Cockburn’s rug-cutting days are behind him. An unfortunate misunderstanding with the wife of an Ecuadorian chargé d’affairs during a Georgetown salsa class means he now steers well clear of the dancefloor.
But he learned enough in his time to know that Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate for Virginia governor, has a strong claim to the title of worst boogier inside the Beltway.
The Macker’s moves gained fresh attention when the former governor, floundering in his bid for another stint in his old job, started shaking his hips alongside Joe Biden at a rally in Arlington this week.
Everyone else on the stage seems to know what to do: stand, smile and wave. Pretend we’re not bombing in the polls, pat each other on the back, hold our hands in the air. But Terry can’t stop that feeling.
The beat of Ben Rector’s vanilla pop hit “Drive” starts pulsating through his body and his knees suddenly swing from side to side like he’s slaloming his way to Winter Olympics gold. The hips soon follow. Then the belly. And then the arms go into the air. Cockburn has a strict no-arms-above-shoulder-height policy when it comes to dancing. But Terry didn’t get the memo. He flails with the abandon of a bride-to-be three margaritas down on her Nashville bachelorette.
Cringe, part ∞ pic.twitter.com/pl2DWyZ4RE
— Jake Schneider (@jacobkschneider) October 27, 2021
Cockburn regrets to inform you that this unseemly display is nothing new.
Only last week, he was on the rally stage with Barack Obama in Richmond when he was hit by the same, seemingly uncontrollable urge to dance. The music is blaring, everyone is doing what politicians are supposed to do. But the smile-and-wave isn’t enough for Terry. This time it’s the neck that takes the lead, his head bobbing like a rooster in a hurry.
Then the Macker deploys a tried and tested classic: the double-fist uncle-at-a-wedding shimmy. He looks around in the vain hope that someone will join him in a boogie. No one takes the bait. Barack glances at this electoral liability and walks right by him.
Our next stop on the guided tour of Terry’s house of dance move horrors takes us back to June. This five-second clip should arguably come with a trigger warning. But Cockburn knows his readers are made of stern stuff.
I heard folks wanted more dancing videos! pic.twitter.com/S4fPaEpK2X
— Terry McAuliffe (@TerryMcAuliffe) June 8, 2021
As you can see, this time we deviate from the usual formula for a McAuliffe boogie. First, Terry is off the stage and cutting loose on terra firma. Second, this is a rare occasion when he isn’t the only person dancing. As Mark Morrison’s “Return of the Mack” plays, Terry goes through some strange full-body contortions, smiling at the crowd in search of approval. “I hear folks wanted more dancing videos,” reads his caption to the video. Please, Terry, no!
Cockburn could go on. McAuliffe’s career as Clinton fixer and Washington mediocrity is littered with public displays of rhythmlessness.
Cringe won, said many a commentator, after Biden’s electoral triumph last November. We will soon find out whether the same is true for Virginia’s king of the dad moves.
All we know for now is that there has never been a more embarrassing display of political dancing than the Macker. Except perhaps 2020 presidential candidate Tom Steyer shaking his backside with Juvenile to “Back That Thang Up.” A horrifying spectacle that Cockburn wishes he could unsee.