ’em.”
*He said that 2010 was a disgrace, in that Democrats had a tremendous story to tell – kept the country from a Great Depression, saved the auto industry, passed the largest middle class tax cut in the history pf America, gave 40 million Americans a chance at getting decent health care coverage, etc. – but they totally failed to do so. In the absence of Democrats defining the narrative, Republicans did. As a result, instead of picking up seats in the House of Representatives in 2010, we lost 63 seats, and that’s a “disgrace,” because “we were not out there fighting for our values.”
*He said it “drives me wild” to hear Republicans saying they’re going to teach us about fiscal responsibility. He ran through the massive increases in debt by Reagan, Bush 41, and Bush 43, contrasting it with the enormous ($5.6 trillion) surpluses left by Bill Clinton.
*He nailed Bob McDonnell for his nonsense about supposedly “balancing the budget.” In fact, McDonnell borrowed huge amounts of money, raided the Virginia Retirement System, generally kicked the can down the road, borrowed from the federal government, etc. “That’s not leadership, folks.” Terry also ripped into McDonnell for failing to create manufacturing jobs, for failing to do anything to turn Virginia into the energy capital of the east coast, for failing to have a real transportation plan (other than borrow, via Garvee bonds).
*Terry argued we have to “get serious,” noting that we “spent a year wasting our time talking about liquor stores.”
*According to Terry, “2011 matters” here in Virginia. Terry took a shot at the redistricting bill, “I just don’t like a redistricting bill where…well, we’ll win a seat or two in the state Senate, we’ll lose a couple in the House of Delegates. Well, I just didn’t grow up that way; how about winning the House of Delegates?” That comment prompted some serious eye rolling and grimacing by State Senators Whipple and Ticer. Gotta love it.