Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is in Asia — beating President Trump there by three weeks — to build trade ties and bring jobs home, both of which will help his likely 2020 presidential bid.
Trump plans to travel to five Asian nations from Nov. 3-14, his longest foreign trip yet, but McAuliffe is already there for a four-day visit in Japan that started Wednesday.
"With more than 550 international companies from over 55 countries calling Virginia home, I look forward to closing more deals during this mission that will create more jobs and economic opportunities for the citizens of the Commonwealth," the governor said in a statement announcing his trip.
He has made job creation a key part of his time in Richmond and McAuliffe noted that the jobs created by some 70 Japanese-based firms in Virginia total 6,215.
His official website also plays up key blue collar achievements including one section for "Jobs Created" and two others on infrastructure, issues similar to those Trump won on in 2016. He is a big promoter of Virginia breweries and wineries.
The Clinton ally has also been a vocal critic of Trump, most recently ripping the president's decision on abortion coverage.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org