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Va. Delegates Party on Eve of Convention

Anita Kumar

MINNEAPOLIS -- Virginia delegates and other guests from the state gathered last night to play pool, air hockey and other games at the delegation's "Arcade Night" welcome party at the Minneapolis hotel where they are staying this week for the Republican National Convention.

The atmosphere was festive despite news that most of Monday's convention activities would be canceled due to concern about Hurricane Gustav hitting the Gulf Coast.

Among those in the crowd were Pat Boone, the 1950s singer turned conservative commentator; John H. Hager, former lieutenant governor and father-in-law to Jenna Bush; and U.S. Reps. Tom Davis and Thelma Drake.

Drake, who is in a tough re-election battle in Hampton Roads, was the only elected official from Virginia scheduled to speak during the convention until her speech on Monday was postponed, perhaps canceled, because of Gustav. Drake, who had planned on flying back to Virginia Tuesday, said she was disappointed she would probably not speak after all.

"Everyone understands the impact of the storm,'' she said.

At the party, Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick (Prince William), state GOP chairman, and his wife, Amy, announced that they would donate $1,000 to a church in Baton Rouge, La. to help potential hurricane victims. They encouraged others to make contributions as well.

Party-goers snacked on ice cream, pretzels and waffle fries while sipping beer and wine, playing music from a jukebox and reconnecting with old friends.

Many conversations focused on the impending hurricane or presumptive presidential nominee John McCain's surprise pick for vice president, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Corey A. Stewart, chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, called Palin "the new face of the Republican party."

Stewart said he made a last-minute decision to attend the convention and plans to spend some time this week visiting relatives who live in the area -- all Democrats.

By Anita Kumar  |  September 1, 2008; 12:48 AM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , At the 2008 Conventions , Election 2008/President , John McCain , Robert F. McDonnell , Thomas M. Davis III  
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Not much of a list. Of course, there isn't much to talk about when it comes to republican "leadership" in Virginia.

I hope Gilmore is there because that will tend to drag the party down even more. I can just hear someone that Gilmore has just walked up to talk to telling Jim, "Sorry, no time to talk now, I have to go to the bathroom at the airport."

Posted by: Michael1945 | September 1, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

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