Camelot on Display for Moran
There are quite a number of Terry McAuliffe signs along the roadways of tony McLean leading to to Ethel Kennedy's famed Hickory Hill estate, but behind the door of the stately white mansion--complete with Barack Obama sticker on its open glass door--it was all about Brian Moran last night, as we wrote in this morning's Post.
Well, Brian Moran and, of course, always the Kennedys. The home is absolutely full of Kennedy mementos, on every wall, on every graceful table and mantle, which guests at the Moran fundraiser last night soaked in with abandon. Paintings and etchings and drawings of Ethel Kennedy's husband Robert and, of course, his brother President John, all got snapped with camera phones, as guests munched on shrimp skewers and tiny rolls of roast beef.
Framed on the walls: notes that appeared to be taken during the Cuban Missile crisis in Robert Kennedy's hand, of a meeting of top White House officials, including a drawing of who sat where. The certificate from President Kennedy appointing Robert Kennedy attorney general. Touching photos of the two men together and young. A photo of one of Robert and Ethel's children on Air Force 1. And framed autographed photos of Ethel Kennedy with just about every important political leader of our time--including the quite a number of notes and photos from President Bill Clinton, who of course has campaigned and fundraised recently with his friend and Kennedy neighbor McAuliffe in this race.
"The Kennedy mystique--this is it," said Moran supporter and website designer Todd Webster, as he stood on the home's back porch, drink in hand, gazing down the home's sloping green lawn. "Imagine playing touch football on that yard."
The guests included local business people, longtime friends, Dels. Adam Ebbin, Mark Sickles and Vivian Watts. Spotted in the crowd was Mary Catherine Gibbs, an Alexandria lawyer who happens to be married to Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.
Mrs. Kennedy gave a brief interview expressing support for Moran's campaign and greeted guests warmly as they arrived, but did not speak to the crowd. That was left to Moran's congressman brother, with whom she appeared close, and Moran himself.
U.S. Rep. Jim Moran told the crowd that his brother is running against "two good people" (it drew a few shouts of protest from the gathering of longtime supporters) but that his brother would be more, yes, Kennedy-like, in fighting for the little guy.
Of McAuliffe, Jim Moran told the group: "You know, Brian's never going to be able to turn $150,000 into $18 million....He doesn't do that. He's very different. He doesn't have the rolodex and he's not going to be able to pull off a million fundraiser in Hollywood. But this is the kind of thing that matters. Because of what the Kennedys meant to America and to the world. It's what we aspire to be all about and I know it's what Brian aspires to be about."
He called Deeds a "nice guy" whose voting record reflects his rural district. "It's not necessarily consistent with northern Virginia, where the growth is," he said.
For his part, Brian Moran talked about his opposition to the Marshall-Newman constitutional amendment barring contractual relationships between same-sex couples and his visit to health clinic for low income residents of Wise County. He praised his supporters among local elected officials, saying he would "take them any day over Bill Clinton."
He exhorted the crowd of loyalists to work hard for the next 13 days to get out voters in what he predicted would be a low turnout election. And he finished with what he said was one of his favorite quotes, one from Robert Kennedy. Halfway through, he hesitated.Quietly, from her perch on a couch in front of him, Ethel Kennedy supplied the words.
"That is a moment I will never forget, Ethel," he said as he concluded.
Win or lose, we're betting that's true.
May 28, 2009; 10:45 AM ET
Categories: 2009 Governor's Race , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Rosalind Helderman , Terry McAuliffe
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