Campus & Community

Around the Schools: Harvard Kennedy School

2 min read

Harvard Kennedy School

Longtime Democratic political operative Terry McAuliffe is a visiting fellow this year at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics. He appeared at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum last week (Oct. 6) with nearly everything you need to raise funds and run campaigns: a dark suit, a lime green tie, tasseled shoes, and a can of diet Coke.

You might also need one other thing to be a 30-year kingpin in politics: enough energy to power a small city. For an hour of lecturing (15 minutes) and answering questions (45 minutes), the wavy-haired McAuliffe tirelessly paced, pointed, predicted, and reminisced.

During the presidential election of 2008 — when McAuliffe was national chair of the Hillary Clinton bid — two state contests hurt her the most, he said: Iowa (where she lost) and Indiana (where news of her win was delayed by five hours, missing the news cycle).

In Indiana, Hillary and Bill were finally poised to go on stage, but the delay had them both in a dark mood — nothing you would want television cameras to see, McAuliffe said. So he did what any loyal campaigner would do: tore one pants leg open from ankle to thigh. The Clintons went laughing into the limelight.

McAuliffe, miming the whole story on stage, said he had stapled the pants together after an earlier mishap.