A Conversation with Governor Terry McAuliffe on the Political Landscape

The Common Good hosted former Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia, the charismatic “happy warrior” with excellent experience in the art of politics and policy. McAuliffe offered up incredibly insightful information and a rather sunny outlook on the Democratic Party’s chances in the upcoming 2020 election. The former governor also graced TCG members with insights on the handling of voter rights legislation as well as the Charlottesville protests during his time in office.

Terry McAuliffe served as the 72nd Governor of The Commonwealth of Virginia, holding office from 2014-2018. During his time as governor, Mr. McAuliffe was successful in implementing several policy changes including, but not limited to, immigration, voting rights for convicted felons, economic development and healthcare. The governor’s political tenure stretches back to President Jimmy Carter’s administration, where McAuliffe worked on the President’s reelection campaign. Mr. McAuliffe continued his work on the campaign trail with both Hilary and Bill Clinton’s presidential campaigns. He also held a chair at the Democratic National Committee from 2001-2005.

Sidney Blumenthal is an acclaimed journalist and author of many books including A Self-Made Man, Wrestling with His Angel and All the Powers of Earth, the first three volumes in his five-volume biography series The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln that the New York Times book review has called “Magisterial…A vividly written, wide-ranging and often surprising account of the president-to-be.” He is the former assistant and senior adviser to President Bill Clinton and senior adviser to Hillary Clinton. He has been a national staff reporter for The Washington Post and Washington editor and writer for The New Yorker. His books include the bestselling The Clinton Wars, The Rise of the Counter-Establishment, and The Permanent Campaign. He was the executive producer of the documentary Taxi to the Dark Side, directed by Alex Gibney, which won an Academy Award for Best Documentary of 2007.

John Avlon is senior political analyst and anchor at CNN. Previously, he was the editor-in-chief and managing director of The Daily Beast between 2013 and 2018, during which time the site’s traffic more than doubled to over one million readers a day while winning 17 journalism awards. He is the author of the books Independent Nation, Wingnuts, and Washington’s Farewell as well as co-editor of the acclaimed Deadline Artists journalism anthologies. Avlon served as chief speechwriter to New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and won the National Society of Newspaper Columnists award for best online column in 2012. He lives with his wife Margaret Hoover, the author of American Individualism, host of PBS’s Firing Line and a CNN contributor, and their two children in New York. He is now working on a book about Lincoln.

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