Home Chris Graham | Moran, McAuliffe trade barbs

Chris Graham | Moran, McAuliffe trade barbs


Today marks the unofficial-official beginning of the ’09 Democratic Party gubernatorial campaign season. I say that because we’re right now in the midst of the first full-blown public spat of the runup to next spring, involving the campaigns of Brian Moran and Terry McAuliffe.

The Moran campaign got things going earlier today with an e-mail to its press list entitled “Virginians Respond to McAuliffe Candidacy” that listed quotes from columns and editorials critical of McAuliffe, a former chair of the Democratic National Committee and top advisor to the presidential campaign of New York Sen. Hillary Clinton. Among the critics: ubiquitous University of Virginia political-science professor Larry Sabato, Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Jeff Schapiro and, curiously, our local News Virginian, an ultraright Republican newspaper that would have a hard time endorsing a sunny day if a Democrat was the first to see it and point it out.

Not to be outdone, the McAuliffe campaign, such as it is, given that McAuliffe hasn’t yet formally announced his candidacy, fought back by declaring that very point. “Brian Moran and his campaign have been spending a curiously large amount of time focused on someone who’s not even a declared candidate for governor yet, and their tone has been surprisingly negative,” senior advisor Mo Elleithee said in a statement sent out this afternoon.

I’m scoring Round One of this sure-to-be months-long exchange to McAuliffe for what else Elleithee had to say. “Terry McAuliffe is focused on having a conversation with and listening to what Virginians have to say as he decides whether or not to run for Governor. He is saving his criticism for Bob McDonnell, not great Democrats like Brian Moran and Creigh Deeds. We hope that both of them and their campaigns follow the same approach. We are all members of a unified party that accomplished great things in 2008 by advocating a positive and hopeful message. Virginians have made clear that unity and positivity is what they want, and it is the only way we’ll win in 2009,” the spokesman said.

For the record, the Deeds campaign has yet to weigh in on this tete-a-tete.

Another for the record: We’re working out the details of bringing Terry McAuliffe to Waynesboro on Monday for a conversation with local area voters about next year’s governor’s race.

Yet another for the record: We’ve already had Brian Moran over for a get-together, and he brought food with him. Hint, hint …


Column by Chris Graham



Have a story idea or a news tip? Email editor Chris Graham at [email protected]. Subscribe to AFP podcasts on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPandora and YouTube.

Latest News

isaac mckneely
Basketball, Sports

Analysis: Tony Bennett is letting his Virginia team try to do more in transition

elijah gertrude
Basketball, Sports

Virginia Basketball Notebook: Tony Bennett on Elijah Gertrude, Jordan Minor

Virginia coach Tony Bennett and freshman combo guard Elijah Gertrude had agreed before the start of the season that Gertrude should redshirt this year so that he could focus on rehabbing his knee.

chesapeake bay
Climate, U.S. & World

Maryland moves to curb striped bass fishing in spring spawning season

Spurred by slumping striped bass reproduction in Maryland waters, the state Department of Natural Resources is moving to curtail fishing for the popular migratory species during its spawning run next spring.

earth globe

Roddy Scheer: How do enhanced geothermal power plants differ from regular geothermal?

climate change

Roddy Scheer: War is horrible, and it is no less so for the environment


Tom H. Hastings: Guerrilla war in cities and other evolutionary missteps

veteran uniform

Robert C. Koehler: War does nothing but create the certainty of more war