Thursday, January 23, 2014

In Virginia Newly Elected Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe is in For a Harsh Lesson

No Terry, Republicans Are Not Interested in Helping You Govern

The news in the state of Virginia this past fall was that the state responded to the Republicans nominating a bunch of hardline conservatives by electing Democrats to every statewide office.  And the news recently is that the newly elected Governor, Terry McAuliffe is starting out in a bi-partisan manner.

Mr. McAuliffe's Inauguration - In the stands are all the Republicans who will work with him.

With moderate Cabinet picks and an ardent courtship of Republicans, the colorful former Democratic National Committee chairman and political fundraiser has projected an image of seriousness, caution and bipartisanship that critics had doubted he could muster.

His deliberate approach appears meant to win over skeptics in both parties who dismissed him as a flamboyant Washington insider with no interest or experience in state politics before his failed bid for governor four years ago. He especially needs to woo Republicans if he wants to get his priorities through a GOP-dominated House and a Senate where control is in flux.

“I was expecting it was going to be crazy liberals and political hacks,” Del. David B. Albo (R-Fairfax) said of McAuliffe’s Cabinet appointees. “And I have been very surprised — pleasantly surprised — that he really seems to be appointing people who know what they are doing, who are mainstream, who know how to run a government, who’ve been in the job before. So, pretty impressed.”

And so Republicans are acting pleased, with the emphasis on the acting.  The Republicans in the Virginia legislature are “burn the state down, the hell with government” conservatives.  They will attack and thwart Gov. McAuliffe at every turn, no matter how much he tries to placate them, no matter how many Republicans he brings into his administration, no matter how reasonable and considerate he is. 

Mr. Obama took years to learn what Republicans are really up to, it will be interesting to see if Mr. McAuliffe can do better.  So far, pretty doubtful.

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