49th Chairman of the Democratic National Committee
2001 – 2005
|Preceded by||Ed Rendell|
|Succeeded by||Howard Dean|
|Born||February 9, 1957
Syracuse, New York
|Children||Dori, Jack, Mary, Sally, and Peter|
|Alma mater||Georgetown University Law School (J.D.)
The Catholic University of America (B.A.)
|Profession||businessman, political consultant|
Terence Richard "Terry" McAuliffe (born February 9, 1957) is a longtime fundraiser and political advisor for the United States Democratic Party. He served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2001 to 2005. He also served as chairman of the 2008 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. He unsuccessfully ran for the 2009 Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nomination, losing to Creigh Deeds, whom he later endorsed.
McAuliffe grew up in Syracuse, New York and graduated from Bishop Ludden Junior/Senior High School in 1975. His father was treasurer of the local Democratic organization. He started his first business, McAuliffe Driveway Maintenance, at the age of 14. In 1979, he received a bachelors degree from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. After graduation, McAuliffe took a job in the 1980 presidential reelection campaign of Jimmy Carter, and at the age of 22 became the national finance director. It was during this campaign that McAuliffe wrestled an eight-foot, 260-pound alligator for a $15,000 contribution. After the campaign, McAuliffe enrolled in law school at Georgetown University. He received a Juris Doctor degree in 1984. McAuliffe then served as Chairman of the Federal City National Bank by the age of 30.
He has five children with wife Dorothy: Dori, Jack, Mary, Sally, and Peter.
From 1980 to 1981, McAuliffe served as Deputy Treasurer and Director of Finance at the Democratic National Committee. From 1985 to 1987, McAuliffe served as finance director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. During the 1988 presidential campaign, he served as finance chairman for Dick Gephardt. During the 1996 election cycle, he served as national finance chairman and then national co-chairman of the Clinton-Gore re-election committee. In 1997, he was chairman of the 53rd Presidential Inaugural Committee. In 1999, he was chairman of the White House Millennium Celebration. In 2000, McAuliffe chaired a tribute to outgoing President Bill Clinton, which set a fundraising record for a single event, raising $26.3 million. The same year, he chaired the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. In 2001, McAuliffe spoke out against the Clinton pardons, saying he considered Clinton a great friend, but the pardons were troubling and a mistake: "I've publicly said the Rich pardon was a mistake. If I were president I wouldn't have done it. All these incidents are unfortunate, frustrating and distracting, but ultimately they will run their course."
Under the suggestion of Dick Gephardt, McAuliffe was asked by President Clinton in 1992 to represent the United States at the international business exposition of 1993 in Taejon, South Korea. After initially being sworn in as Commissioner General to the event by the U.S. Information Agency, McAuliffe represented the United States as Ambassador to the Taejon Expo upon arriving in South Korea. Among McAuliffe's primary responsibilities was raising capital for the United States to be represented at the exposition from the private sector. McAuliffe's team managed to secure $3.4 million in sponsorship, avoiding the use of any public funding. The U.S. contingent's largest benefactor was Amway.
In February 2001, McAuliffe was elected chairman of the DNC and served until February 2005. During that time, he raised $578 million and the Democratic Party emerged from debt for the first time in its history.
Under McAuliffe, the DNC built a new headquarters, created a computer database of more than 170 million potential voters known as "Demzilla", founded a Women’s Vote Center to educate and mobilize women voters, founded the Voting Rights Institute to protect voting rights, and founded “Something New,” an initiative to mobilize younger voters.Circumstances affecting the outcome of the 2002 Senate elections included the influence of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, which heavily favored the GOP. There were also allegations of Republican election rigging, as GOP political operatives were accused of illegally jamming the phone lines of New Hampshire Democrats on election day, a race in which GOP candidate John Sununu barely edged Jeanne Shaheen by 19,000 votes.
Democrats would lose a net of 8 seats in the House, magnifying mainly the failures of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, as the DNC would spend more money on the November 2002 Congressional elections than any time in in its history, including $10 million alone on the Congressional redistricting project that would set the party up for Congressional election success not only in 2002 but for years to come.
Despite myriad forces working against the Democrats, there were small electoral victories in 2002 that would lay the groundwork for future successes the party would experience. McAuliffe surveyed the local election landscape and made sound investments in important mayoral races, winning all 8 of those which they identified as critical, including important races in large urban areas such as Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Jersey City.
In the transition period between the 2002 elections and the 2004 Democratic convention, the DNC rebuilt operations and intra-party alliances. Donna Brazile, one of McAuliffe's early critics, summed up McAuliffe's revival: "We boxed. He has been punched, believe me. Now, Terry has put the party in a strong strategic position."
