There has long been a lot of buzz about Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe (D) running for president in 2020. In the wake of Tuesday’s strong showing for Democrats in Virginia, McAuliffe’s potential for a presidential bid in 2020 has improved.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Al Sharpton in which Sharpton asked about his 2020 plans, McAuliffe said “let’s talk after I get out of here.”
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who has been stuck at the bottom of all the 2020 presidential polls, saw his political stock soar last week when his party scored huge election victories, cementing his legacy and giving him a platform to run on.
“Certainly Tuesday night was a triumph for McAuliffe, who looks like a potential if not likely presidential contender. His pitch is simple: ‘We took on Trump in Virginia and won,’” said Kyle Kondik, the managing editor of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics Sabato Crystal Ball.
While an anti-Trump wave certainly helped Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam succeed McAuliffe, several insiders credit the governor with restoring a broken party organization and keeping many of his promises for the big win.
“I think he can make just as compelling a case as anybody at this point. He was consistently a popular governor, he followed through on a lot of his promises, he found a way to work with an overwhelmingly Republican General Assembly where he could and did battle when he needed to,” said one-time aide Mo Elleithee, the director of Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Policy at the McCourt School of Public Policy.
Quentin Kidd, director of the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University, added that in his polls, McAuliffe has remained popular and Virginians feel far better about their economy than the rest of the nation.
“That’s got to be good for any governor,” said Kidd, who added that he expects McAuliffe to run in 2020.
On MSNBC this morning, Sharpton asked McAuliffe for a “yes or no” answer to the question of whether he plans to run for president in 2020.
McAuliffe was interviewed by Al Sharpton in the wake of a successful election night for Democrats on Tuesday.
Democratic candidate Ralph Northam handily won the race to succeed him as governor. In addition to sweeps of the Attorney General and Lieutenant Governor races, the party made what McAuliffe called “historic” gains in the Virginia House of Delegates.
After McAuliffe asserted voters in Virginia had shown they were rejecting President Donald Trump’s agenda, Sharpton brought him up as a possible challenger to Trump in four years.
“Yes or no answer, because I’m out of time. You mention that Northam won, he’s succeeding you,” Sharpton said. “Will we see McAuliffe in 2020 on the list of possible Democratic candidates for president? Yes or no?”
“Reverend, I’m going to finish this job strong. Let’s talk after I get out of here,” McAuliffe said. “People are paying me to be governor, and that’s what I’m doing.”
“That was not a no,” Sharpton said.
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