Democrat nominee for Virginia governor, Terry McAuliffe, is certainly a political animal. He wrote in his book What A Party, available in fine remainder bins around the nation, on his reaction to 9-11, twelve years ago today.
If not for September 11, Bush would have been gone politically. His approval ratings were sinking and his policies were hurting the country and the American people. He had nothing going for him after the attacks we knew he was going to get a huge bounce and it soon became clear that the press would come to see its role as making him look good and downplaying any criticism of his administration’s fixation on being fast and loose with the facts. I was one of our party’s most visible spokesmen and I had to keep a low profile after the attacks. I was like a caged rat. I couldn’t travel. I couldn’t make political calls. I couldn’t make money calls. I couldn’t do anything. I went to my office and worked with my staff to prepare for when we could finally come back out again that made me feel a little better, but basically there was nothing for us to do in the immediate aftermath. (emphasis added)
September 11 occurred when Bush had been president for just eight months. He was not “gone politically.” When most Americans were unifying, mourning, focused less on politics than on keeping our families safe and avenging our losses, Terry McAuliffe was angry that the terrorist attack had gotten in the way of his fundraising soirees.
Poor guy. Ever the political animal, (he once left his wife and newborn in a taxi on the way home from the hospital to attend a fundraiser) the then DNC chairman tried to bend the FEC, according to the Associated Press in a story from January 2002.
Like other Democratic and Republican national fund-raising committees, the DNC called off fund raising for roughly three weeks after the September terrorist attacks. Citing a subsequent drop in donations, the DNC in October asked the Federal Election Commission to ease a rule governing its spending of soft-money contributions.
McAuliffe’s DNC whined that 9-11 had cost it more than $1.6 million by forcing to it cancel some fundraisers. The FEC didn’t buy that. And McAuliffe’s DNC seemed to prove itself wrong when it went on to raise a record amount of money anyway, according to that same AP story.
So maybe the older McAuliffe, now running for governor, has mellowed. Maybe Democrat politics aren’t always first with him now.
Today he released a statement on the 12th anniversary of 9-11. Spot the missing reference.
Today we remember the men and women who lost their lives twelve years ago to a devastating attack against our nation. Let us honor our firefighters, police, and first responders who ran towards danger to help those in need and the members of our armed forces who risk their lives every day to protect us at home and abroad. Here in Virginia and across America we stand together in remembrance and share the common goal of making our communities safer and stronger.
Even Eric Holder mentioned the terrorist attack in Benghazi, which happened one year ago today. Political animal Terry McAuliffe didn’t. Caged rat got his tongue?