Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Give 'Em Hell, Terry! Terry McAuliffe Takes On The Press

Hillary beat the bejesus outta Barak today in West Virginia. You ROCK, Hill! And John Edwards, God love him, without a candidacy since the California Primary, without a campaign or a penny being spent, racked up 7% of the vote! That, by the way, is 1/4 of what Obama garnered. People really do want a champion of the working middle class. That did my heart good, as he and his wife and are good people and great public servants. He'd have made a fine candidate, and I hated to see him leave the race.

Ah, but I digress. What I really want to do is to thank Terry McAuliffe for his great interview on Meet The Press. He is an awesome defender of Hillary, has served the party tirelessly and is just plain a great guy. I'm a big fan for all those reasons.

But the real reason I am a huge Terry McAuliffe fan is because he was very sweet to my kid. Once upon a time, when my now almost teenage daughter was about 7 or 8, I took her to a GOTV rally at the Century Plaza Hotel in L.A. I wanted my daughter to see and hear the person who would be the first woman President of The United States. In the crowd, we were surrounded by a group of fellow teachers. They were impressed with Tweenie's take on several social issues (schools, working class families). We had mentioned that we were hoping that she would be able to shake Hillary's hand, but that we were a good five or six people deep from the ropeline at the front of the crowd. At the end of the speech, these wonderful women lifted Tweenie up and passed her along like a fireman's bucketline, pushed her like a battering ram through the crowd. The teacher who cooked up the plan told Tweenie, "Now, Miss Stella, you put your hand way out there and smile your prettiest smile!" And she did. I watched her little body disappear into the crowd, and all I could hang on to was a pint-sized patent-leather shoe! But sure enough, Hillary shook her hand. She was delighted, and I think that wonderful group of teachers was every bit as delighted as my girl. Wherever they are, I hope that they know they made a lifelong Dem that day, and that we think of them fondly.

So, everyone had left, and we were the last stragglers, with Tweenie just savoring the moment. Ahead of us in the hallway was a very tall man, and my little girl looks up and says, excitedly, "Mom! That's Terry McAuliffe, the head Democrat! I know him from TV!" (Can you tell they cut their teeth on Democratic politics at our kitchen table?) As we approached, Terry bent over to get down to eye-level with the then-tiny girl. Tweenie shook his hand, and when Terry asked her for her party affiliation, she told him that she was a Democrat. Being the precocious and outspoken kiddo that she is (wonder where she gets that???), she then told him exactly why she's a Democrat. They chatted and laughed a little more, Terry asking her about school, her age, about shaking Hillary's hand, and who she thought would win the Governor's election in California. After a bit, we thanked him for all he has done, and told him that our lives were better because of his efforts. He graciously thanked us for attending, and we headed home.

To make a long story short, it was the end of a long day for Terry, and he didn't have to stop and visit like he did with the little girl who recognized him and called him by name. But he did. And when someone is so generous with their time and attention to such a little constituent, my little constituent, that goes a long way with me.

So, Terry, thanks. Thanks for your service and loyalty to the party, and your great work on behalf of our gal, Hill. And most of all, thanks for making the time to talk to my tiny girl at the end of what must have been an exhausting day. And one Stella/Tweenie remembers to this very day.

Be sure to check out Terry McAuliffe's great defense of Hillary Clinton by watching the link above. For the full video, go to the Meet The Press webfeed and watch this great political mind at work. Now, he's the man we should run next time around!