Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

After 148 Years, a Democrat Returns to Harrisonburg

By Robert Barnes
NORFOLK -- Barack Obama is making such an aggressive play to win Virginia that it is easy to forget how unusual it is for a Democrat to be campaigning for president in the commonwealth at all..

But Obama himself put it in perspective during a visit to James Madison University in Harrisonburg, the heart of the conservative Shenandoah Valley.

"I just discovered that the last presidential candidate to be here was Stephen Douglas," Obama told thousands of supporters in a boisterous field house. "That's the guy who ran against Abraham Lincoln, if you haven't been following your history."

It's a bit unclear how many candidates have come to the city, but it appears Douglas, in the election of 1860, was at least the last Democratic candidate to visit during a general election. According to the local newspaper, the Daily News-Record, Lincoln was not even on the ballot in the slave-owning state.

"It is a testimony to the path our country has traveled, that the last time a Democrat was here was Stephen Douglas and now the next presidential candidate is Barack Obama," Obama said. "That's a long distance to travel. That's a testimony to Virginia and a testimony to this country."

Obama played to packed houses in Harrisonburg and here, where more than 20,000 waited for a chilly, evening rally in Harbor Park, the city's minor-league ballpark. In both places, enthusiastic supporters stood throughout his roughly half-hour stump speech.

Obama was joined in Harrisonburg by Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine and Kaine's predecessor, U.S. Senate candidate Mark Warner. Kaine flew with Obama here for the second rally.

"Right now, things are looking pretty good in Virginia, but we have not gone for a Democratic candidate for president since 1964," Kaine said. "We have to assume we are the underdog."

Polls have shown Obama ahead in the commonwealth, and Democrats enthused by their success in the 2006 U.S. Senate contest and the last two gubernatorial elections are bullish on their chances for a breakthrough.

But whether Obama is determined or worried, the candidate is scheduled to return at least once more before Election Day, on Thursday to Virginia Beach. That would be his 10th visit to Virginia since securing the Democratic nomination.

By Post Editor  |  October 28, 2008; 11:08 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama , Battlegrounds  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Palin Takes Issue, Liberally, With '01 Obama Remarks
Next: Obama Spot Raises Palin Questions, with a Wink


I hope you know sniffing glue is bad for you. But you probably don't because KKK idiots are certainly not the smartest of the bunch. So keep on sniffing and eating your possum pie but please stop diddling your children...that is just sick.


Posted by: Godhimself1 | October 29, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse


The long lines at the polls open for early voting, combined with sporadic reports of electronic voting machine snafus and a predictable tightening of national polls, presage the Election Day story -- another long day's journey into night?

The Obama-Biden campaign better have kept tens of millions in reserve for legal challenges to alleged voter suppression and vote count irregularities.

Dems may rue the day they failed to press for a legislatively-mandated voter-verified paper trail.

Little has been written about the vitriol of GOP direct mail pieces sent out in recent days. To quote from a mailing from the GOP of PA:

"Barack Obama: Not Who You Think He Is." "Soft on crime."
"He acted more as a friend to criminals than to cops..."

Fear, smear and backroom machinations: Here we go again?




Posted by: scrivener50 | October 29, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Do you think that Obama will win virginia?
Watch funny videos

Posted by: roverfind | October 29, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Ahem, Relating to the STORY...

Barack O'Bomba-Nation is a Classless Act, that sheds much light on the problem our out-dated Affirmative Action Policies have created!

HE, has JUMPED UNTO the Black suffrage bandwagon!

Just how many MILLIONS of Blacks in this Country, came from, or are arrivals AFTER the Civil War?!

Americanized Blacks who NEVER were Slaves! Like Barry's DAD! A Kenyan!

Ohhhh, but as a Fellow Black Person, he SHARES their Plight!

Oh, Riiiiiight!

As Barry Hussein's Preacher would Scream:

G' Damn the KKK of A-If we ever elect this Dude as our President! ;~)

Posted by: SAINT---The | October 29, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse


Read the whole article. Obama isn't doing anything that McCain isn't also doing. He's just getting more donations on the internet because his supporters are not computer illiterate.

The FEC isn't "letting him get away with" anything. The campaigns are BOTH doing what the law requires, which is to check out the donation afterward, and return the money if it does not appear to be legitimate.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | October 29, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Obama is illegally raising money on the Internet and world wide. Obama is accepting money from foriegn nationals. Will the Federal Government continue to allow him to break all the rules?

The Obama campaign has shattered presidential fundraising records, in part by capitalizing on the ease of online giving. Of the $150 million the senator from Illinois raised in September, nearly $100 million came in over the Internet.

The Obama team's disclosures came in response to questions from The Washington Post about the case of Mary T. Biskup, a retired insurance manager from Manchester, Mo., who turned up on Obama's FEC reports as having donated $174,800 to the campaign. Contributors are limited to giving $2,300 for the general election.

Biskup, who had scores of Obama contributions attributed to her, said in an interview that she never donated to the candidate. "That's an error," she said. Moreover, she added, her credit card was never billed for the donations, meaning someone appropriated her name and made the contributions with another card.

Surprise, surprise! The Washington Post actually ran this story, so it has to be TRUE!

Posted by: sonnychiba72 | October 29, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

"The Third Movement. We are neither Democrat or Republican. We are The Third Movement.
The liberal media "

I'll give you almost any odds the the poster, and most of his "Third Movement" have never voted for anyone but a Republican in their entire lives, George Corley Wallace included.

Like Ronald Reagan, they try to claim to be other than conservative republicans in order to deceive other than conservative Republicans. Truth isn't a factor, since Republicans, and especially conservative Republicans, aren't especially at home in the "Reality Based" world.

