At Deeds rally, Obama defends his Administration
It was a rally that had the potential to inject new life into the campaign of State Senator Creigh Deeds. Thursday night President Barack Obama delivered his trademark enthusiasm, but he also used the opportunity to answer critics of his administration.
At least half of his approximately 30 minute speech, was dedicated to federal issues and the criticism his administration has received during his early days in office. The President passionately defended his stimulus plan, his efforts to provide assistance to people out of work and his plan to give tax cuts for the middle class.
But the President did not stop at touting his own accomplishments, he went right after critics, namely Republicans, who are attacking him, by hammering the previous administration.
“When I walked in we had a one point three trillion dollar deficit, that was gift-wrapped and waiting for me when I walked into the oval office,” said President Obama.
Obama, who is accustom to massive rallies of tens of thousands of people in Virginia, was greeted by a much smaller crowd for this rally. There were just under 1,500 people in attendance, the maximum allowed in the same ballroom at the Hilton McLean that Virginia democrats used to celebrate his victory last November. Before the event, Obama headlined a high dollar fundraiser where tickets reportedly went for $2,300 a pop.
((More on the President’s event can be found after the jump))
Deeds seemed to enjoy his moment in the Commander-in-Chief’s spotlight. He joked at the beginning of his remarks that he was “trying to get over the fact that that the President of the United States flew Marine One here to Virginia, for me!” He dedicated his speech to promising to protect education funding in Virginia and attack Bob McDonnell’s transportation plan that he claims will take funding from commonwealth schools.
Right before the event, Deeds’ campaign manager Joe Abbey sent supporters an e-mail encouraging them to get involved in the candidates’ new organizing tool, hoping to capitalize on the momentum he was hoping Obama could create.
Republicans sensing vulnerability in Virginia voters’ view of the President seemed to embrace the idea of Senator Deeds lining up next to the leader of the free world. Congressman Eric Cantor called on Deeds to reveal where he stands on key issues that the White House has embraced, like Cap and Trade and Card Check.
Today on NBC12 First at Four our political analyst Dan Palazzolo told me that Virginia Gubernatorial races are often about the popularity of the sitting President. Even though it seemed that it seemed that Barack Obama spent a lot of time helping himself tonight, that tactic may be exactly what Creigh Deeds needs.
To get an idea just how much time the President spent defending his work in the White House, take a look at the lengthy 6 minute clip of his speech..