Virginia Governors Really Like Pranking Each Other

Bob McDonnell left a (stuffed) black bear in new Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s bathroom, adding to tradition.

A black bear, not this one, was put in Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe's office. It was also stuffed.
National Journal
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Matt Vasilogambros
Jan. 13, 2014, 11:34 a.m.

Be­fore leav­ing of­fice, the out­go­ing pres­id­ent of the United States leaves his suc­cessor a note of ad­vice, sealed in a con­fid­en­tial en­vel­ope. In Vir­gin­ia, out­go­ing gov­ernors leave their suc­cessors pranks.

Terry McAul­iffe has only been the gov­ernor of Vir­gin­ia for a few days, but he’s already had his share of scares at the hands of his pre­de­cessor, Re­pub­lic­an Bob Mc­Don­nell.

The first, which was re­vealed at McAul­iffe’s first Cab­in­et meet­ing on Monday, was an alarm clock hid­den in a draw­er. He was already up at the time it went off.

“But the first lady was not up yet,” he laughed, ac­cord­ing to CNN.

But Mc­Don­nell wasn’t done. He also left a bear. A stuffed black bear, that is.

This isn’t the first time the out­go­ing Vir­gin­ia gov­ernor has pranked his suc­cessor.

“The pre­vi­ous gov­ernor pulled a rather dast­ardly ghost trick on me,” Mc­Don­nell said in Oc­to­ber. “Gov. [Tim] Kaine had an in­ter­est­ing trick with cell phones that were hid­den in the walls and on top of el­ev­at­ors that would ring late at night. I think that’s pub­lic now. If not, it is now. It was a great little trick, and it had us spooked for a couple of days be­fore we found the cell phones.”

When he left of­fice in 2006, Demo­crat Mark Warner left a life-size card­board cutout of him­self in Kaine’s shower, ac­cord­ing to The Wash­ing­ton Post.

It’s un­clear wheth­er the bear got the best of McAul­iffe, but the newly min­ted gov­ernor is prob­ably already think­ing of his own pranks in four short years.