For those of you unfamiliar with the man sitting next to President Donald Trump in the picture above, it is Terry McAuliffe, the recent former Governor of Virginia (2014-2018) who is, of course, a Democrat. McAuliffe isn't, though, just another Democrat, he is an exceptionally shrewd and resourceful power-player in the Democrat party and much of this stems from his business and political acumen which is superior to most.
Born in 1957, McAuliffe began a business as a teenager, tarring driveways, before entering Catholic University and then graduating from Georgetown Law School. Immediately afterward, in 1980, McAuliffe took a job with the Carter campaign as national finance director with significant success.
These events, along with McAuliffe's substantial achievements in his business enterprises, led him to become a co-chair campaign manager for Bill Clinton's re-election in '96 and then a chairman for Hillary in her 2008 bid. Sandwiched in-between this, in 2000 Gov. McAuliffe began his tenure as the chair for the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic National Convention from which the party benefited richly in regards to McAuliffe's financial and voting re-alignment strategies. And as mentioned, from 2014-2018, he served as Virginia's governor.
But never-minding Terry McAuliffe's resume, there are some conspicuous reasons which make McAuliffe, probably the best match-up against President Trump of all the candidates heard from so far. Point by point, with regard to personality, style and temperament, he is almost Donald Trump's charismatic equal, possible what one might call the anti-Trump (this is not a slur by any means, just a metaphor).
And debating? Gov. McAuliffe not only holds his own, he excels. Unlike many, probably most, of the early Democrat hopefuls, McAuliffe's views as expressed in speeches and interviews but as in view here, in debates, will and do come from centrist Democrat positions. While likely holding to more leftist positions at times, he rejects certain extremes which his contemporaries foolishly support with vocal zeal these days.
In the front, at this moment with the Democrat presidential hopefuls are the noise makers. Beto will disappear, he's an impostor as it is and a poor candidate to boot. As to Kamala Harris, this is a stunt, she doesn't really want to be president, are you kidding? And Cory "Spartacus" Booker? Hardy, har har. There is a long list of wannabes and Pocahontases hoping their early sprints will somehow enable them to survive the kind of scrutiny and vetting process few survive but for most, this is simply for another end, not an actually race for the gold key.
McAuliffe not only survives, he thrives in this arena. He is a real Democrat with real experience along with the maturity, pedigree, success and appealing charm which may be the necessary formula for winning against President Trump in 2020.
Who will his running mate be? Possibly, this woman:
This is Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, of Hawaii. She is not only a minority on more than one level, which satiates many Democrat appetites, but she is also an Iraqi war vet and, of course, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives with a so-far, flourishing history within her party.
Though she has announced her 2020 presidential campaign bid, this is likely simply an effort to raise her national profile and open the door to the the V.P. slot. There is a great deal to like about Gabbard if you are a Democrat or even a left-of-center libertarian (she endorsed Sanders in 2016, possibly with the future in mind and not wanting to scar herself with a Hillary nod). As well, she speaks as a modern middle-of-the-road Democrat which isn't saying much other than she sounds reasonable in her presentations though, for example, she supports Medicare for all which many libertarians may find unacceptable. This, however, is likely not a deal-breaker. And obviously Gabbard is an attractive candidate, as shallow as that may sound this is the world in which we live. Added to that, her age gives her an advantage with a younger voting block, one in which 50% prefer socialistic ideas.
If This Is The Case
If the set-up ends up as I have postulated, it would make Donald Trump vulnerable, particularly with the Vice Presidential candidate. V.P. Mike Pence, while a man to be appreciated for many virtues, too often comes across as stiff and almost as boring as watching paint dry. There have been questions raised, already, some months ago, which speculated that Pence may not be on the ticket for 2020.
It is no secret that President Trump gave to former S.C. Governor Nikki Haley, the U.N. Ambassadorship job with the future in mind. And upon her announcement of leaving the post, she made it clear she would be all-in for Trump's re-election bid.
While this would be unusual, would it or could it be possible that this is to be the new second?
It might be unorthodox but let's be frank, President Trump is a pragmatist, he likes winning, not following everyone else's arbitrary rules and if believes the better running mate is Haley, it would not be surprising if he negotiated some kind of agreement with Mike Pence on this issue. But let me be clear, this portion of my prognostication is simply a possibility and not as likely as the McAuliffe/Gabbard ticket but, it would be interesting and dynamic.
To gain Haley is to keep much of the Evangelical vote but as well, it is to also gain an appreciably successful female governor and stateswoman with international politics as part of her profile.
On the other hand, to lose Pence in such a manner, no matter how even Mike Pence might present his not choosing to be on the ticket in 2020 with the kindest of words and unimpeachable continued campaigning for and support of Trump, this could create distrust among some Evangelicals and beyond.
Never-Trumpers are a self-righteous group. That is what they share in common and a move like this would only be an excuse to hate President Trump even further, a childish but all too real scenario.
President Donald Trump's campaign was the perfect storm. He had a bevy of dumb Republicans who believed their own prevarications only to be shell-shocked by a man who was used to writing his own rules because he could see through everyone else's dishonesty and was not about to play by their duplicitous regulations.
And in the national election, Hillary Clinton was as unappealing a candidate as the Democrat party could find but the devil be damned, it was her turn and so, as history now informs us, before Bernie Sanders had raised his first dollar, Clinton had already won the nomination. Given that sense of entitlement and her own grotesque personality and contempt for the rest of the world, Donald Trump was the man for the hour and the only man.
In 2020 it will be different. President Trump has faced the realities of certain limits which are placed upon him as President thus, like all politicians, he will be liable for unfulfilled campaign promises and a mainstream media colluding with tech giants, to do everything in their power to defeat him. They were caught off guard, they won't be again.
If there is anyone who has a realistic chance, it is Terry McAuliffe. He is equally as savvy, energetic and intelligent as Donald Trump. But, if there is anyone who can match Terry McAuliffe and more, it is the man with the magic touch, President Trump himself, who has made a life of winning but beyond that, his love for this country and her values compels him with convictions to which no politician can correspond.