Dorothy McAuliffe has emerged during this cycle as one intriguing personality. Seen once riding herd on their brood; only one little doggie straying; the youngest on lookout for that carrier. Then she spoke at the Veterans and Military Family Caucus. Last night she appeared at the Virginia Beach office kickoff.
Each time, she endears herself to and impresses those she meets. It is no surprise that she would be something of a character. Look who she married. What is refreshing is that someone who is raising five children under 18 embodies that same kind of enthusiasm and optimism as her candidate husband and has energy to spare. She likes to say that Terry always sees the glass half full. After being around her, you can imagine she helps him top it off. Of course, I’ll want to look in on her once that young one marches off to college, just to see how this marathon winds up.
And there is something else that is unusual for those of us who have struggled through the lean years of Democratic politics at the Beach. That positive attitude is part of this campaign’s culture. Last night it was evident as some 85 volunteers turned out at the office to meet and greet the team. This crowd was an interesting mix. Many of them arrived hard down McAuliffe supporters. Some of them had made the rounds of all the openings and this was the last stop. There was a Professor of Divinity from Regent University. What was clear was that the broadest representation of those who had done the leg work for the campaigns from Webb forward were there. There were a handful of local electeds, but most were those who put shoe leather to pavement passing out literature and wearing their fingers to stubs dialing for Obama. The ones who have really made a difference; the grassroots. Maybe there has always been joy and kumbaya spirit in the campaign offices in NOVA and the rest of Virginia, but here, working from so far behind, it has always seemed to those volunteering in those offices that the leadership had taken council of their collective fears. (One significant exception was Jon Blair at the Northam campaign.)
This is primarily to observe this: that Terry’s spirit and optimism are part and parcel of the culture of this campaign. His hand is evident in the types of people he has attracted and selected to organize and manage this effort. At the end of the evening, they had introduced themselves and encouraged everyone in attendance to take a phone list, contact their friends, take responsibility, and bring food to the office. No one left with the sense that they had been imposed upon. Dorothy spoke and mingled and accepted that her husband and I could never be drinking buddies, but that I could respect him and expect he would me and others he encountered with differing policy positions. And that, beyond Dorothy herself, may be his strength. He might possess the art required to recognize and achieve the possible along with the power of personality and persuasion to make it happen.
Cross posted at VBDems.org - Blogging our way to Democratic wins in Virginia Beach!