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Terry McAuliffe may be fundraising for himself this time

TOP OF THE TICKET

The former chairman of the Democratic National Committee is probably running for governor in Virginia.

January 04, 2009|Andrew Malcolm

Here's the bad news for Virginia Republicans, who once ruled the commonwealth politically: There are no limits whatsoever on how much a person or union, say, can give to any one candidate.

Here's the good news for Virginia Republicans: Terry McAuliffe, the ex-chairman of the Democratic National Committee, the political powerhouse, is probably running for governor there.

Now, if Terry the Tiger's candidacy is good news for the GOP, that tells you how bad things are. The Washington Post had a fascinating examination of McAuliffe's cannonball into the political pond of Virginia.

Now that he's done raising gazillions of millions for both Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton, who lost anyway, McAuliffe is doing a fair bit of money-vacuuming on his own.

Hardly trying, he's already cornered the support of the state's billionaire, Randal J. Kirk, who's given, oh, say, about $660,000 to Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine just in the last 36 months.

In the last 18 years, McAuliffe has raised nearly $940 million between the Clintons and the DNC.

That's even more than the incoming president. But, of course, he did it in much less time and is busy changing the way things are done next door in Washington as soon as he's inaugurated Jan. 20.

Speaking of time, McAuliffe says he'll announce on Wednesday what his plans are.

Gee, whaddya think?

--

Now she's Grandma Palin

Sarah Palin's oldest daughter, Bristol, has had a baby boy -- 7 pounds, 7 ounces.

His name weighs in at only 4 pounds -- Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston.

"The baby is fine. Bristol is doing well. And everyone is excited," a relative told People magazine, which said the boy was born Dec. 26.

Bristol, who is 18, plans to marry the father, Levi Johnston, this year, the family has said.

He is an apprentice electrician, and she is finishing high school.

News of Bristol's pregnancy shocked a lot of people as her mother was about to accept the vice presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention.

But instead of moral rejection, the conservative crowd seemed to see the situation as a familiar family one and embraced Sarah Palin enthusiastically, especially after her electrifying acceptance speech.

A recent USA Today-Gallup Poll found that Palin, 44 and a mother of five, is the nation's second-most-admired woman, behind only Hillary Rodham Clinton and ahead of someone named Oprah Winfrey.

In Alaska, a Palin spokesman said the grandma governor was focused on state business and would have no public comment on her offspring's offspring.

Oh, photo rights have been won at auction by People, with experts estimating the price at $300,000, up sharply since Levi's mom was arrested on a recent drug charge.

--

andrew.malcolm@latimes.com

For more Top of the Ticket, go to latimes.com/ticket.

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