Politics
Terry McAuliffe (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File) Terry McAuliffe (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)  

Five times Terry McAuliffe admits he ditched his wife for politics

Photo of Alex Pappas
Alex Pappas
Political Reporter
  • See All Articles
  • Send Email
  • Subscribe to RSS
  • Follow on Twitter
  • Bio

      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

Terry McAuliffe, the colorful former Democratic National Committee chairman and close Clinton friend now running for governor of Virginia, won’t let a little thing like marriage get in the way of his political ambitions.

In his 2007 memoir, “What a Party!: My Life Among Democrats, Presidents, Candidates, Donors, Activists, Alligators, And Other Wild Animals,” the legendary Democratic moneyman writes of doing everything from wrestling an alligator to ambushing an unsuspecting donor to collect checks for the party.

The book is the focus of renewed attention now that McAuliffe is running for office again, particularly the his stories about leaving wife’s side to attend parties immediately before and after she gave birth to their daughter Sarah. In the memoir, McAuliffe admits he once left his wife Dorothy in the delivery room to attend a Washington Post party. He also tells a story about leaving his wife in the car on the way home from the hospital to attend a fundraiser.

“I was inside maybe fifteen minutes, said a few nice things about [the host], and hurried back out to the car,” McAuliffe recalled. “I felt bad for Dorothy, but it was a million bucks for the Democratic Party and by the time we got home and the kids had their new little brother in their arms, Dorothy was all smiles and we were one big happy family again. Nobody ever said life with me was easy.”

The Daily Caller combed through the manuscript and found that these aren’t the only examples of McAuliffe’s political ambitions inconveniencing his wife. Whether you find the stories endearing or disgusting, here are five times McAuliffe admits he ditched his wife for politics:

Ditched her to go golfing with Tip O’Neill

In 1983, while he was dating the woman who would later become his wife, McAuliffe took a trip with her to Cape Cod. But then-Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill invited him to go golfing once they got there. He was gone the whole day, leaving his girlfriend by herself the whole time.

“Dorothy, I’ve got to go golfing with the Speaker tomorrow,” McAuliffe recalled in his book.

“I think, for Dorothy, that day was the perfect precursor for what her life with me would be like,” he wrote. “She was just learning to love the ways of the Irish in Democratic politics. Eventually, she forgave me, but she still teases me about leaving her stuck alone the entire day while I was off having the time of my life.”

Thrown out of delivery room after debating anesthesiologist on healthcare

One thing is clear from McAuliffe’s book: he gets antsy when his wife is in labor. He recalls that when his son Jack was born in 1993, he and the anesthesiologist started debating about health care reform.

“We were making so much noise that we got kicked out of the delivery room by a nurse who made Nurse Ratched look like Mother Teresa,” he said.