Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) is planning to liven up the governor’s house in an effort to woo Republicans and forward his agenda, and he has some special ingredients: top-shelf liquor and craft beer.
The Washington Post reported that the governor wanted to throw “Sixty parties in 60 days!” during the two-month legislative session, which ends in early March. He’s personally paid for and stocked up on better booze and microbrews at the governor’s house; he’s also catering daily breakfasts for the non-drinkers.
McAuliffe’s open invitation and open, upgraded bar are part of a broader effort to win over Republicans who knew the former Democratic National Committee chairman only through attack ads and media accounts.
The governor will need to get along with the GOP if he’s going to achieve some of the goals he laid out in the campaign. Most notably, expanding Medicaid under Obamacare will require Republicans in the legislature to sign off, and they’ve not been particularly receptive to that idea so far.
Based on the early response, he might be making general headway with the charm offensive, though. Republican State Sen. Thomas Garrett offered some kind words to the Post after spending an evening with McAuliffe.
“He’s got a sense of humor, nice fella,” Garrett said. “Everybody’s more charming after a few drinks.”