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What's a Good Democrat To Do?

The offerings - make that demands - on the last weekend day before Tuesday's vote are bountiful.

President Obama would like to request your presence at one of Sunday's meetings to kickoff a push for health care reform. Organizing for America, the volunteer group that stemmed from the president's campaign, is calling for gatherings across the country.

But wait. Three smiling but increasingly frenzied would-be governors could also really use a final boost from energetic phone bankers and door knockers. And show up at the offices of one of the unheralded down-ballot candidates (Your future lieutenant governor wants YOU!) and you might make a friend for life.

Strategists in Virginia are trying to gauge the ratio of fatigue to continued excitement among Democrats after Obama's success in November. Turnout will drive the outcome in Tuesday's primary--and the race against Republican Bob McDonnell in the fall. In liberal power centers in Northern Virginia, competing demands will also be a factor.

Jim Ricca, who left life as a D.C. doctor a decade ago to work on fighting HIV/AIDS in Africa and tuberculosis in Central Asia, is hosting one of the health reform meetings in his family's Arlington home Sunday.

The 47-year-old former general practitioner moved with his family to Honduras to aid recovery after hurricane Mitch hit in 1998. He volunteered for Obama last year, and has increasingly focused on covering the uninsured. Bureaucratic bumbling over his own hernia operation a few months ago - he mistakenly received a $20,000 bill in the mail, despite his solid coverage, and he's still trying to work it out - has spurred him on.

"I've been waiting 20-odd years for there to be health care reform. This is my issue," Ricca says. Beyond guaranteeing "some kind of minimally acceptable way to get health care" for everyone, the system "just needs to be, I don't know how to put it, more sensible."

At the 3 p.m. meeting they'll discuss reform ideas and political strategies, and plan a health service project for month's end. But his wife Karen, who works at the World Wildlife Fund, might not show up.

"She's kind of more into who the candidates are, that kind of thing," Ricca says. She's thinking about going to do some phone banking for Brian Moran instead. "She didn't commit to coming to our own house meeting."

By Michael Laris  |  June 6, 2009; 6:24 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , 2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Terry McAuliffe  
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Next: Deeds Fights Back

Comments

A good Democrat is going to do what Karen is -- support Presdent Obama's health care plan and phone bank for Brian Moran.

Others might say to the President, as Terry McAuliffe did on the night then-Senator Obama secured the Democratic nomination, "Kiss my a**, Barack."

Posted by: jeffersonian1 | June 6, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

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