The interview: Terry McAuliffe & the Boston Attack
By Michael R. Shannon
web posted April 22, 2013
(A source within the McAuliffe for Governor campaign leaked a copy of this transcript from an interview with a New York Times Sunday Magazine reporter. I felt I owed it to my readers to give them an advance look at this latest development in the Virginia governor’s race.)
NYT REPORTER: Governor McAuliffe, ha, that’s a bit premature, Mr. McAuliffe I could not help noticing at today’s media event that you were surrounded by all the genders of the rainbow, all ages and all races. And what’s more, everyone was wearing jogging clothes and actually smelled a little sweaty. Do you think the symbolism was important for your new legislative agenda?
Terry McAuliffe (D–Flim Flam) candidate for governor in Virginia: (Laughs) Well President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg had already booked the famous Boston marathoners, so we made do with local volunteers and a few of the better kept homeless. I will say we had a few problems convincing the older gentlemen to put on those tiny running shorts, but everyone was a good sport and happy to do a few laps around my indoor track to get in character for the event.
NYT: Tell us about this new legislation.
McAuliffe: It’s very simple. This is a problem and I have a government solution. After I’m sworn in, during my first hour as Virginia’s new governor I intend to introduce legislation to implement what I call common–sense pressure cooker control that all American’s can support.
NYT: How will it work?
McAuliffe: The centerpiece of the legislation is a one–per–month limit on pressure cooker sales to civilians. Purchasers will be entered into a statewide Culinary Registry where their name will be matched against previous purchases. This is a painless process for shoppers, which we will begin in upscale department stores. If their name comes up as having purchased a pressure cooker less than a month previously, they will be directed to a nice toaster oven or blender. In fact, if they are willing to give us their email address, the state will notify them when they are eligible to again purchase a pressure cooker.
NYT: The program will be limited to Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus?
McAuliffe: Certainly not. I’m aware that good value can be found at Target and something called ‘Big Lots.’ In fact, I intend to close the so–called ‘second–hand loophole.’ We will regulate sales at flea markets and thrift stores. Just because you may ‘no hablo’ doesn’t mean you should not register your purchase. I’ll give the secretary of technology six months to come up with an ‘app’ that will allow Smartphone registration in smaller stores and at garage sales.
NYT: So the legislation is just a limit on the number of purchases?
McAuliffe: No, I should have said a comprehensive, common–sense approach. There will also be a limit on the size of pressure cookers. No one really needs one of those high–capacity pressure cookers. Herbert Hoover only promised a single chicken in every pot, not an entire flock. And at our house my cook, Consuela, has never had to use a high–capacity pressure cooker. And that includes the really big fund raising events Bill Clinton attended before he became a vegan.
My kitchen experts also tell me that with the shrinking size of the American family and the distaste professional women display toward cooking, pressure cookers of 3 or possibly 4-quart capacity will be sufficient.
In addition, we also have design guidelines for cookers sold in Virginia. We want manufacturers to cut down on the number of dials and vaguely threatening controls found on some pressure cookers. In my experience newlywed cooking is frightening enough without adding an ominous pressure device to the mix.
NYT: Will this legislation have any impact on the Virginia economy?
McAuliffe: Of course I don’t want to do anything that would harm job creation. That’s one of my most popular focus group tested talking points. We certainly don’t want an Obamacare situation here. So there will be a size limit exception for commercial establishments that may require a larger–capacity cooker for their clientele. Right now homeless shelters, soup kitchens, prisons and Old Country Buffett are exempt from both size and purchase limits.
NYT: But what about existing large capacity pressure cookers that are already owned?
McAuliffe: The size of the existing pressure cooker market is nothing like that of the gun market, thank goodness. Plus there is no National Cooker Association pressuring gutless legislators. I feel that as inexperienced newlyweds burn things in pressure cookers, divorce papers are filed and just the general wear and tear of moving occur, the large capacity pressure cooker inventory will be reduced to a manageable size.
NYT: What about the public health component of your program?
McAuliffe: That’s important, too. The director of the state department of health will be encouraging pediatricians to ask their minor patients if they live in a house that contains pressure cooker and if so where is it stored. It’s important to know who has access to the cookware. We are also considering including a few questions on the amount of salt used in cooking and the presence of trans–fats.
NYT: Do you feel these common–sense regulations will remove the threat?
McAuliffe: This will certainly reduce the threat that originates in the kitchen, but at the same time, I don’t want to overlook the delivery system used in the Boston attack. I think the day of large, military–style backpacks is over. Black, camo or other assault backpacks are simply not necessary for civilian transport. When we were all still reeling from the tragedy, I was leaning toward banning backpacks entirely, but when my daughter pointed out the crucial role backpacks play in our education system, I relented.
NYT: What backpacks will be allowed in the future?
McAuliffe: We are currently writing the new regulations, but I think most backpacks that feature licensed characters or come from OshKosh B’Gosh, REI or Victoria’s Secret will be allowed, particularly if the backpack has those sexy little stringy straps. I also intend for the state patrol to conduct “backpack buy back” programs where outlawed backpack owners can turn in illegal backpacks in exchange for reusable grocery bags.
NYT: How long before Virginians can expect to see a difference?
McAuliffe: As the War on Poverty has proved, no problem that government attacks is really ever solved, but I think this is an important first step.
Michael R. Shannon is a public relations and advertising consultant with corporate, government and political experience around the globe. He is a dynamic and entertaining keynote speaker. He can be reached at mandate.mmpr (at) gmail.com. He is also the author of the forthcoming book: "Funny Conservative" Is Not an Oxymoron. (Or any other type of moron.)