McAuliffe's Retreads

The listening tour may still be underway, but Terry McAuliffe is wasting no time trying to scoop-up even more former Warner/Kaine staffers:

Mike Henry, who ran the campaigns of U.S. Sen.-elect Mark R. Warner, D-Va., and Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, is signing on as an unpaid adviser to McAuliffe.Also joining the exploratory effort is a fundraiser with ties to Warner and Kaine: Jenny Nadicksbernd.The selections, announced yesterday by McAuliffe spokesman Mo Elleithee, came one day after McAuliffe set up a fundraising committee — Friends of Terry McAuliffe.

Mike and Mo…it seems like old times. Which means a couple of things:

The McAuliffe campaign, once it officially launches, will try to run as close to the Warner/Kaine play book as possible…the election will be all about “competence,” “solutions,” and the now hoary “moving forward.”

With all this moving forward over the years, you think we’d be somewhere by now. A Denny’s, at the very least, should be in sight.

But if this is the play book, then it will also include healthy dollops of selective outrage, prickliness and even outright falsehoods. You remember the whoppers…from Mark Warner’s famously-shattered no tax hike pledge, to Tim Kaine’s similarly broken no tax hike pledge to Jim Webb’s…whatever it is Jim Webb said. Is he still around?

Add to this the gobs and gobs of money McAuliffe will likely dump into the race and it seems clear that both Creigh Deeds and Brian Moran will be forced to start, you know, actually campaigning, instead of indulging in their weird (and expensive) kabuki.

All of which means Bob McDonnell lands in one of the most enviable positions a Republican can possibly imagine. As the Democrats begin the mutual shredding, he can husband resources, and continue to shore up his flanks (and they do need repair…Tucker, let’s have that lunch soon).

Yup. Things are shaping up nicely. Just like they did in 2005. And we all remember how that turned out.

(cross-posted at Tertium Quids)