A former Macker associate assures me that Terry's erstwhile Southern accent may be odd but is not tied to his current political aspirations:
FYI, this weird affect of Terry’s is nothing new. When I worked for him at the DNC, his speeches and interviews were promiscuously sprinkled with “muh wahf, Dorothy” and so on. We called him on it repeatedly. He claimed to not even know he was doing it. Some of us thought it came from hanging around Clinton so much. I suspected it was just a half-conscious grasping attempt at some sort of regular-American authenticity. Anyway, it’s an old tic and pre-dates any real pursuit of higher office in Virginia.
I for one don't buy the notion that the Macker utters a syllable without careful political calculation. But I am more troubled by the possibility that Terry, born and bred in upstate New York, somehow, consciously or unconsciously, developed on off-again-on-again Southern accent by hanging with Bill Clinton. If true, this suggests a level of idol-worship/sycophancy that borders on the unhealthy.
Whatever the origins of the affectation, McAuliffe should work on weeding it out. It would be one thing if he had simply gone whole hog with the drawl. But since he retains his Yankee intonations most of the time, the sporadic Southern bits come across as both daffy and phony--a bit like Poppy Bush's waxing rhapsodic about pork rinds.