Photo op Photo Credit:  Politico

Monday morning, Governor Terry McAuliffe joined President Barack Obama and LGBT advocates as the President signed his executive order to provide special protections for sexual preference and gender identity.

Why was our governor there? His presence at this signing is because the state of Virginia overwhelming supports such initiatives, right?

Of course not.

This was a classic McAuliffe photo opportunity. The governor never passes up the chance to be seen alongside the country’s most powerful people. So, rather than being at home in his own state attempting to fix the many problems Virginia is currently facing, McAuliffe is travelling up to Washington, D.C. to pose for photos.

This isn’t unexpected considering McAuliffe’s background before being elected governor. The man has never held a public office; rather, his experience comes from fundraising for presidential campaigns for both of the Clintons and serving as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Small wonder McAuliffe is focused on the general, national Democratic agenda rather than focusing on the specific problems that Virginia is currently facing.

Virginia is facing economic decline. Unemployment has gone up from 4.9% to 5.3% in the past three months alone. Rated the Best State for Business in 2007, 2009, and 2011, Virginia has now dropped to fifth place, tied with Utah. After an incredibly tumultuous budget crisis last month, we’re still facing an overwhelming revenue downfall.  Not to mention the still unresolved issue of ObamaCare expansion.

And yet, McAuliffe is in Washington, D.C. with his buddy Obama, posing for pictures concerning an issue that he has basically forced on Virginians so he can make the right personal political connections.

While the above photo demonstrates McAuliffe’s support for LGBT rights, it also exemplifies his comradery with Obama and Obama’s love of executive orders: When the democratic process doesn’t produce the result you wanted, use your executive order to do it anyway!  Then go play golf or attend a fundraiser.

There’s just one problem: the legislative process exists to keep aggressive executives from seizing too much power.  Obama’s recent executive order concerning LGBT rights and McAuliffe’s determination to pass Medicaid expansion outside the legislative process epitomizes that neither of these leaders respects our constitutionally established political system.   But they do look good in pictures.

Admin Note:  This blog post was written by Natalie Wyman, one of our 2014 summer college interns.