In 2003-04, the DNC hosted six presidential primary debates, more than had ever been held previously, including the first-ever bilingual presidential debate. The DNC also partnered with the Congressional Black Caucus to hold a debate in Baltimore, Maryland. Additionally, McAuliffe worked to restructure the Democratic primary schedule so that states such as South Carolina, Arizona and New Mexico would be allowed to vote earlier, in move designed to bolster ties to African-American and Hispanic communities. According to the Washington Post, the new schedule gave Senator Kerry enough time to raise more than $200 million for the general election.
In January 2005, Howard Dean followed through on a McAuliffe promise and distributed $5 million to Tim Kaine, the Democratic candidate for the Virginia governor's seat. This donation was the largest non-presidential disbursement in DNC history, and was part of McAuliffe's attempt to prove the Democrats' viability in southern states in the wake of the 2004 presidential election. Kaine was successful in his bid and is the current governor of Virginia.
DNC Highlights 2001-2005
On January 23, 2007, his book, What A Party! My Life Among Democrats: Presidents, Candidates, Donors, Activists, Alligators, and Other Wild Animals (ISBN 9780312357870), was released and debuted at #5 on the New York Times Bestseller list and #1 on the Washington Post's list.
During the 2008 presidential election campaign cycle, he was campaign chairman for Hillary Clinton.
On June 4, 2008, McAuliffe appeared on the MSNBC program Morning Joe, presenting a bottle of rum to Mika Brzezinski, which Brzezinski had requested during a prior interview with McAuliffe. After imbibing a congratulatory shot of rum on-air he stated that Barack Obama "had the numbers" and that Hillary Clinton knew she had lost the 2008 primary race.
On November 10, 2008, McAuliffe filed to form an exploratory committee for Governor of Virginia in the 2009 election. He told reporters that he had planned to spend the next few months traveling to "every corner of Virginia" to measure interest in his possible run. McAuliffe told The Washington Post that he is "best suited to carry the Democratic banner because he (would) campaign as a business leader who can bring jobs to Virginia." He also cited his ability to raise money for down-ticket Democratic candidates. On January 3, 2009, McAuliffe announced in a YouTube video emailed to his supporters that he would be seek the Democratic Party nomination for Governor of Virginia.
McAuliffe's political team included several former staffers from the campaigns of Democrats Hillary Clinton, Tim Kaine, Mark Warner and Jim Webb. Among them were campaign manager Mike Henry, senior strategist Mo Elleithee, and communications director Delacey Skinner. According to The Washington Post, McAuliffe raised $7.5 million over the course of the campaign.
In the primary, McAuliffe faced two other high-profile Democrats, State Sen. Creigh Deeds, 2005 nominee for Attorney General, and Brian Moran, a former state representative and former Democratic Caucus Chairman. On June 9, 2009, Virginia democrats selected Deeds as their gubernatorial candidate with McAuliffe finishing second. Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell is the only candidate for the Republican nomination.
McAuliffe is widely considered to be eying another run for Governor of Virginia. In November 2009, Democratic nominee Creigh Deeds lost to Republican candidate Bob McDonnell by a margin of 18 points. McDonnell received the highest percentage of the vote since 1961. In the aftermath, many in the local and national media speculated that McAuliffe would have been in a better position to win the election, as Deeds was said to have lost on economic issues and those relating to jobs, the same platform upon which McAuliffe had hinged his campaign.
McAuliffe was invited as a visiting Fellow to Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government in October 2009. In addition to several faculty and student lectures, McAuliffe hosted a study group entitled The Making of a Candidate: From Running Campaigns to Running on my Own.
McAuliffe has a history of mixing politics with business deals has produced "a business career built mostly on intricate land deals and dot-com investments, often with wealthy political donors -- and sometimes with no jobs to show for it." According to the Washington Post, "McAuliffe is, at his core, a salesman -- and even called himself a "hustler" in his autobiography." 
At the age of 14, McAuliffe started his first business. Under the name McAuliffe Driveway Maintenance he sealed local driveways and parking lots.
In January 1988, when he was 30 years old, McAuliffe became the youngest chairman of a bank in the history of the United States when he assumed responsibility for all aspects of Federal City's operations.
Shortly thereafter, the bank loaned $125,000 to a political action committee that supported Richard Gephardt's Presidential campaign. McAuliffe told the New York Times that he abstained from voting on the loan because he was also the Gephardt campaign's finance chairman. The bank also provided loans to former U.S. Representative Tony Coelho and the then-Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Jim Wright.
