Big Guns' Appearances Within Week Enhance Virginia's Battleground StatusAug. 15, 2012
Unless you are living a fully hermetic life, you know Virginia is as much at the crossroads in the presidential campaign as it was for the armies of Washington, Rochambeau and Cornwallis in the summer and fall of 1781. Advertisements fill the airwaves during local programming on both television and radio and pop up on computer screens as people with Virginia ZIP Codes peruse social media sites, calls set off ring tones, and door knockers appear at our front steps with bright and shiny smiles. Nothing too unusual, especially in recent years as Virginia has trended "purple." But it has started earlier than ever — by months. While Democrats used to write off Virginia during presidential years, Barack Obama's superbly organized campaign and large crowd appearances changed the dynamic here and forced campaign stops by the Republican ticket in 2008. If some appearances during the home stretch four years ago put the spotlight on the commonwealth, how do three major swings through the Old Dominion within one August week sound?
News came down yesterday that newly minted Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan will be in downtown Richmond Thursday night with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal for a fundraiser and then on Friday morning hold a rally in the suburb of Glen Allen at Deep Run High School (see Richmond Times-Dispatch). Friday he and Governor Jindal will hold a fundraiser in Arlington. This comes on the heels of GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Ryan working the I-64/95 crescent Saturday with stops in Norfolk, Ashland and Manassas as part of Ryan's national introduction. Picking Virginia for the announcement of Ryan's selection in and of itself speaks volumes to the importance and weight Virginia carries in this year's election. This newly announced swing bookends a trip through South and Southwest Virginia yesterday by Vice President Joe Biden, who made national news in his own special way.
If all that isn't enough, tomorrow afternoon Governor Jindal will be the featured guest at a meet and greet at the South Chesterfield Victory office. For more information about any of these events, click here. These specific site visits underscore the sophistication of the modern campaign, with micro targeting of specific sections of certain areas to turn out and excite voters.
While it may all sound exciting, it also has the potential to test the endurance of even the hardest of hard core political junkies. Try to enjoy the rest of your summer. This fall we will have as much room for escape from the noise as Cornwallis did the Americans and French.