Well, "Third Movement", based on your claims, you are republican, bought and sold. Accept that fact.

By the way, as veterans, how can you vote for a veteran who NEVER votes in favor of legislation that provides for increases in veterans benefits? Like the GI Bill?

He also won't vote for full pay raises, or appropriate expenditures for badly needed military base and equipment upgrades.

And, in spite of being in favor of policies that really call for doubling the size of the Army so it can meet the commitments John has for it, he has never, and never will, proposed increasing the size of the Army by any significant amount, and isn't in favor of raising taxes to pay for the Army we have. Good ole' brave, maverick, John won't buck public (that is, conservative republican) opinion enough to do that.

Any veteran who really examines John's record on votes on military matters should recognize a dependable foe in John. If the Army needs it, John is definitely agin' it.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 29, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

sonnychiba72 spewed: "The Third Movement"

"The Third Reich Movement" more like.

You are so "Right-Wing" that if you were anymore right you'd traverse into another dimension.


McCain and the "VICTORY" shame game

McCain and the Republicans bring dishonor to our troops by applying the "Victory/Defeat" label to Iraq.

Our troops have followed their orders and have served with honor and dignity in Iraq. To add this polarizing label is to add the burden of shame to the backs of troops that already have suffered enough. As a Vietnam vet, McCain should know what the vets of that era went through when they came home and were labeled losers.

General Patraeus himself said he'd "Never Declare Victory" in this interview on 9/11/08 of all days!

McCain is wrong and just doesn't get it-- he should be ashamed.

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 29, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

The Third Movement. We are neither Democrat or Republican. We are The Third Movement.
The liberal media can push Obama down the throats of Americans all they want but it doesn't mean all are buying their product. We aren't buying it.

The many patriotic members of our proud US Military and their family members have been forgotten in this election but we have not forgotten Obama. We know that Obama has already sold us out and he will sell us out again in the future. Our voice cannot be counted in the polls but our vote will be counted on November 4th.

We have bled, we have died on the battle fields of Iraq, in Afghanistan and in other places around the world in this Century alone. Obama wants us to lay our arms down and give up what thousands of us have died for but it won't happen.

Obama, Pelosi, and Reid will try to make the defending of our Constituition of none effect by changing it to suit their Party agenda.

From Bunker Hill to the Alamo, from Gettysburg to San Juan, from Somme to Iwo Jima, from the Inchon Peninsula to the Mekong Delta, from Lebanon to Kuwait, from Baghdag to Kabul, WE have defended America and our Constitution. On November 4th, we will continue to defend it. Many of us have already voted from abroad.

From Pearl Harbor to Bremerton, from San Diego to Lackland, from Barksdale to Jacksonville, from Norfolk to Camp Lejuene, from Quntico to Newport, from New London to Great Lakes, from Fort Riley to Presidio, we will not stand down but we stand shoulder to shoulder in this election.

We have voted for or we will vote John McCain for the preservation of the United States of America.

Posted by: sonnychiba72 | October 29, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

John McCain has been acting erratically ever since he selected Palin for his running mate. When the economy failed his behavior became bizarre. Stresses on any president in the next few years are going to be extreme . They will be fatal for someone in McCain's health and mental state. When he steps down we will then inherit his Palin fiasco.

Now Colin Powell has recognized these facts and has endorsed Obama as being a cool-headed and logical leader who is more fit for the presidency.

Kipling said it best:

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And---which is more---you'll be a Man, my son!

He was talking about men like Obama.

Posted by: seemstome | October 29, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

In the United States, wealth is highly concentrated in a relatively few hands. As of 2001, the top 1% of households (the upper class) owned 33.4% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) had 51%, which means that just 20% of the people owned a remarkable 84%, leaving only 16% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers). In terms of financial wealth, the top 1% of households had an even greater share: 39.7%. Table 1 and Figure 1 present further details drawn from the careful work of economist Edward N. Wolff at New York University (2004).

Obama's tax plan is to return to the progressive form of the Clinton administration which would target to the largest degree the 1 per cent at the top
with one third of the wealth in the country.

Small business owners making over 250 thousand in profit would see the smallest increase.
No more than they paid in the Clinton era which was without a doubt the most prosperous in recent history.

The benefits of this system would take the burden off the middle class which has only
16 per cent of the wealth in this country. The wage earners and salaried employees like Joe the plumber would get instant relief.

This will encourage them to spend more and stimulate the economy.

Posted by: seemstome | October 29, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Bush & McCain never mention the 537 by which Bush supposedly won in FA & thereby the 2004 election. He got to bomb Irak & Afghanistan & Syria for 4 yrs (without making a dent) from those 537 voters.

A closed-door supreme court decision made him (Bush) President for another 4 yrs. Strange enough. Stranger still, Al Gore left it there - instead of contesting.

Let's hope that this time the dotty Republican Supreme Justices can keep their sleeping caps on and continue to nap in their chairs.

Only a few more days before 4 November when Diva Palin goes job-searching in democratic Hollywood.

Posted by: hchiba | October 29, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 29, 2008 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: scootmandubious | October 28, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

The story referenced above on McCain complicity in the Ashley Todd hoax is at:

Posted by: scootmandubious | October 28, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

If the truth ever gets out about the machinations behind Ashley Todd's hoax in Pennsylvania, McCain's candidacy is over.

It's been alleged that at least 2 reporters claimed the story was coming to them from the McCain communications director for Pennsylvania, and NOT the police.

If so, wouldn;t that at least raise the whiff of complicity?

So, why no follow-up? The implications are enormous.

I highlight the story developments and link to a site that doesn't plan on letting this story go quietly off into that good night.

Posted by: scootmandubious | October 28, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company