By Lynn R. Mitchell
Politico’s Mike Allen highlighted Virginia’s the performance of Virginia’s governor at Saturday night’s Gridiron Club dinner in D.C. in his morning Playbook:
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe stole the show last night at the 130th Gridiron Club dinner – D.C.’s only white-tie-and-tails event, and one of the few big dinners that’s off-camera. The dinner, known for elaborate skits featuring top reporters, started as a gathering of the then-powerful newspaper bureaus, but over time added TV personalities.
“Good evening, everybody. I’m Terry McAuliffe, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Terry McAuliffe, the Governor of Virginia. Who saw that coming? … I see so many familiar faces. Vernon Jordan, Madeleine Albright, Donna Brazile, and Mike McCurry are here. The New York Times is trying to screw the Clintons every chance it gets. If the middle class were doing better, I’d swear it was the nineties. You all remember the middle class. Those are the people who walk by you to get to their seats further back in the plane.
“But, folks, it’s not the nineties anymore. Things have really changed. For example, in the Hillary Clinton administration, we won’t rent out the Lincoln Bedroom. We’ll just put it on Airbnb. … I broke my ribs when I was thrown from a horse on a family vacation. And it hurt. I plummeted to the ground harder than Chris Christie’s presidential ambitions. But that’s gravity for you. Or as Scott Walker calls it, the ‘theory of gravity.’ … I want to thank Susan Page for extending the invitation to speak tonight. Susan works for USAToday.com — but she also volunteers at an affiliated not-for-profit called USA Today. Oh, come on. You all printed yesterday’s news on paper and threw it at people’s houses. And you thought that would last forever?! …
“John Boehner wanted to attend tonight, but he can’t get anywhere without a hundred votes from Nancy Pelosi. … Bill O’Reilly also tried to be here this evening, but he’s pinned down by enemy fire over in Kalorama. He would have made it, too. But Brian Williams was his ride. …
“If Hillary runs, the Mack has her back. Yes, that’s an endorsement. Stop the presses. And if she does run, I know she’ll take nothing for granted. We learned a lot in 2008 and she has changed her strategy. First of all, we’ve done the research and we are certain that Barack Obama cannot pursue a third term as President. We think that will really help Hillary’s chances. Second, she’s got some great VP options from Virginia. Senator Kaine, Senator Warner, Governor McAuliffe. Lots of great options.
“Third, we have stricken the word ‘inevitable’ from Hillary’s vocabulary. I’ve always thought ‘inescapable’ had a much nicer ring anyway. Or maybe ‘undeniable.’ We’re still work shopping it. And by the way, if Hillary decides not to run — looks like nobody even bothered to finish that joke. On the other side of the aisle, the 2016 Republican field is much more open. Not Rick Perry open. But open. Scott Walker’s been rising in the polls. And as Presidents Bachmann, Gingrich, Cain, Santorum and Trump can tell you – you can’t peak too early in the Republican primaries.”
Virginia’s happy partisan warrior … still in awe that he can actually attach the title “Governor” in front of his name, still high-fiving and joyfully rubbing elbows with both sides of the aisle….
More from the Associated Press (see Gridiron dinner 2015: McAuliffe makes jokes about Hillary Clinton, secret service).