Gillespie, McAuliffe Speak at Congressional City Conference

Article excerpt

Ed Gillespie, former counselor to the President and former chairman of the Republican National Committee, and Terry McAuliffe, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and former chairman of Hillary Clinton for President, addressed NLC members during the morning general session at the Congressional City Conference in Washington, D.C., on March 12. The speakers provided attendees with insights on the upcoming election and the current political climate in Washington.

Gillespie and McAuliffe agreed that the presidential race in November will be a close one, and that the next nine months will be interesting to observe. Both also agreed that Romney is the most likely candidate for the Republican nomination, although McAuliffe was more confident of Obama's eventual victory, noting the advantage of an incumbent president and citing concerns that the fractious primary would hurt the Republican candidate in the general election. Gillespie outlined several scenarios: a status quo, in which Obama wins and Congress remains split; a Republican takeover of the White House and Congress; or an Obama victory balanced by a fully Republican Congress. McAuliffe predicted Democrats making gains in both the House and Senate, but not sufficiently for a super majority.

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Both speakers addressed the issue of polarization in Washington. …