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.
Virginia News Stand: November 17, 2009Nov. 17, 2009
Annotations & Elucidations The Governor's Take
The education poll leads the news, but by now you know all about that. As for politics, Governor Tim Kaine is all about the long knives, now, criticizing Creigh Deeds for his campaign, as if the DNC chairman had no say so in it. I would write that it's easy for him to complain, but what does he know? He wasn't in Virginia for the campaign (rim shot, please).
The bulk of the news is about the House of Delegates: The Appropriations Committee gets a budget briefing during its annual two-day Capitol retreat; recently defeated Delegate Phil Hamilton (R-93, Newport News) announced his resignation, effective Sunday; and each caucus held it's leadership votes over the weekend. The Republican lineup remains the same while the Democrats seem to have a position for every member of its diminished number.
In education news, about 10 teachers at a Henrico County high school are complaining about a guest speaker who advocates abstinence. Yeah. Hate speech. Speaking of communication and culture, a real blow to the Washington, D.C., media community: The homosexual advocacy publication Washington Blade is closing its doors.
Poll: Virginians like public schools but would like more nonpublic options (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Democrat Deeds ran without his base, Kaine says (Washington Post)
House committee to hear state budget forecast (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Va. House caucuses choose leaders (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Phil Hamilton resigns from House of Delegates (The Daily Press)
Freeman High abstinence-only speaker draws fire (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Health care-sharing ministries: Paying their fair share (Roanoke Times)
Gay weekly Washington Blade closes (Washington Post)
Washington Blade closes; new paper for gays planned (Washington Times)