Former President Bill Clinton is campaigning for his former money man, renter of the Lincoln Bedroom, Terry McAuliffe in his bid to become Governor of Virginia. Amazingly enough, the most popular Democrat in America can’t even fill high school auditoriums for McAuliffe, displaying a serious enthusiasm gap on the Democrats’ part. Not even everyone who attended is going to be voting for McAuliffe as CNN discovered.
Though several voters here were thrilled to see the former President in their backyard, few seemed to express natural enthusiasm for McAuliffe.
While crowded, the high school auditorium where Clinton and McAuliffe spoke Sunday was hardly full: Volunteers cordoned off one section of empty seats with a large American flag, and other vacant rows were hidden by conveniently placed drapes.
Kimberly L. Winn, a self-described community advocate from Richmond who said she is a registered Democrat, came to the event solely to see Clinton. Asked if she planned to vote for McAuliffe, she grimaced and shook her head.
When you look at the increase in destruction of Republican signs, the paltry number of Democrat signs and bumper stickers even in dark blue areas such as the City of Alexandria and Arlington, you know that something is afoot.
Even the CNN article began with:
With Virginia Democrats increasingly confident that an Election Day sweep is in the making, gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe enlisted former President Bill Clinton, his longtime friend and confidante, to fire up the party base and drive them to the polls one week from Tuesday.
If you are a week out from Election Day and you are still trying to fire up the party base for your candidate, there are latent forces at work against you. This is not a sign of confidence, but a sign of panic that the same lack of enthusiasm that derailed McAuliffe during the 2009 primary campaign (that he once led in the polls quite handily) may happen once again in the 2013 general election.