Archive for May 29th, 2009
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney was in Richmond, Friday night to help kickoff the Republican Party of Virginia’s convention and raise some cash for the state organization.
Romney is widely believed to be considering a run for President in 2012 and making a trip to Virginia, a battleground state, only helps to add fuel to that speculation. Romney said that 2012, is too far down the road to begin talk about candidates for president, but did say he will be back to Virginia, to help elect Republicans at all levels, any way he can.
As someone who has already run for president, and may be considering it again, Romney has a vested interest in the Republican party improving its prospects at the ballot box. He said that current Democratic policies are not the direction that he believes most Americans want to go down. Romney pointed to the governor’s races in New Jersey and Virginia as opportunities for Republicans and the voting public to prove that.
Romney is the third potential Republican candidate for president in 2012 to visit the commonwealth after Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.
After the jump, I have an extended clip from Romney’s remarks including him being pressed a bit about his intentions for 2012.
**UPDATE** see the Democrat response to the Romney visit after the jump.
The elephants have arrived in Richmond. Over the next two days Republicans from across Virginia will be here to formally nominate Bob McDonnell as their candidate for governor. In addition to McDonnell’s symbolic victory, there are a few down-ballot squabbles that threaten to overshadow his acceptance of the nomination.
I will be at the Richmond Convention Center Coliseum starting this afternoon as the festivities gavel in and will have complete coverage on NBC12 tonight and tomorrow. In addition I will be regularly updating Decision Virginia with the latest news and of course, will have plenty of updates on my Twitter page. (BTW- If you are following the action on Twitter check out these three hash tags, which event organizers are using for people attending the convention: #rpvc09 #rpvfun #rpvadmin)
Here are some of the things I will be looking for:
*How much national attention will Mitt Romney’s visit bring? It is no secret that Romney plans on running for President in 2012, so a high profile visit to a battleground like Virginia will only enhance his credentials. Romney is the third potential candidate for president that has come to the commonwealth on Bob McDonnell’s behalf. (Bobby Jindal and Mike Huckabee)
*Who will Republicans pick as their attorney general candidate? Democrats are itching to steal this seat, after 20 years of electoral disappointments. They are very high on Steve Shannon who is already off and running. The decision Republicans make this weekend will be crucial. Will it be the odds-on favorite Ken Cuccinelli? Both Dave Foster and John Brownlee have run competitive campaigns and are probably hoping their supporters coalesce after the first or second ballot. (If it makes it that far)
*Is Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling really in trouble? I asked this question a few days ago. Many people believe Bolling has nothing to worry about, however the portion of the vote Patrick Muldoon receives could speak to the rift the RPV has with its conservative wing and the party’s old guard.
*Who will be the new party chairman? Speaking of a rift…this is perhaps the biggest decision the delegates will make on Saturday. Will they put the Jeff Frederick era behind them and support Pat Mullins, the man virtually every elected official and party leader has put their support behind? Or will the conservative wing organize an insurgency that puts Frederick supporter Bill Stanley in charge and, in turn, present at least the appearance of instability leading into the general election?
So, just few things…plus speeches from Sean Hannity, George Allen, Jim Gilmore and Eric Cantor that could deliver a few prize nuggets.
I will try and stay on top of it all, so check back often!