Tim Kaine: "Terry McAuliffe's leadership of the party set things right"

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Terry, I really can't convey my thanks...I was working hard in my office on December 22, working very hard to run a competitive race and to raise funds...this commitment of $5 million to the governor's race in Virginia is transformative for the race, it's transformative for the party, it's gonna be of immense value not only to me but to the candidates that our party nominates in our June primary. We were on track already with the momentum needed to win this race, but what the party has done is a superb statement of confidence in this Virginia Democratic Party, something that I'm very gracious [sic] for and I want to thank Terry McAuliffe deeply, deeply for this show of confidence.

As has been said, Terry McAuliffe's leadership of the party set things right from the structural standpoint. We candidates still have to go out and be great message carriers, but we need a great structure behind us that can be solid, that can be good on fundraising, that can be good in grassroots efforts, that can be good in keeping the records about the voters so that we have access to them. All of those aspects of the party needed serious work four years ago. Terry has been able to enact, really, a transformation that I don't think anyone, even Terry, would have been able to predict, and yet it has put us in a strong place nationally.

And I think it IS important that the national party has said they want to play in Virginia. They want to play in Virginia. Folks, when I ran for lieutenant governor in 2001 with Mark Warner, my friend that I went to Harvard Law School with in the early 1980s, we ran at a time where we faced some daunting odds...In the previous 14 statewide races before the 2001 race, Democrats had gotten more than 50% one time out of 14. In 2000, the year right before our race, we had lost a sitting U.S. Senator who was a Democrat, we had lost a presidential election, and we faced the redistricting of the state legislatively and congressionally in a way by Republican legislative majorities that put Democrats in a position where the Republicans were quite confident that we'd be the minority party for a very long time...

[...] Terry McAuliffe and the DNC, thank you for being in the vineyard with us as we work together to keep Virginia moving in the right direction.