Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe has been involved in politics for most of his life.
While he’s been a successful businessman, he told The New York Times in 1999, “I’ve met all of my business contacts through politics. It’s all interrelated.” And he went so far as to acknowledge that the success of his business dealings stemmed in part from his relationship with Bill Clinton, saying, “No question, that’s a piece of it.”
Sometimes, McAuliffe has been behind the scenes — a longtime friend of the Clintons, McAuliffe and his staff raised $275 million for then-President Bill Clinton.
But he’s also been a front man for more than a decade, running for governor (unsuccessfully) in 2009 and then winning in 2013. And while he moved out of the governor’s mansion in 2018, he wants back in, badly.
Which is why it’s ironic that McAuliffe once said politicians should just fade away after servings.
“You know, listen, I’m also open if people want to talk about term limits. I just think sometimes too many people stay in politics too long,” McAuliffe said in 2009. “Get in, make your mark, and go and do something else. Let’s continually bring new people into politics with lots of new ideas, it’s good for the process, it’d be great for Virginia, it’d be great for this country.”
But it wouldn’t be great for McAuliffe, apparently.
FLASHBACK to Terry McAuliffe in 2009: "Too many people stay in politics too long." pic.twitter.com/IEEveRhve4
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) October 25, 2021
McAuliffe’s comments back then are reminiscent of recent remarks by Hillary Clinton. Earlier this month, the two-time Democratic loser said she “will never be out of the game of politics,” adding that while she has no plans to run for “anything,” she will be “involved.”
“I really am worried about what’s happening at home and around the world,” she said. “So, I’m never going to get out of, you know, being involved, worried and hopefully, trying to help in some way.”
McAuliffe finds himself locked in a tight race with just days to go before Election Day. A new poll released this week shows Republican Glenn Youngkin taking the lead for the first time in the race, edging out McAuliffe 43% to 41% with 11% of respondents still undecided, according to the survey for the conservative Presidential Coalition.
McAuliffe has called out the big guns to help him. Vice President Kamala Harris has campaigned for him and President Joe Biden is making his second trip to the state in hopes of installing McAuliffe into the governor’s mansion again.
Former President Barack Obama dropped by over the weekend, seeking to tie Youngkin to former President Donald Trump, saying Youngkin encourages “lies and conspiracy theories” about the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
“Either he actually believes in the same conspiracy theories that resulted in a mob, or he doesn’t believe it but he is willing to go along with it, to say or do anything to get elected. And maybe that’s worse … because that says something about character,” Obama said.
In a surprise move, ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl asked McAuliffe: “Why all the — why do you need all the help?”
“Well,” McAuliffe said, “we did this last time. I mean, we did the same thing in ’13. I mean, we always bring them in. This is what — this is the biggest race in America. Who doesn’t want to be here?”