Filed under Feature, Showcase

McAuliffe Visits WMC

Governor+McAuliffe+and+WMC+Director++Andrew+McCullough+
Governor McAuliffe and WMC Director  Andrew McCullough

Governor McAuliffe and WMC Director Andrew McCullough

Governor McAuliffe and WMC Director Andrew McCullough

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The smell of competition permeated Maggie Walker’s halls as about 200 delegates attended the sixth annual Walker Model Congress (WMC), held on February 17th and 18th, 2017. The fresh faces of many middle schoolers and high school underclassmen, eager to participate in their first conference, mixed with the competitive gazes of veteran Model Congress participants, ready to shine bright and secure a gavel. Model Congress is an activity in which a diverse group of students simulate the principal governing body of the United States and tackle prominent issues in contemporary and historic America. This year, committees at WMC debated the Fourth Amendment’s legality and practicality, enacted immigration reform, and reimagined the 1968 Democratic and Republican National Conventions. Opening the conference was Virginia’s 72nd and current Governor Terry McAuliffe, who spoke briefly about his background and his hopes for the Commonwealth after receiving a letter from conference director Andrew McCullough (‘17), inviting him to attend.

 

At first, Governor McAuliffe spoke of his early experiences with business and taking risks, describing his first work experience, as a fourteen-year-old, sealing driveways in Syracuse, New York. He moved up from driveways to parking lots, and soon he bought his first car, a beat-up, well-worn automobile. He described how ecstatic he was, speeding down the highway, in a car with no license and no plates, windows down, horn on full blast, waving at the state police troopers on the highway. While the young McAuliffe learned that taking chances was vital, he also discovered that learning from his mistakes was just as critical to success.

 

Gov. McAuliffe translated his willingness to take risks into his early political campaigning. While in law school, he forfeited his scholarship to work on President Carter’s re-election campaign. His risk-taking led to his becoming the youngest policy director on a modern presidential campaign, at the tender age of 22. As a businessman, he became close with power couple Bill and Hillary Clinton during the former’s presidency, later serving as one of Hillary’s 2008 campaign co-chairmen after a four-year stint as chairman of the Democratic National Convention. After the bid for nomination failed, he decided to run for office himself; in 2009, he ran for the Democratic nomination for Governor of Virginia on a platform of change, including propositions for high-speed rail and renewable energy investment. However, he took second place in that primary, but that didn’t set him back. “You’re gonna get knocked down. That’s all right,” he offered. In 2013, he came back, and was elected governor. He recalled his excitement: “Patrick Henry, our first governor, Thomas Jefferson, our second, and now, Terry McAuliffe! What a country!”

 

The governor then pivoted to his political agenda and vision. As governor, Mr. McAuliffe has conducted 22 trade missions overseas in an effort to diversify Virginia’s economy and promote independence from the federal government; Virginia is the number-one recipient of Department of Defense dollars for federal procurement and contracting. Gov. McAuliffe views these trade missions as vital, citing the statistic that 99% of Virginia’s customers live outside the Commonwealth itself. He chalked up the fact that Virginia’s unemployment is at its lowest since 1973 and that the economy has grown because the Commonwealth accepts everyone. “There are no walls around our state,” he declared amidst applause. He promised to veto any bill that would discriminate, pointing to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Atlantic Coast Conference, Deutsche Bank, and Paypal’s decisions to leave North Carolina in response to HB2, a bill removing anti-discrimination protections for LGBT individuals. From North Carolina to Richmond came 732 jobs as a result of HB2; the governor painted his vetoes of similar laws as common sense business practices. “I’m 71-0 with vetoes right now,” exhorted McAuliffe over cheers.The crowd assembled reacted favorably to some of Gov. McAuliffe’s political positions, as well. He described his restoration of rights as his “finest executive order”, quoting Delegate Glass’s words from 1901 in favor of Virginia’s draconian felon voting rights policy: “This plan will eliminate the darkie as a political factor in this State…”

 

Finally, Gov. McAuliffe refocused his speech on education. He explained that 3,600 cyber-jobs were open in the Commonwealth today, some of which have starting salaries of $88,000, but he described a lack of Virginian talent to fill these positions, some of which, he claimed, required just two years of community college. His calls for reforming public education were received well—he recalled his elimination of five SOLs to raucous applause. He left the crowd with a vignette of advice from his own career: “I try not to veer too far to the left or too far to the right. If you operate that middle of the road, you will get things done!”

 

After the governor wrapped up his speech, McCullough presented him with his own WMC gavel. Andrew asked the governor to give it a try, but the governor had something else in mind. “Can I gavel us in?” he asked Andrew. The seventeen-year old relented, and at Governor McAuliffe’s behest, WMC 2017 began.

 

Print Friendly

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • McAuliffe Visits WMC

    News

    Dr. Robert Lowerre Appointed New MLWGS Director

  • McAuliffe Visits WMC

    Feature

    College Crunch Time

  • McAuliffe Visits WMC

    Feature

    GSMUN: Two Decades, Two Speakers

  • McAuliffe Visits WMC

    Editorial

    The Nature of Change

  • McAuliffe Visits WMC

    Feature

    Modeling Class Travels to Phoenix for Diamond Dollars Competition, Takes the Gold

  • McAuliffe Visits WMC

    Feature

    Fantastic Future Dragons

  • McAuliffe Visits WMC

    Feature

    BCC Takes NYC

  • Showcase

    Wrestling State Championships

  • McAuliffe Visits WMC

    Showcase

    Winter Season Wrapups

  • McAuliffe Visits WMC

    Feature

    Mr. U Goes to Richmond

McAuliffe Visits WMC