Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is staffing up his political action committee, a move that suggests the Democrat is interested in another run for the Executive Mansion in 2021, the Washington Post reports.
Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) said that he is ‘very hopeful about the future’ and ‘thinking very seriously’ about a gubernatorial run in 2021, the Richmond Times Dispatch reports.
“Fairfax, who faces sexual assault allegations by two women, said the scandal has raised his public profile for good.”
“Said Fairfax: “Many people a year ago would not have recognized me, now they really do. People come up to me at gas stations, they say, ‘Hey, we recognize you. We love you. We know what they are saying about you is false.’”
Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), who was popular when he left office last year, is hinting to Democrats that he may run for governor again in 2021, Axios reports.
“Terry McAuliffe toyed with a presidential bid for months only to bow out. But back in his adopted state of Virginia, it’s assumed he’s going to run for a second term as governor,” Politico reports.
A new Wason Center poll in Virginia finds that, two months after a blackface scandal led to calls for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s (D) resignation, 52% of Virginians say he should remain in office while 42% say he should resign.
However, Northam’s approval rating is now 40%, which makes him less popular in the state than President Trump, who has an approval rating of 44%.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) “is now tightly focused on coming up with plans to survive,” BuzzFeed News reports.
“His office has begun to explore how it might recalibrate Northam’s legislative agenda to focus closely on race and equity… The move would mark a brazen attempt to hang onto his office by shifting the conversation away from Northam’s admission… Northam’s policy team is looking at crafting a set of proposals based on the premise that the governor’s mistakes have rendered him keenly aware of inequity and the lack of justice faced by black Virginians 400 years after the first African people arrived in the Commonwealth, at Point Comfort, in 1619.”
The AP reports Northam “has told his top staff that he does not plan to resign.”
A new Civiqs survey in Virginia finds that 60% of voters want Gov. Ralph Northam to resign, with just 24% of voters saying he should stay.
That includes majorities of Democrats (58% to 27% say he should quit), Republicans (72% to 15%), independents (52% to 28%), black voters (64% to 27%) and white voters (60% to 22%).
They survey finds Northam’s approval at just 34% to 50%.
Washington Post: “The expanding political crisis in Virginia has left Democratic leaders stymied, deeply worried about long-term damage to the reputation of the state and the party but frozen by uncertainty about what fresh disclosures might come next.”
“Party leaders have urged elected Democrats to stay off television, say as little as possible publicly and wait to try to regroup until the situation becomes clearer.”
“While they continue to call publicly for Northam to resign, most Democrats now want the governor to stay in office at least until there is clarity on the issues involving Fairfax and Herring.”
Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) was made aware of allegations of sexual assault against now-Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) over a year ago by the alleged victim herself, ABC News reports.
“Scott learned of the allegations directly from Dr. Vanessa Tyson, who on Wednesday released a statement detailing the alleged 2004 assault, which took place at the Democratic National Convention in Boston.”
Washington Post: “Over the past several days, he has even toyed with the idea of leaving the Democratic Party and governing as an independent — a sign of the degree that he is isolated from every political ally, from his state party and from the national party.”
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) remained in power “but is having a difficult time finding allies, begging his Cabinet members to give him the chance to prove he was not the person pictured in a racist photo that surfaced Friday,” CNN reports.
According to one source, “the governor specifically said that if he resigns, he would be resigning as a ‘racist for life,’ and that the only way he can clear his name is to stay in office and convince people that he is not in that photo and that the photo does not represent who he is.”
Richmond Times Dispatch: “Though Northam has lost the support of virtually his entire party, he appears to have bought himself more time to try to clear his name.”
A new Morning Consult poll finds Virginia voters have soured on Gov. Ralph Northam.
Northam has had a 41-percentage-point drop in Northam’s net approval rating in the two days after revelations that the governor’s medical school yearbook page had a picture of one person in blackface and another dressed as a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
Nate Silver: “Democrats seem to react differently to scandals involving Democratic politicians than Republicans do to scandals involving Republicans.”
Former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) offered a rare voice of support Monday for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) staying in office amid the controversy over a racist photo in his medical school yearbook, the Washington Post reports.
Said Lieberman: “I think there’s a rush to judgment that is unfair to him. One, he says he wasn’t in that picture. Two, I think we ought to fairly ask him, ‘Did he know the picture was on his page of that yearbook?’ And then three, really, he ought to be judged on the context of his whole life.”
He added: “I think he deserves a chance to prove what really is his essence, not to rush him out of office, unfortunately for political reasons.”
“Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) called an unscheduled senior staff meeting Sunday night just before the start of the Super Bowl, as the governor considered resigning after two days of defiance amid a controversy over a racist photo in his medical school yearbook,” the Washington Post reports.
“People familiar with the meeting said the governor had not reached a decision. It was unclear who was present, but the group included senior staffers of color. Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D), who would become governor if Northam resigned.”
“Calling the Sunday night meeting was a clear signal of Northam’s effort to weigh support within the administration as he evaluates his options. Although he pledged on Saturday to stand his ground, he also said he would reconsider if he thought he could no longer be effective. Just a day later, resignation is an active consideration.”
President Trump accused Ed Gillespie (R) of political “malpractice” and “dereliction of duty” for not uncovering the racist yearbook photo of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) during their gubernatorial campaign in 2017.
Said Trump: “If they find that terrible picture before the election, he wins by 20 points!”
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) “said he is neither of the people in the racist photo that surfaced Friday from a 1984 yearbook from Eastern Virginia Medical School,” the Richmond Times Dispatch reports.
“Northam said he saw the photo, now more than 30 years old, for the first time Friday. After admitting it was him in the photo and apologizing Friday night, Northam said after reflection with his family and talking to former classmates, he now says it was not him in the photo.”
Northam won’t resign, according to the Washington Post, but said “if he felt he wasn’t able to function efficiently as governor, he would re-visit the matter.”
New York Times: “But he may have made his effort to remain in office more difficult by revealing that he had darkened his face with shoe polish in the 1980s at a Michael Jackson-inspired dance party in Texas when he was a young Army officer.”
“Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) is refusing to resign despite overwhelming pressure from within his own party and has told at least one lawmaker that he now does not think that a racist photo in his 1984 yearbook includes him,” the Washington Post reports.
The Richmond Times Dispatch notes Northam is changing his story from last night.
The New York Times says Northam “has been calling former classmates at Eastern Virginia Medical School in an effort to determine more information about the picture.”
“With the governor and his top advisers gathered in the executive residence next to the State Capitol in Richmond, the Democrat familiar with Mr. Northam’s calls said the governor was determined to prove it was not him in the photograph and was even considering using facial recognition software.”
The Richmond Times Dispatch called for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) to resign after the revelation of a photo from his medical school yearbook page, showing a man in blackface standing next to someone dressed in Ku Klux Klan robes.
We all act foolishly in our youth. But a college graduate, studying to be a physician, in a state with Virginia’s troubled racial history, should know better than to reduce that history to a callous joke. The photograph reveals a lack of adult judgment that is disturbing. It does not erase Northam’s service in the military or his compassion as a physician. It does, however, strongly suggest that he should, for the good of Virginia, step down from its highest office and allow Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax to succeed him.