Poor Debate Day Gets Even Worse for Terry McAuliffe AfterPoliticsVirginia

Terry McAuliffe showed some spirit in the debate this morning.

To be fair, given that the DGA, DPVA and even Terry McAuliffe’s team had set the expectations so mind-numbingly low, the fact that he came out with a pulse and could speak in complete sentences was going to be considered a win.

But after the debate, all the fears and concerns Democrats had about Terry McAuliffe candidate for governor resurfaced quickly.

First, rather than taking interviews with the media, McAuliffe rushed off the stage and disappeared behind the curtain to be debriefed and rebriefed by his consultants and staff. After an awkward period of ten or so minutes, McAuliffe reappeared after some media had given up.

Note: if your candidate can’t even do the traditional after-debate press gaggle, it’s not a good day.

Then this afternoon, the campaign had to disavow and walk back one of Terry’s most outlandish accusations in the debate, that the special prosecutor who investigated Ken Cuccinelli (at Cuccinelli’s request) said in his report that Cuccinelli “should be prosecuted.”

Per Ryan Nobles:

Nobles earlier while live-tweeting the debate had called out Terry for his flat out lie:

So on a day where Cuccinelli encouraged McAuliffe to run for governor in Mississippi (bumper stickers available now!), McAuliffe couldn’t even face the media without being prepped, then had to have his campaign walk back inaccuracies and lies in the debate.

On a day where the DGA was warning that Terry McAuliffe may not be able to speak English, the story could have been how McAuliffe far exceeded his expectations, in that he showed up, didn’t fall flat on his face.

Until he did.

And now the story is Terry McAuliffe: he’ll say one thing, then his campaign will say another.

[UPDATED 3:43]

Things apparently were so bad for Terry in the debate that they didn’t even bother sending off a ‘we won’ missive after.

Debate 101 is: always claim a victory.

Unfortunately, McAuliffe’s performance was so bad, they didn’t even bother floating that line of defense.

Keep up the great work.

  • ghostofteddalton

    Not a bad day at all for McAuliffe.

    Leahy nailed this election in his poll analysis. McAuliffe wants this election to be a rerun of 2012….abortion, gay rights, (maybe even guns when you look at the polls….Virginia’s obviously changing and I think the polls are correct that a supermajority believe in universal background checks) tossed together with some pablum.

    From what I saw, this debate helped reinforce that narrative.

    KC needs to focus on issues (property rights, tax reform) and NOT TALK ABOUT MISSISSIPPI. I honestly think that’s a loser. It’s inside baseball talk. It’s the stuff that gets political junkies all hot and sweaty, but look at McD. After all of this stuff, 84% of his voters still would consider voting for him and he hasn’t even run a PR offensive. If KC talks about the Lincoln Bedroom, Mississippi, and Coehlo, then say hello to Governor McAuliffe. Those things don’t change the narrative, they get R’s excited but D’s and I’s just yawn. In the end, McAuliffe hasn’t been convicted of anything, and most people are fair enough (even in the McD situation in which vast majorities don’t even want him to resign) to separate innuendo and allegations from actual legal wrongdoing.

    As long as the narrative is abortion and gay rights and gun control instead of property rights, a bloated state, and tax reform…..advantage McAuliffe.

    McAuliffe won today not so much by his performance, but by his chosen narrative advancing as the playing field for the Fall. KC didn’t help himself with his comment on homosexuality, which is gonna be played over and over again.

  • P_Henry_Saddleburr

    Unfortunately, my schedule didn’t allow me to watch the debate on the live stream today. Any chance this video will be available anywhere?

  • isophoroneblog

    Does this mean you will be updating your “Big Line” on the right hand side of your main page?

    • http://www.brianschoeneman.org/ Brian W. Schoeneman

      We are working on an update.