With only two and half weeks left until Election Day, the most recent polls have suggested Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe will come out on top as Virginia’s next Governor. If that is the final result, there are a lot of things he’s going to have to do to prove himself.
One of the biggest concerns is going to be forming a relationship with the House of Delegates, which is completely dominated by Republicans. Starting in January, he will try to begin passing ethics reform and expanding Medicaid, which will become a challenge with the GOP. He is going to have to try really hard to get close to House Speaker Bill Howell (R-Stafford).
Terry is also infamous for misrepresenting facts and this could really hurt him because the people of Virginia might have a hard time believing what he says. He has to make up for a lot of lost credibility because of the recent scandal involving him investing with a Rhode Island enterprise that ultimately deceived terminally ill people and took their money, even though the scandal was misreported and McAuliffe was not involved.
Governor Bob McDonnell (R) and Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli have both given the people plenty of reasons not to trust the ones in charge. This is going to be very important for Terry McAuliffe to change if he is elected governor.
In order to regain the trust of Virginians, he is going to have to give them a reason to put their faith in him. He needs to educate himself on the state, especially since he has never worked in Richmond before. In order to succeed, he has to have well-educated people on his side.
In an article published by The Washington Post, an anonymous Richmond politician said, “Talking to him, it’s just amazing what he doesn’t know. He has a sufficient grasp to get him through campaigns and debates, but not necessarily through the nuts and bolts of governing.”
Not everything is negative, though. McAuliffe does have one very positive and powerful asset on his side: he’s not Ken Cuccinelli. He promised the people of Virginia a more moderate and fluid candidacy as governor, as opposed of the strongly conservative and right-winged Tea-Partiers who have been running the state. If he stays more towards the middle and listens to both sides of every argument and debate before making a decision, his term as governor could be very fulfilling for the state of Virginia.
The race isn’t completely over yet, but with two weeks left, it looks like this is the most plausible outcome.