Ahead of debate, Deeds camp focuses on “Virginia” issues
On Thursday, the two candidates for governor of Virginia face what could be the biggest stage in the campaign to this point. With at least one poll indicating that the race has tightened up, the forum could play a vital role in the direction of the contest.
The debate won’t be seen by a very large audience. The affair is hosted by the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce. While it won’t have the same type of exposure that prime-time televised statewide debate would have, the event is expected to receive an incredible amount of media coverage.
I will be at the debate and will be moderating a liveblog on NBC12.com. Please feel free to join in to the discussion. The debate begins at 10:30am, we will start our liveblog around 10:20am. I will then have a complete wrap up of the event on NBC12 news starting with First at Four.
The Creigh Deeds campaign began an effort to change the tone of the discussion surrounding the campaign. Today, senior Deeds advisers held a press conference call to discuss the state of the race. They said that Virginians are not interested in many of the federal issues that their opponent, Bob McDonnell is touting.
Supporters of Deeds claim that issues like health care reform, card-check and cap and trade are not issues the Governor of Virginia will have to deal with and Virginians, in general want answers about Virginia specific issues. Here is a clip from my conversation with Mark Warner today where he addresses how Deeds should bring the focus of the campaign back to the Commonwealth.
“This is not a federal election. This is about who is going to be the Governor in Richmond and whether over the last 7 or 8 years we have found that common ground, you know, Democrats, Republicans, business leaders where we have been constantly named best-managed state, best state for business, and continue that or go in the opposite direction.”
-Sen. Mark Warner
But is there more to it than that? While Deeds has fundraised and campaigned with President Barack Obama, there is a sense that Creigh Deeds is hoping to make this election more about Virginia issues in an effort to make it less about the President and his administration. Today on that same conference call Deeds advisers said the President is welcome to come back to Virginia, but he won’t be the deciding factor in this race.
Today on NBC12 First at Four, the upcoming debate’s moderator David Gregory told me that the role of Barack Obama in the Virginia election is a dicey one for the democrats.
“It is a double edge sword of course, because a lot of his strength as a Democrat comes from Northern Virginia and getting that vote out, so Obama can be vital there, but I think this is an important time right now for Creigh Deeds to focus on Virginia as Senator Warner suggested and as you’ve seen him do over the last couple of days, try to link arms with Governor Kaine and Senator Warner, that he wants to be seen very much in that image.”
–David Gregory, Debate Moderator
Meet the Press Host
The entire interview previewing the debate can be seen below: