Terry McAuliffe wants Virginians to know how much of a family man he is. Here's his campaign's warm-and-fuzzy first ad of the cycle, which isn't all that dissimilar to Republican Ken Cuccinelli's soft, biographical opening foray:
Isn't that special? The man is all about family. Except when he isn't (Dorothy is his wife):
Dorothy was starting to well up in the backseat. She was having trouble understanding how I could be taking my wife and newborn baby to a fund-raiser on our way home from the hospital. We got to the dinner and by then Dorothy was in tears, and I left her with Justin and went inside. Little Peter was sleeping peacefully and Dorothy just sat there and poor Justin didn't say a word. He was mortified. I was inside maybe fifteen minutes, said a few nice things about Marty, and hurried back out to the car. I felt bad for Dorothy, but it was a million bucks for the Democratic Party...
Hey, there were a million union dollars on the line for The Almighty Party. If it took a little discomfort for his exhausted, weeping wife and newborn son to rake in that cash, so be it. Good guy. Oh, then there's this heartwarming account:
I was going stir-crazy, which drove Dorothy nuts. 'Isn't there something you need to do?' she finally said. I told her The Washington Post was having a party that evening for Lloyd Grove, who wrote the 'Reliable Source' column. 'Go!' she said. 'You're like a caged animal here. I'll call you if I need you.' I went flying out the door and drove to the party. I kept calling Dorothy to make sure she was fine. I made the rounds at the party and ran into Marjorie Williams, who was writing a story on me for Vanity Fair, magazine. She was shocked to see me at the party. 'Isn't Dorothy having a baby today?' she asked. 'That's right,' I said, 'but she threw me out the room.' Marjorie just couldn't understand how I left Dorothy alone.
MKH snarks, "Congratulations, Terry. You’re less connected to the priorities of normal people than a Vanity Fair reporter." In case you're keeping score, that's two nights, two McAuliffe births and two glitzy parties. And both anecdotes were shared by Terry himself in his autobiography, What A Party! Super relatable, no? Keep that "million bucks" passage in mind as you read Kimberly Strassel's brutal take-down of McAuliffe's recent born-again embrace of the liberal conventional wisdom that there's -- cough -- "too much money in politics:"
This is, after all, the same Mr. McAuliffe whose entire rise through the Democratic Party ranks came through is reputation as a fundraising juggernaut. Mr. McAuliffe served as the national finance director of the Carter re-election campaign. He was director of finance for the Democratic National Committee, then director of finance for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, then chairman of finance for Dick Gephardt's president run, then chairman of finance for the Clinton-Gore re-election committee, and so on and so on, all with "finance" labels.
This is the same Mr. McAuliffe who became famous for doing anything necessary to make a buck for his side. In 1980, he wrestled a 260-pound alligator for three minutes, in order to land a $15,000 donation to the Carter campaign. As part of a campaign-finance probe, he once bragged to Senate investigators that he was "the guy who jumps out of planes and falls through burning buildings" to raise money. And to be clear: He was incredibly good at it, in particular in raising vast sums for the Clinton-Gore machine. He routinely shattered fundraising records, so much so that Mr. Gore would at one point present Mr. McAuliffe with a plaque that read: "THE GREATEST FUND-RAISER IN THE HISTORY OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION." In the post Clinton-era, when he served as the head of the DNC (2001-2005) Mr. McAuliffe would raise a record $578 million for his party.
Alas, McAuliffe's money-making talents do have some limits. For instance, in the private sector, where his now-former "green" car company is widely considered to be a massive flop. (Aren't they all)? And for those Virginia voters who were taken in by Democrats' alarmist warnings about Mitt Romney's (non-existent) corporate outsourcing, "nefarious" Caribbean tax shelters, and unreleased tax returns, McAuliffe should be positively radioactive. At least Bain Capital never filed intimidation lawsuits against news organizations for reporting uncomfortable facts about their business dealings. Basically, McAuliffe has all of Romney's political vulnerabilities on this front, but without the success. No wonder some Virginia Democrats are already grousing about the man who will top their ticket in November.
UPDATE - Seriously, what is up with Terry McAuliffe and the birth of his children? This is a separate incident, involving a separate child:
Dorothy was suffering through the pain of labor and the doctors and I were having a heated argument. "Do you want socialized medicine?" the anesthesiologist asked me, his voice rising. "Of course not," I said. "However, there are thirty-seven million uninsured people in this country with no access to health care. Is that fair?" I was almost shouting by then and began to worry that in his first moments on earth, poor little Jack was going to have his mind seared for life with this health-care debate. "And last year we spent $45 billion on administrative costs," I said. "That's not providing health care. That's pushing paper. You call that efficient?" We were making so much noise that we got kicked out of the delivery room by a nurse...
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Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography