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Terry McAuliffe sworn in as Virginia’s 72nd governor

Democrats occupy top three statewide offices for the first time in 24 years
Saturday, January 11, 2014
Patrick Semansky, APVirginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, right, waves to supporters alongside his wife Dorothy during inaugural ceremonies at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014. Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, and former U.S. President Bill Clinton look on in the background.

Patrick Semansky, AP
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, right, waves to supporters alongside his wife Dorothy during inaugural ceremonies at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014. Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, and former U.S. President Bill Clinton look on in the background.

RICHMOND, Va. — Terry McAuliffe, the former Democratic National Committee chairman and rainmaker for Bill and Hillary Clinton, was sworn in as Virginia’s 72nd governor on a mild and rainy Saturday.

In an inaugural address on the south portico of the state Capitol designed by Thomas Jefferson, McAuliffe emphasized bipartisanship as he put several years of campaigning behind him to begin the more challenging task of leading a politically divided government. Republicans have firm control of the House of Delegates, while the outcome of two special elections will determine control of the Senate.

“Common ground doesn’t move towards us, we move towards it,” McAuliffe told a drenched crowd that included the Clintons, who huddled under a black umbrella until the rain stopped and the sun briefly peeked out during the new governor’s speech.

The state will face “serious economic headwinds” over the next four years, McAuliffe said, and skeptics are predicting partisan gridlock.

“Virginia, together, we will prove them wrong again,” he said.

It was one of several references to consensus building that McAuliffe sprinkled throughout a 16-minute speech that drew praise from Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“I was very moved by it,” she told reporters as she exited through the Capitol.

McAuliffe’s remarks promoting gay rights and abortion rights drew some of the loudest cheers. He said his administration would work to ensure equal opportunity for all “no matter whom you love,” and to protect women’s rights to make their own health care decisions.

Among his early priorities, McAuliffe has pledged to reinstate former Gov. Tim Kaine’s order prohibiting discrimination against LGBT state employees.

Immediately following his remarks, McAuliffe placed his left hand on the Bible and was sworn in by Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Cynthia Kinser, McDonnell and his wife Maureen stood and walked up the stairs and through the Capitol to an uncertain future.

The Syracuse, N.Y., native’s ticket mates also won, giving Democrats their first sweep of Virginia’s top three statewide offices in 24 years. Mark Herring was sworn in as attorney general and Ralph Northam as lieutenant governor.

McAuliffe defeated outgoing Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a hero of among anti-gay conservatives who describes homosexuality as “intrinsically wrong,” and “against nature and harmful to society.”

Associated Press contributed to this report.
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17 more reader comments:

  1. I hope it’s a good thing…

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 9:19pm
  2. oh the state definitely should have had better options, but he couldn't be worse than the republican pick

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 10:10pm
  3. I thought I saw an R in the word 'pick'

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 11:36pm
  4. So glad to see President Bill Clinton and our 2016 President, Hillary Clinton, with our new Governor, Terry McAuliffe!!! :-D

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 9:24pm
  5. Richard, it’s got to be better than if The Cooch had won. McAuliffe has his problems, but at least he not one of those nut-case teabaggers, like Cuccinelli.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 9:24pm
  6. Cooch wanted to outlaw oral sex...asshole, probably never had a blow job in his life.

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 9:51pm
  7. He was nothing but a raging closet case anyway!

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 10:18pm
  8. Was, or IS

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 11:39pm
  9. It was also good to see our new Governor reaffirm his campaign pledges for every Virginian! This is a superb day for Virginians indeed! :-D

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 9:28pm
  10. It’s good to win. Now let’s roll up the sleeves and get to work!

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 9:34pm
  11. Congratulations Governor and all you Virginians who made this day happen!

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 9:38pm
  12. Let’s just hope he’s an actual liberal and not a blue dog.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 9:39pm
  13. Just so you know…he will disappoint progressives but he’ll probably piss off conservashits a lot more lol

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 9:44pm
  14. Conservathieves are like parasites: disinfestation requires that every single last one be eradicated, AND the eggs!

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 11:07pm
  15. YAY!!

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 10:25pm
  16. its great watching the GOP destroy itself

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 10:49pm
  17. Thank goodness . Virginians are safe to enjoy oral sex .

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 11:00pm