Some of the activists who helped launch Terry McAuliffe to victory in November sound as though they’re not savoring the big win in the Virginia gubernatorial election as much as they are working through the stages of grief.
“You just have to move on, accept it,” said Katherine Waddell, a Republican who backed McAuliffe (D) largely because of his support for abortion rights. “You believe in the governor and what he said. And you move on.”
Waddell was referring to McAuliffe’s decision to reappoint Republican Gov. Robert F. McDonnell’s health and human resources secretary, William Hazel. Some abortion rights activists have bristled over McAuliffe’s choice because Hazel did not object to strict new abortion limits enacted during McDonnell’s term.
Some environmental activists feel similarly jilted because of McAuliffe’s choice for natural resources secretary — former Hampton mayor Molly Joseph Ward. And environmentalists and smart-growth advocates feel a bit burned by McAuliffe’s decision to name Hampton Roads businessman Aubrey Layne as his transportation secretary…..
“There were a number of choices where he could have made more liberal selections,” said Stephen J. Farnsworth, a University of Mary Washington political scientist. “It seems to me that McAuliffe was very clear in the campaign that he was going to try to compromise and he’s going to try to make the deal. I think sometimes activists are overly optimistic before an election, and the realities of governing can get in the way of the idealistic vision of some of the people who work hardest in campaigns. It’s a painful reality for Democrats and Republicans alike as divided government requires compromise.”