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Brian Moran, Knute Rockne, And Remembering The Titans

Candidates get punchy in a campaign's final hours.

Late Sunday night -- two years after Brian Moran launched his campaign in earnest, more than a year after he began spending his Sundays in Baptist churches meeting voters, and 12 hours after making his final appeal in the pews of north Richmond -- he stood before volunteers in an Arlington strip mall and set about rallying his team.

"There are differences between the candidates. I've been lumped in with these three white guys for too long. We might look the same, but there are differences," Moran said, his voice breaking and then recovering for a few flashes from his stump speech.

moran6.7.09.jpg

He looked out at the rapt volunteers staring back at him. It was after 8:30 p.m. "You all should be on the phones, but I'm talking to you," he said. And then he went on.

"I've been going to Baptist churches for 15 months. I am full of the Holy Ghost," Moran said with grin.

It was now his turn, he said, to offer up his best Knute Rockne speech. But many of his young volunteers had never heard of the legendary Notre Dame football coach of "Win one for the Gipper" fame. Maybe Vince Lombardi was a better inspirational choice, he said.

"This race is certainly within our grasp. It's a jump ball. We need to jump higher than the other fellas," he said, then kept going and going until he caught himself and slid into a long bout of laughter.

"At this point, I don't know what I'm talking about," he said in a swirl of cheer and exhaustion. Pointing to several local officials who were working phones for him, including Chris Zimmerman of the Arlington board, he headed for a close: "I will take you all over Bill Clinton any day of the week," he said. The former president is on Team McAuliffe.

By early afternoon Monday, at a final Alexandria rally outside city hall, Moran was in full form. And he had with him a man who knows about winning: Herman Boone, the retired T.C. Williams high school football coach whose racially integrated Alexandria team took the state championship in 1971 and inspired the Disney film "Remember the Titans."

"Brian Moran has been making a difference in Virginia for as long as I've known him, and will continue to make a difference once we put him in the big house," Boone told the blue-and-red shirted volunteers and others in the 250-strong crowd.

The race will be won or lost by what happens in the final hours, Moran said.

"It's a scramble for a fumble. Coach Boone, thank you for being here," Moran said. Scrappy volunteers are "gonna get that ball and get across the finish line tomorrow and win."

Now see how Boone does it:

By Michael Laris  |  June 8, 2009; 11:34 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Brian J. Moran , Election 2009 , Terry McAuliffe  
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Next: An Election-Eve Letter on Guns

Comments

Yes, it's down to the wire. And no, the numbers are not showing up in our favor. That hasn't stopped the Brian Moran volunteers! We know we are backing the best candidate to be the next Governor of Virginia. We know it today, we'll know it tomorrow, and we'll know it the day after that too. Brian has courage and drive, he's a fighter and a family man, he's compassionate and he yet he doesn't back down from tackling the hard things.

And his family is amazing! To see Karyn and the kids working so hard, traveling all over Virginia for months now. And his sister Ann and brother John down here from MA to pitch in. Someone on Twitter yesterday thought Brian was passing out literature at the Metro stop this morning and I said, "no that's his brother John, but they all look remarkably similar!"

Brian Moran is the kind of Governor Virginia needs right now: scrappy and resourceful, inexhaustible, and focused on putting Virginians at the center of all he does. I knocked on a lot of doors to tell people this and I will knock on a lot more to make sure he wins in November!

Posted by: csread | June 9, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

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