McAuliffe considers accomplishments and unfinished business as he prepares to leave office

Published: Dec. 27, 2017 at 7:37 PM EST
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After four years in the governor's office, Terry McAuliffe says he still enjoys the job.

"Listen, I've loved it. I think I've probably enjoyed this job more than any Governor in the history of America."

He does have results to crow about, including major improvement in the state's finances, a significant decline in the unemployment rate and billions of dollars of new investment in Virginia.

"People like what we're doing here," McAuliffe told WDBJ7 in a recent interview. "The economy is back, unemployment is now the second lowest of any major state in America, a record of 20-billion of new investment here. People like what we've done on education, on transportation."

But the last four years have not passed without challenges:

"Clearly Charlottesville was the worst day of my life," McAuliffe told us.

McAuliffe said it was tough to watch white supremacists marching on the streets of Charlottesville, to see the violent clashes that led to the death of Heather Heyer and then to grieve with the families of two state troopers who died when their helicopter went down.

He implemented emergency rules for rallies at Richmond's Lee Statue, and he says he will propose legislation that would allow localities to ban guns at protests.

His biggest policy disappointment, McAullife admits, was his inability to get the legislature to approve Medicaid expansion.

He's hopeful Ralph Northam will have better luck with a more evenly divided House of Delegates.

"You know I always go in big, bold and shoot for the moon and maybe you don't always get it, maybe you end up with the stars, but you're a lot better off if you start here, than if you start down here," McAuliffe said.

Before we ended our interview, McAuliffe showed us around an office decorated with family photos and a painting of the first family's dog Guinness who died in August.

As for his life beyond the Patrick Henry Building: McAullife says he will spend 2018 helping to elect Democrats in three dozen governor's races around the country.

And what about the speculation he might run for President? McAuliffe says that question will have to wait until 2019.