November 10, 2008
"We'll see if he can survive the fact that he doesn't have very deep connections in Virginia politics," said Cordel Faulk of the UVa Center for Politics.
Despite his unfamiliarity with Virginia politics, McAuliffe, the former chairman of the Democratic national committee has other assets in a possible run for governor.
"It does help him that he has national connections because when the primary gets a little closer, you're going to have Bill Clinton, who is Terry McAuliffe's best friend, going from black church, to black church, to black church, campaigning for him come primary time," said Faulk.
And he could prove to be a tough opponent for state Senator Creigh Deeds, and House caucus chairman Brian Moran. Members of a general assembly that couldn't pass a transportation package.
"That's going to be his sales pitch, his sales pitch is going to be I'm a Richmond outsider, look at them, they have failed. I'm a successful businessman. I will bring my successful business sense to Richmond and we can help fix this mess," said Faulk.
And though a late start may have cost Fred Thompson the Republican nomination in the race for White House, the same may not be true for McAuliffe who, should he run, would start his campaign more than a year after Deeds or Moran .
"The electorate is much smaller. You can probably start a little bit later when you've got a primary and he's got a lot of money. Don't underestimate somebody who has as much money as Terry McAuliffe does," said Faulk.
And as for his chances.
"There's no way to see how this is going to shake out right now, it's just too early. All of them have their advantages, all of them have their disadvantages," said Faulk.
McAuliffe says he will not make a formal announcement until January 7th.