With the apparent blessing of Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe is done pretending that he's going to run for Virginia governor in 2013 and is preparing to actually do it.
According to the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, McAuliffe told Hampton Mayor Molly Ward that Warner "had 'given him the green light' to proceed" with his second bid for the Democratic nomination.
This comes at a time when Warner's upcoming seatmate and former lieutenant governor, Democratic Sen.-elect Tim Kaine, joked that he would feel "bait-and-switched" if he did not have the chance to serve with Warner in the Senate after campaigning with him this year.
"I really want Mark to stay in the Senate," said Kaine, who launched a TV ad last month in which Warner said he and Kaine would "work together" in the Senate "to restore fiscal responsibility, grow our economy and create jobs."
That would be an awful lot to accomplish in one year in the notoriously slow-moving Senate.
As for McAuliffe, he last ran in 2009, when he came in second place in a three-way primary won by Democratic state Sen. Creigh Deeds
. Since then, he has toured the commonwealth relentlessly, pushing a green jobs agenda and Democratic candidates at the federal, state and local level. He also hosted a $3 million fundraiser
for President Obama
that featured his good friend Bill Clinton
McAuliffe would be more likely to embrace Obama than offer only a mild backing like Deeds did
in 2009 when Obama's popularity began to sink. Virginians can expect both Clinton and Obama to heavily back their party's former chairman next year like they did with another former party chairman this year: Kaine.
The state Attorney General Ken Cucinelli
is set to take on on Lieutenant Gov. Bill Bolling
at the Republican nominating convention next year. Democrats are selecting their statewide nominees via a statewide primary.
However, because there are no write-in options on the ballot in primary elections, McAuliffe could secure the nomination simply by being the only Democrat to file the pre-requisite 10,000 petition signatures -- which includes at least 400 coming from each of the commonwealth's 11 congressional districts -- with the State Board of Elections by the filing deadline.