This afternoon I had the chance to ask Clinton Campaign chair Terry McAuliffe if he had any message for the MyDD community. Here's what he had to say on the day's event, as well as moving forward through the rest of the 2008 cycle:
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Jonathan Singer: At MyDD, there are a lot of Clinton supporters on the site. Online, a lot of Clinton supporters. What do you say to them today? What is Terry McAuliffe's message today?
Terry McAuliffe: First of all they should be very proud. Hillary got 18 million votes. She raised all the issues, made healthcare the preeminent issue here domestically.
They all worked hard. They ought to be proud of what they accomplished. We came very close. It was one of the closest elections of all time. It's no fun losing. But you know what, they ought to be proud.
As Hillary said here, she's made it easier now for a woman to run for President. People aren't going to question, can a woman be President, can she be commander in chief, is she tough enough to deal with the defense issues. Those issues have gone away. So a lot was accomplished in this campaign. That's what you should take away from it.
Singer: So you're finally going to get to take some time off. After that, will you be raising money to pay off the debt? Also, will you be raising money for the Obama campaign? Have you, personally, talked about your role going forward in helping out?
McAuliffe: No. I've told all of the donors this week that we need to 100 percent get behind Senator Obama. We're going to do several events for Senator Obama. I had to get through today's activities and deal with all that.
We're going to do whatever it takes. Listen, I'm a party man. I've been with this party for 30 years, for the last 15 years working as a pretty much full time volunteer. So we have to win this White House, so I'm going to work as hard as I worked for Hillary for Senator Obama.
Singer: Couple last questions, specifically on the party. Barack Obama decided to leave Howard Dean as chairman of the party for the duration of the campaign. What are your thoughts on that? Is that something you're in favor of or don't really have an opinion one way or the other on?
McAuliffe: First of all, no chairman has ever been removed, so I'm not sure why people even raised that as an issue. The chair of the party is elected by the DNC membership. It has nothing to do with the nominee of the party. So the terminology I thought was a little weird. It's not up to anybody to keep him. Howard got elected, and he's there until February 2009. So, no chairman has ever left when a new nominee has come in. So he's there working hard, and he's going to help us win top to bottom.
Singer: As someone who was there for the last five months of a presidential campaign the last time around.
McAuliffe: Five months? Four years.
Singer: But I mean the last sprint as chairman of the party.
McAuliffe: Yeah, yeah, okay.
Singer: What advice would you give him for this last sprint?
McAuliffe: Well, the calendar that I worked on very hard as you know for '04, we had a nominee by March 10, John was the nominee on March 10th. And then on March 25 in this building, which is a little bit historic, I held a unity dinner here, which was great. We had all candidates who ran. We had President Clinton, Vice President Gore, former President Carter came in -- first DNC event he had been to since he had left office, believe it or not -- right here in this building. It was jammed. I don't know, we raised like $20 million.
So the key now for Howard, obviously, unifying the party, raising money, you know, just getting everybody ready to go, being out there on TV, making sure everybody understands what a horrible President George Bush has been. You know I was George Bush's biggest antagonist. They don't like me over in the Bush family, but that's alright. And you know what I said from day one, turned out to be right, he's the worst President we've ever had. It's unfortunate for the sake of this country.