Archive for September 9th, 2008
John McCain’s campaign just announced that it has been forced to switch venues for tomorrow’s event with McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin because of an “overwhelming response” from people hoping to attend. Supporters have been invited to go to local offices to pick up tickets or RSVP on the McCain web site.
Instead of the event being held at Fairfax High School it will now be held next door at Van Dyke Dyck Park. The McCain campaign claims that the response has been double what the field house at Fairfax High School can hold and moving it to the park will ensure that everyone who wants to go will be let in.
The Washington Post is reporting that the McCain campaign was forced to change the venue because of complaints by school board members and parents of the Fairfax County School System. The McCain Campaign is holding to their statement that it was because of the “overwhelming response” not because of the protest. A Fairfax County School official told the Post that it was the campaign’s decision to move venues.
It will be interesting to see how this impacts the event itself. The field house hold 6,500 people and the McCain camp has said that their RSVP’s were far beyond that number. We shall see if the crowd is more than the 6,500 number.
This development follows a trend for McCain, since his pick of Palin as his running mate. Yesterday in stops in other swing states, lines of people waiting to attend the events, wrapped around buildings.
To be fair, this is a new problem for McCain and one that the Obama campaign has been dealing with almost since he began running. I covered his first visit to Virginia after Hillary Clinton dropped out of the race in Prince William County, which was held at the Nissan Pavilion. That venue normally holds rock concerts. Here is a photo from that event, which brought in somewhere near 5,000 people.
However, this is the sign of a trend that shows McCain is closing the enthusiasim gap. It is something that has long been one of his biggest problems, and a variable that the Obama campaign is hoping could help them steal a reliably red state like Virginia.
In addition to the incredible attention that Virginia will be getting over the next few months, we will also be under an intense glare from the media as well. NBC announced today that the “Today Show” will broadcast a series of shows from swing states across the U-S. Virginia is among those states.
Today will take an in depth look at the battle for Pennsylvania, Florida, Virginia and Michigan leading up to the first Presidential Debate on September 26th.
They will broadcast live from Norfolk on Wednesday September 23rd.
Barack Obama will now spend two days in the Commonwealth, in direct competition to John McCain and Sarah Palin’s appearence in Fairfax tomorrow.
Obama’s campaign announced today that he will also hold an event at a High School in Norfolk on Wednesday. It will be part of the roll out of his new education plan. The event is closed to the public, only invited guests will be allowed to attend. Obama plans to talk about his plans to prepare students for the “global economy”. He is delivering a major education address today in Ohio, which will be followed by his event in Lebanon later this evening.
What I found interesting in the release from the Obama campaign is the following line:
“The event will be Obama’s fifth visit to Virginia since winning the primary, and his second since securing the Democratic nomination.”
It appears that Obama’s folks are hoping to mute the anticipation of McCain’s first visit to Virginia since wrapping up the nomination. There is no doubt that the Republican nominee’s event will be given special attention because it will be the first. Obama wants to make sure we remember that he has already been here many times. There is no doubt that Obama’s campaign views Virginia as one of the key “Bush” states that they can steal in 2008.
On NBC12 we will have coverage from all three events over the next two days. I will be at the McCain/Palin event in Fairfax and will liveblog the event on decisionvirginia.com.
You can now see the entire interview with Senator John McCain in the video player on our political web site, decisionvirginia.com.
It is also available here in our pop-up video player.
We are now starting to get some active comments from viewers and I hope they keep coming. I am interested to hear what you have to say.