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Terry McAuliffe on Principles & Values

Democratic nominee for Governor; previously DNC Chair


2000: Biggest fundraiser of all time: $26.3M in one night

The Republicans had set a record of $21.3 million with their April 26 black-tie soiree and I was out everywhere on TV saying we were going to top that. Everyone could tell this was going to be huge and the media started picking up on the excitement. C-SPAN decided to cover the event live and one nightly news program called me "the Godzilla of fund-raising," which was a first. My kids loved that one. 3 days before May 24 gala event the Drudge Report splashed this headline at the top of its page: MCAULIFFE MIRACLE: CLINTON TRIED TO HOLD BIGGEST FUND-RAISER OF ALL TIME. We ended up raising $26.3 million that night, a record that I'm proud to say was exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution with a menu from the event.
Source: What A Party!, by Terry McAuliffe, p.216 , Jan 23, 2007

My values: patriotism, family, religion, Democratic Party

Patriotism was an even bigger religion than religion, and we were Irish-American Catholics, so you know that is saying something. We listened to my dad, Jack McAuliffe, regale us with stories from his time as a World War II army captain. Saipan, Okinawa--to us those weren't just the names of battles my father fought, they were windows into a world of service and dedication to your country.

I talked to my dad every day on the phone right up until he passed away in front of the TV on New Year's Eve 2000, watching [his favorite quarterback on] the Philadelphia Eagles.

The old man was my best friend and to this day his values are my values: patriotism, family, religion, and the Democratic Party. My father made sure I understood from an early age that what mattered most in life was getting out there and making a difference, working through the Democratic Party to make people's lives better and always standing up for your convictions.

Source: What A Party!, by Terry McAuliffe, p. 3 , Jan 23, 2007

We let GOP steal Florida from us in 2004

The disaster of 2000 might seem distant to some people, but not to me. We won that election. The American people elected Al Gore to be the 43rd President of the US. He didn't just win the popular vote, he won the electoral college--if Florida had not been taken from us. The Republicans pulled so many tricks to rob African Americans of their votes, it was a national scandal.

The bigger scandal was that even in the aftermath of Election Day, with the outcome hanging in the balance, we did not fight hard enough. We should have had our scrappiest, most determined people down there working to protect the integrity of the process. Instead, we let the Republicans outwork us and out-organize us. We should have called immediately for a recount of the whole state, since that would have been fair to everyone and easy to explain. Instead, we let them steal it from us. To me that episode was the defining moment for our party in the last 25 years.

Source: What A Party!, by Terry McAuliffe, p. 11 , Jan 23, 2007

Met future wife at age 16 at Jimmy Carter fundraiser

I got a call asking if I would be interested in a fund-raising job for the Carter-Mondale reelection campaign. The main guy was Carter's finance chairman for Florida, Richard Swann, who said, "You can stay at our house."

Iris Swann and I hit it off immediately, even though Richard had forgotten to tell his wife that I'd be showing up with my suitcase and staying with the family for 3 weeks. I met the dog and all 4 of their kids, including their oldest, Dorothy, who at the time had just turned 16. After that I became almost part of the family.

"Richard, I have figured out who Dorothy is going to marry," Doris said. "Who do you think it is?"

"Okay, who?" Richard said halfheartedly. "The kid down the street? The school quarterback?

Doris cut him off. "No, stupid," she said. "Terry!"

"Terry? Good Lord, he's old enough to be her father."

"Don't be silly," she said. "He's 22 and she's 16. By the time she's old enough to get married, it will be an ideal age difference."

Source: What A Party!, by Terry McAuliffe, p. 24-26 , Jan 23, 2007

Hospitalized while running 1984 NYC marathon

The toughest time I've ever had running a marathon was the weekend before the 1984 presidential election when I collapsed during the New York City Marathon and landed in the hospital.

With the temperature reaching 79 degrees, I knew I should back off my usual pace, but I hate trying to slow down. I was so overheated, my body temperature had climbed to 106 degrees. I looked like hell. "Get him out of the race!" people shouted.

I heard, but the words were distant and incomprehensible and felt like they had nothing to do with me. I started weaving sideways back and forth. I had totally lost my mind. The last thing I remember is coming down a hill and crossing a bridge into Harlem. Just after the bridge you had to make a sharp turn, but I kept going straight and ran right into the crowd. That was the best thing I did all day, because everyone could see I had fried my brain. They rushed me by ambulance to Harlem Hospital with IV's stuck into me and plunged me into a giant tub of ice water.

Source: What A Party!, by Terry McAuliffe, p. 50-51 , Jan 23, 2007

1994 Lincoln Bedroom Memo scandal: donations for access

The deputy White House counsel Cheryl Mills had never call me before. "Terry, I want to alert you that the press will be probably calling you." I was baffled. "It's about a memo you wrote," Cheryl said.

"What memo could possibly be controversial enough to make news?" I asked Cheryl. She read the memo aloud and I recognized it right away as the one I had written just after my breakfast with the President in late December 1994, when he was dejected after the midterm loss. "Okay, I'm fine with that," I said. "So what?"

"Well, unfortunately for you, Terry, the President turned the memo over and wrote a note to Nancy Hernreich on the back saying, "Ready to start overnights right away,'" she said. Thus the famous Lincoln Bedroom Memo.

"Okay, but it doesn't have anything to do with me," I said. "He didn't write that note to me. I didn't even get a copy of the memo back." I have never written the words 'Lincoln Bedroom' in my life.

Source: What A Party!, by Terry McAuliffe, p.131-132 , Jan 23, 2007

Supports Hyde Park Declaration of "Third Way" centrism.

McAuliffe adopted the manifesto, "A New Politics for a New America":

As New Democrats, we believe in a Third Way that rejects the old left-right debate and affirms America’s basic bargain: opportunity for all, responsibility from all, and community of all.