Today, Terry McAuliffe takes the oath to become the 72nd Governor of Virginia. I wish him well.
No, I didn’t vote for him. Didn’t campaign for him. And I wish the results had been different. But as I told you weeks ago, I’m just not in that fight any more.
It may surprise you to know that being a highly successful published author and an award winning actor is not my “day job.” Yet. That’s where I want to be (okay, not so much worried about winning acting awards as just acting), and that’s where I’m working to be. I’m not there yet.
Rather, next month will mark the beginning of my 20th year with the Commonwealth of Virginia. I came in in 1994 with the Administration of George Allen.
While today is a wet and rainy day, Allen’s inauguration was bitter cold. But it was a new beginning. As is today.
When Terry McAuliffe takes the oath, I will officially have worked under six Virginia Governors: Allen, Gilmore, Warner, Kaine, McDonnell, McAuliffee. Actually that number grows to eight if you count my time as a county employee managing state programs under John Dalton and Chuck Robb.
I’m not sure if that number is impressive, or depressing.
But what I know is, things change, things stay the same.
As I write this, I don’t know who my boss will be on Monday. Our appointed agency director and deputy officially clocked out at 5:00 p.m. yesterday and I’ve not seen an announcement of their replacement(s).
I’ll show up Monday and do the same things I would be doing if there was no transition this weekend.
While I would have preferred a different outcome I’m not one to cry that the Commonwealth is doomed or that this is the end of the world.
It’s four years.
Reality is that with a 2-1 majority in the General Assembly and a yet to be finalized Senate, Governor McAuliffe is going to have to work across the aisle. As are the Republicans in the General Assembly. I hope they can.
Much will be said and written about Governor McAuliffe. Good and bad.
But, I hope on the Republican side of the aisle there’s a look inward that says “we blew it.” And for the record that’s not a “royal we” because I no longer wear that label. I am so done.
Republicans lost in 2013 and largely in 2012 because they blew it. Analyze as you will, but until the GOP gets its act together, they’ll continue to lose.
I shared an article on Facebook earlier this week to which one friend replied, “I left the GOP because of the Tea Party” and to which another friend replied “the Tea Party is the only reason I’m still interested in the GOP.”
The GOP needs both, and won’t win without it.
My suggestion? Lock yourselves in a room (a large one if need be), order pizza and don’t come out until you have a unified party.
But that’s a message for another day. Today belongs to Terry McAuliffe, and to Ralph Northam, and Mark Herring.
Best of luck, gentlemen.
Please take care of our Commonwealth.