Parham Road Showdown
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.