Yesterday, I was able to snag a spot in the back of the Harris Pavilion for the Romney-Ryan Rally in Manassas. It was a very energetic crowd, although the average age on the floor was quite old and was predominantly white. The Romney folks seemed to fill the stage with a lot of high school and college students sitting behind the elected officials in order to show some youth for the cameras.
I noticed several elected officials with ties to Prince William County missing when Delegate Jackson Miller acknowledged the VIPs.
Ken Cuccinelli/Dick Black/Bob Marshall – Northern Virginia’s Axis of Crazy was noticeably missing on stage. The event was held in Prince William County and all of these guys have PWC ties. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli moved to Nokesville from Centreville after his AG election and both Senator Dick Black and Delegate Bob Marshall have PWC in their districts. Considering that Governor Bob McDonnell, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, and U.S. Senate candidate George Allen were present to hype up the crowd, could it be that this event was too mainstream conservative for the hard-right Axis of Crazy? I bet you that the Axis of Crazy would be present if this was a Rick Santorum affair. Given the internal divisions within the RPV between the Bolling and Cuccinelli factions, this is probably the case and does not show a united front for the RPV for this year or the next.
David Ramadan – Delegate David Ramadan, derided by his critics for being a narcissistic ego tripper for his penchant for self-promotion, Chuck Shumer-like one-way magnetism toward cameras, excessive e-mails and sign blitzes in a region that finds signs repulsive, traveling with a posse of General Assembly interns wearing his shirts, adorning his office with photos of himself (BIG photos. I have been to the office. It is the first thing that hit me.), and actually having a physical office as a Delegate in the first place when most of his House colleagues are living in the 21st century and teleworking for their General Assembly duties in the district was not acknowledged during VIP acknowledgement and not seen. The most treacherous path in Loudoun, PWC, and even Fairfax (where Ramadan has been spotted campaigning at local festivals even though his district does not include Fairfax, only Loudoun and PWC) is the path between David Ramadan and a camera. Ramadan not being there yesterday was quite odd.
Corey Stewart – This is probably the most glaring no show at the rally. PWC Chairman Corey Stewart and 2013 Lt. Gov. candidate was absent. You would think that Stewart would take this unique opportunity as an elected official to sit in the VIP section on stage and have a speaking slot in front of a national audience to raise his profile ahead of next year’s campaign. However, he is probably trying to lay low after the controversy surrounding his efforts to thwart government reform in PWC. Look it up. It has been all over the news lately and driving up his negatives.
Good event overall, but given the Saturday announcement in August, I’m not sure if anyone outside the politically obsessed junkies are paying attention. Maybe that was why the announcement was made when it did.