“I’ll be the first to tell you I was devastated the night Eric Cantor lost. We lost the House majority leader. We’ve never had a speaker in Virginia history; I would love for Eric Cantor to have become speaker.” –Governor Terry McAuliffe (D-VA)
In an interview during Channel 4 NBC Washington’s “Ask the Governor,” Virginia’s Governor Terry McAuliffe said in a nutshell what so many Republicans want: a leader who will work with those across the political aisle (see Virginia Gov. McAuliffe ‘heartsick’ over Eric Cantor’s primary loss).
Noting that Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA 7th) was very easy to work with, the governor said:
“My staff dealt with Eric Cantor’s staff all the time. I dealt with the congressman and leader Cantor all the time. They were nothing but helpful,” McAuliffe said.
McAuliffe said that Cantor’s defeat, coupled with the looming retirements of veteran House members Frank Wolf, R-Va., and Jim Moran, D-Va., represent a significant blow to the power of the state’s congressional delegation.
“I can tell you as governor, this isn’t a ‘D’ or ‘R.’ This is about how I compete — how do I compete against those other 49 states?” McAuliffe said.
There is such a thing as standing up for one’s principles. There’s another thing called leadership, and that requires working together to find a compromise that is as satisfactory as possible for both sides of the political aisle. That was Congressman Cantor. As extremists in both parties continue to push for their lock-step agendas, the more support they will lose from rational, pragmatic voters who understand that, just as in marriage, no one gets their own way all the time.