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McAuliffe Leads Trump In Virginia; Ex-Pres Not On Ballot

McAuliffe Leads Trump in Virginia; Ex-Pres Not on Ballot

( – Terry McAuliffe leads ex-president Donald Trump in the former’s campaign for a second term as Virginia’s governor. But as the November 2 election approaches, Democrat McAuliffe has a problem; Trump’s not on the ballot. A Republican who was a business success and never filed for bankruptcy—Glenn Youngkin—is.

Youngkin spent 25 years at Carlyle Group, the international private investment firm, the last two as co-chief executive officer, before stepping down in 2020 to run for governor. An Emerson College survey taken October 1 – 3 put McAuliffe at 49 percent, Youngkin at 48.

Democrat Joe Biden carried Virginia by 10 points over Republican Trump in last year’s presidential election. But given Biden’s declining job approval ratings following the Afghanistan retreat, southern border crisis, rising inflation and homicide rates, McAuliffe apparently sniffs trouble getting Virginia Democrats to turn out.

Panicky messages from him and party stalwarts—or at least their computer-bots—jam my e-mail spam filter. They come from, among others, “Ragin’ Cajun” James Carville, Bill Clinton’s chief 1990s strategist; Virginia senator and former governor Mark Warner; and the execrable Stacey Abrams , whose “stolen election” canard regarding her loss in Georgia’s 2018 governor’s race was backed by Hillary Clinton and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and anticipated Trump’s post-2020 denial.
Recent McAuliffe e-mails seeking an additional $500,000 in 24 hours warn, “We’re running out of time! Countdown to midnight. Will you chip in right now?”

Uh, no.

During a September 28 debate, the candidates were asked about parents’ rights to object to and insist on removal of sexually explicit material from school libraries, a hot button issue in Fairfax County that very week.

Youngkin: “I believe parents should be in charge of their kids’ education.”

McAuliffe: I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

A clearer example of government by the people versus government upon the people, and in McAuliffe’s reply of the power of teachers’ unions within the Democratic Party and the statist left’s disdain for dissenting individuals would be hard to find.

McAuliffe governed the Old Dominion from 2014 to 2018. Virginia’s chief executives are prohibited from consecutive terms, so he’s attempting a sequel.

His most consequential political position, however, has been as a leading Democratic rain-maker. National finance director at age 22 of President Jimmy Carter’s unsuccessful 1980 reelection campaign, chief fundraiser for Bill and Hillary Clinton, McAuliffe chaired the Democratic National Committee from 2001 to 2005. During that time the DNC brought in nearly $600 million as McAuliffe connected political money and business.

Not always smoothly, though. In 2017, 32 Chinese investors in his Green Tech Automotive company filed a fraud suit against him for nearly $18 million. A federal judge dismissed the suit for lack of clearly articulated claims. McAuliffe left the company in 2012 and denied subsequent ties. Green Tech declared bankruptcy in 2018.

Portraying Youngkin as Trump—one of those spam filter e-mails called the Republican nominee “Trumpkin”—is the McAuliffe campaign’s big idea. A slick mailer featuring dark-toned pictures of a grim-faced hardhat, grim-faced nurse, grim-faced Hispanic and—hold on—stressed-out child, declared, “With COVID-19 cases on the rise again, we can’t afford a leader like Trump-endorsed Glenn Youngkin who doesn’t listen to the experts.”

Which experts? Those like the changeable Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, or perhaps the recently exited Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.), lionized by news media for his early management of the pandemic, later blasted for ordering ill hospital patients returned to COVID-deadly nursing homes? The McAuliffe campaign flyer doesn’t say.

Party campaigners watched Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.), he of the mask mandates but simultaneous mask-less repast at the haute French Laundry restaurant—home of the “Devil’s Gulch Ranch Rabbit Rillette” to you plebeians—easily defeat this summer’s recall effort. Newsom, Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris “portrayed the campaign to oust the governor as a ‘life and death’ battle against ‘Trumpism’ and far-right anti-vaccine activists,” The Los Angeles Times reported.

It worked, notwithstanding California’s flammable forest mismanagement, increasingly unaffordable housing, water and power shortages, growing homeless population and exodus of middle-class residents. Youngkin, meanwhile, has Trump’s endorsement but attempts to avoid his bear-hug.

Roused by McAuliffe’s incessant pleas, I finally took action. I sent Youngkin a check for $50.

Eric Rozenman is a Washington, D.C.-based writer and author of From Elvis to Trump, Eyewitness to the Unraveling: Co-Starring Richard Nixon, Andy Warhol, Bill Clinton, the Supremes and Barack Obama, to be released this fall by Academica Press.