Friends of first-time office seeker Terry McAuliffe are expecting him to wrap a listening tour of Virginia with a January 7 announcement that he is officially running for governor of the commonwealth. Yes, we are jumping the gun to state his likely conclusion, but few around him say that there is anything that would change his mind. As he begins his Hillary-esque listening tour, the 20-year resident of Virginia and longtime Clinton family adviser has set up a website and is having his pals dispatch fundraising E-mails to his very long list of friends and supporters. One from his buddy Jay Dunn says: "We all know that Terry would make a great governor. He's a proven leader in both the business and political worlds. As chairman, he transformed and modernized the Democratic Party—making its operations more inclusive, transparent, and cost effective. And he has the opportunity to take that approach and apply it to all of state government."
Another E-mail comes from McAuliffe's wife, Dorothy, who cheers: "I know Terry better than anyone. I know first-hand about his lifelong commitment to helping all families reach the American Dream, and his determination to keep the state that he loves on the cutting edge of innovation and job creation in tough economic times."
Allies tell Whispers that McAuliffe is not just a Northern Virginia candidate. "He's made a lot of friends downstate too," says one. The proof will be in the fundraising, and here the master moneyman has come up with an attractive deal: Just send him $5 and tell 10 friends to do the same. If his friends do, that will seal his plans to run next year, these sources tell Whispers.