In 1991, the bank was cited by federal regulators for unsafe and unsound banking practices. Regulators forced McAuliffe and other bank directors to sign a consent agreement that required the bank to hire outside management, review delinquent loans, track bad credit, and raise additional capital. In December 1991, McAuliffe acknowledged that he "knew we were in awful trouble" and that "the liquidators were ready to roll." In what he now refers to as his "greatest business experience", McAuliffe "rallied the board members" and merged Federal City National Bank with another institution run by Republican Richard V. Allen; Credit International Bank, thereby saving the institution. 
From August 1999 until August 2001, McAuliffe served on the Board of Directors at Telergy, a telecom company. Press reports indicated that he had been helping the company in an unofficial capacity for the previous three years. In September 1999, a month after McAuliffe joined the board, Global Crossing invested $40 million in Telergy; McAuliffe brokered the deal and pocketed $1.2 million for his efforts. In August and September 2001, Telergy laid off 450 employees without providing any severance package. In December that year, Telergy began Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings.
Terry McAuliffe is a founding partner and shareholder in no less than 23 separate commercial ventures.
In the planning stages of the Clinton-Gore reelection campaign, McAuliffe met with President Clinton and discussed how to energize his base of support for the reelection efforts. McAuliffe's suggestion was simply that the President needed to spend time with his supporters and discuss his vision for the next four years. Following the meeting, McAuliffe outlined the details of his suggestions in a memo. This would become the infamous Lincoln Bedroom Memo. Upon receiving the memo, the President made some hand-written notes to himself on the reverse side of the copy, which were interpreted through the mainstream media to imply that McAuliffe was advocating the use of the White House's Lincoln Bedroom as campaign fund raising mechanism. In fact, the memo's purpose had nothing to do with the Lincoln Bedroom.
As a fundraiser for the Clinton-Gore re-election campaign, he used his access to the White House and close ties with the Clintons to generate funds in unorthodox ways. He arranged 10-12 meet and greet coffee dates with the Clintons on behalf of large donors. The Justice Department later closed its investigation without bringing charges. The Democratic National Committee would later arrange several more White House "coffees," fundraising efforts with which McAuliffe was not involved.
Like many in the late 1990’s, McAuliffe was consistently seeking out innovative business and investment opportunities related to the internet and other areas of high technology. Among them was his investment of $100,000 in a startup company called Global Crossing. In the early 1990’s, McAuliffe was approached by longtime friend Mike Steed concerning an investment opportunity in what was then known as Atlantic Crossing. The company would be among the first to lay a high-speed fiber-optic cable between the United States and Europe, anticipating the need for increasing data traffic to come in the next few years. McAuliffe himself refers to the investment as “risky,” given the lack of guarantees with technology startups. McAuliffe put up the money while the idea was still in its infancy, even before a company had been formed. The company would eventually up carrying half the data traffic between the United States and Europe and was widely considered a tremendous success.
When the company went public seventeen months later, the stock’s value rose quickly and McAuliffe’s initial $100,000 investment was valued at nearly $18 million. Global Crossing filed for bankruptcy in 2002 at a time when many technology startups began to fail and after McAuliffe had sold his stock. Though he had made millions from the stock, McAuliffe was never an employee of Global Crossing nor did he serve on its board of directors. Still, Republicans attempted to compare his investment in Global Crossing as equitable with the insider trading activity that occurred at Enron.
In 2006, The Securities and Exchange Commission, after a four year investigation, ruled that no wrongdoing occurred at Global Crossing and no enforcement action was necessary.
McAuliffe played no management role in Global Crossing and had no ties to Enron. Howard Kurtz of CNN reported that McAuliffe was free of any wrongdoing, having sold his shares years before there was "any hint of trouble with the company." On July 20, 2002, Marc Racicot, the chairman of the Republican National Committee told Fox News reporter Rita Cosby, "I haven't seen anything that was done that was wrong by Terry McAuliffe." On January 29, 2000, McAuliffe discussed the issue on the Fox News television program Hannity & Colmes where he claimed that former President George H.W. Bush gave a speech in Japan praising Global Crossing in exchange for the right to purchase $80,000 of stock at a reduced price of 34 cents per share.
On January 23, 2007, his book, What A Party! My Life Among Democrats: Presidents, Candidates, Donors, Activists, Alligators, and Other Wild Animals ISBN 9780312357870, was released and debuted at #5 on the New York Times Bestseller list and #1 on the Washington Post's list. McAuliffe called himself a "hustler" in his autobiography.
Rick Perlstein, in his review of McAuliffe's memoir, What a Party!, wrote that McAuliffe's involvement with Global Crossing compromised McAuliffe's ability to attack Republican ties to the Enron scandal during the 2002 midterm congressional elections.
|Party political offices|
|Chairman of the Democratic
2001 – 2005