News & Election Videos

December 03, 2008

Terry McAuliffe's debut

DNC chairman-turned-Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe showed off his knowledge about traffic, poultry workers and statewide unemployment figures as he participated in the first forum of the campaign yesterday:

McAuliffe came prepared — both to combat criticism and to exhibit his command of Virginia facts and figures.

He easily rattled off statistics about how many hours Virginians spend stuck in traffic each year, how many poultry farmers work in the state and how many people are unemployed in one of its most financially distressed cities, Martinsville.

McAuliffe, 51, repeatedly mentioned his McLean address, his business credentials and his support for Democrats across the state, including what he described as large donations to the last two governors, Mark R. Warner and Timothy M. Kaine.

The candidates, seated at a table and dressed in dark suits, all claimed superior leadership qualities and accomplishments. They clashed occasionally but still referred to each other as "my friend."

Moran pointedly told McAuliffe, a consummate fundraiser who could bring millions of dollars to the race, that "Virginia is not for sale." McAuliffe reminded Moran that he was not the only one who has started a successful business in Virginia. "Do your research," he snapped.