Archive for October 5th, 2008
The Evan Bayh event just wrapped up in Henrico, with an understandably smaller crowd than originally expected. It is funny to think what draws people to events like these. Two months ago in the thick of a Vice-Presidential showdown, a Bayh event would’ve have been a pretty big draw. Now that he was passed over, he is well, just another Senator.
Here is a picture from the event. Tune in tonight at 11, for Laura Geller’s report on both the Bayh and McCain rallies.
We had a little bit of news today in the race for Richmond Mayor. This is our Richmond reporter Rachael DePompa’s day off, she normally covers this on her beat at Decision Richmond. (She has dubbed the event “Endorsement-Gate”)
You may have heard that Delegate Dwight Jones recently earned the endorsement of the Richmond Democratic Committee. This endorsement is more symbolic than it is substantive because candidates for office in the city of Richmond, technically run non-partisan campaigns. In other words, they are not running under the banner of any specific political party.
However, the endorsement of the city committee carries weight because the city is largely democratic and all of the candidates running for mayor consider themselves democrats. There is no doubt that any of these individuals would love to run under the democratic banner, the same banner that will carry Barack Obama’s name come November.
When Jones was given the endorsement, it caused a major uproar, because the committee did not endorse by an up or down vote. This caused the other candidates to cry foul and claim that Jones obtained the endorsement through backroom deals and they leveled many other harsh political terms like “egregious” “inappropriate” and a “conflict of interest”. Candidate Paul Goldman even suggested that Jones not refer to himself as the endorsed candidate until the whole thing gets hashed out.
Goldman, supported by Robert Grey and Bill Pantele has filed a formal appeal to revisit the endorsement, which will be heard tomorrow night. Today he called a press conference along with Grey and Pantele to reiterate his strong opposition to the way the endorsement was handled.
During the press conference, (which was held outside the offices of the Times-Dispatch, apparently in an effort to maximize coverage and leave the paper without an excuse not to cover it). Goldman went as far as to say that if Jones were elected Mayor along with the taint of this unfair endorsement deal, he may not be able to compentently serve the people. Here is his quote:
“We cannot afford to do it wrong because when the next mayor speaks and asks for sacrifice and the people think that he was elected by a tainted process, the people will not follow that Mayor.”
Another interesting side note to this impromptu press conference, was a side story that is indicative of the fight for coverage amongst the 5 candidates for Mayor. Paul Goldman regularly calls press conferences and sends out press releases, many of which never get covered. About a month ago, the opponents in the race started a new tactic where they banded together to hold events, hoping to entice the media to show. (Which worked to a point).
However, given the limits of their time, the candidates don’t often hedge their bets and show up to these events because they don’t want to be left standing around waiting for the media that may never show. Today two of the candidates scheduled to appear were there and one was not. That was until our cameras rolled up (we were the only tv station to cover the event). At that point this particular candidate’s staffer frantically called him and told him it might not be a bad idea if he showed up. He was there within 20 minutes.
I let you decide which candidate of the three in attendance fits which role.
We’ll have pictures from the event during tonight’s 6pm newscast.
Today will be an interesting one for a quiet stretch of Parham Road in Henrico County. The Obama-Biden campaign will be bringing Indiana Senator Evan Bayh to J.R. Tucker High School to pinch hit for Vice Presidential candidate Joe Biden who was forced to cancel his appearance there because of an illness in the family.
What is interesting about this particular event is that it is happening right across the street from the McCain-Palin Richmond area headquarters. This was not lost on McCain supporters who held an counter-event of their own with former POW and McCain friend Paul Galanti. Our reporter Laura Geller is on the scene and sent me this picture of the scene there.
The Obama-Biden event featuring the Senator Bayh, who was at one time on the short list to be Obama’s running mate (remember that speculation) will happen at 5. I’ll share with you some pictures of that event later on.
There is some intrigue to these dueling events because of a story today from Politico that indicates that some high ranking Virginia Republicans are starting to get nervous that Barack Obama may be in a position to steal Virginia from the GOP. The story has quotes from Tom Davis and Eric Cantor, who don’t come right out and voice their frustration, but allude to the fact that the Republicans have not dedicated the type of resources the Democrats have.
The most stinging quote comes from an unnamed “Richmond based GOP-Operative” who complained that McCain “didn’t take threat seriously soon enough… One public visit since securing the nomination and I can’t tell you one significant surrogate who has come.”
It is interesting that this unnamed operative mentions the lack of high profile surrogates on a day like today where within minutes of Biden being forced to cancel, the Obama camp announced that Bayh would be taking his place. Not that Evan Bayh is Hillary Clinton, but the McCain campaign has not had anyone the likes of his stature here to tout McCain’s credentials. That in addition to only one significant visit since wrapping up the nomination compared to Obama’s visits which now number more than a dozen.
McCain’s Virginia supporters, including George Allen (who talked to many Virginia TV stations yesterday) seemed to hint that a McCain or Palin visit was on the horizon, but did not give any indication as to when or where.
There is no doubt however, that Obama’s relentless efforts to close the gap in the polls, coupled with a surge in new voters (voter registration ends Monday) have made this state a solid toss-up and leaves it very vulnerable for Republicans come November.