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Obama Backers and One Small Protest

A bit of the excitement from the fall Obama rallies pervaded the Hilton ballroom tonight as hundreds hundreds waited for the 6 p.m. program to begin (it was running a little late). Outside vendors peddled Obama merchandise, with a few Michael Jackson pins slipped in for good measure.

Inside the jam-packed ballroom, some sipped wine or cocktails while others watched for every twitch of the blue curtain, hoping that one of the evening's political stars would emerge.

"I told everybody at work I was going to see the president," said Ally Taylor, 48, a telecom company controller from Manassas.

rallyprotest.jpgShe and her husband, Rob Taylor, 42, sat in chairs away from the crowd and spoke of their hope that Obama's presence would boost Deeds's name recognition. "I think his biggest obstacle is going to be to get people to know who he is and not make it a referendum on the U.S. economy," he said.

Out in the parking lot, three local members of conservative Web site freerepublic.com -- including Steve Deming, 51, of Fairfax County, pictured here -- held a small protest that quickly broke up.

-- Sandhya Somashekhar

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  August 6, 2009; 6:20 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Barack Obama , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009  
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