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Terry McAuliffe’s Unique Status at the Washington Palm Restaurant

The Virginia Governor-elect has his picture on the walls three times.

The three Terrys at the Palm. Photographs by Carol Ross Joynt.

Most Washington power players are thrilled to make the wall of the Palm restaurant on 19th Street, Northwest. When your sketched portrait joins those adorning every square inch of wall space (and even some on the ceiling) at the Palm, it gives you an elite status enjoyed by politicians, lawyers, lobbyists, socialites, broadcast journalists, and some very good customers. But only one player has his picture up there three times: Virginia’s Governor-elect, Terry McAuliffe.

There’s early-era Terry, called “Terence” and sporting glasses, which, we’re told, he put on “to look older”; there’s middle-era Terry, looking a little slicker and leaner; and there’s current-era Terry, looking more mature, with some gray hair at the temples. We asked general manager Michael Melore how McAuliffe scored such a wall coup. “Over the years it just happened that way,” he said. Even McAuliffe’s good friend, former President Bill Clinton, is up there only twice.

McAuliffe is a good customer at the Palm, and we can certainly understand why. Everywhere he looks, he sees himself. After his swearing-in next year, however, he may have to switch his allegiance to the Tysons Corner branch of the famed steakhouse.

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