This morning on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning news show, former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe did…NOT announce that he’s going to be running for president. At least not yet. What he did do is rip into Trump on the government shutdown and in general. According to McAuliffe, “Democrats should not given an inch, Donald Trump owns this [government shutdown]…He listened to right-wing folks on radio who are his puppet masters, they challenged his manhood, and they pulled the strings…This concrete wall is never going to be built…[Donald Trump] is too emotional, he is too unstable…He is an angry, emotional man sitting in the White House.”
Asked if that’s his campaign speech for president in 2020, McAuliffe continued to rip Trump – for lying through his teeth in Iraq about military pay raises and about blaming Democrats for the death of two children at the border. McAuliffe then said, “I’m not going to announce right now, I’m obviously looking at it, I’ve got time…I have 40 years of working for this party, I have plenty of friends in many states, I don’t have to rush into this…[Votes] don’t want an angry liar in the White House, they want someone who is compulsively optimistic and realistic.”
My take: TMac’s probably running, but I’m highly skeptical that Democratic primary voters are going to nominate him – as Dana Bash put it, a white man, the former chair for both Billl and Hillary Clinton, etc. – in 2020. I’d also throw in that McAuliffe’s record as governor had a few bright spots (e.g., restoring voting rights to ex felons, although he was forced to backtrack on that one to an extent), but also some really bad aspects, in particular McAuliffe’s record vis-a-vis Dominion Energy and the proposed fracked-gas pipelines. So…yeah, just not seeing a McAuliffe candidacy succeeding, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he goes for it anyway, “optimist” that he is.
P.S. By the way, I thought it was interesting that McAuliffe said “we all support Medicare for All,” but then backtracked – after Bash reminded him that “Medicare for All” is a Bernie Sanders idea – to say “it’s unrealistic in its terms of how we pay for it, but do we want everyone covered…of course we do….I support that everyone in this country gets access to quality, affordable healthcare, whatever you want to call it.” That seemed like an unforced error right there…the type of error that, in a Democratic debate, other candidates will pounce on.