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First Click - Virginia

Rosalind Helderman

Aug. 7, 2009

Good morning everyone. Here's what's happening in politics around the state today.

Lots of news coming out of Virginia. President Obama was here yesterday after all.

Obama tried to provide a boost to Creigh Deeds campaign, appearing before 1,500 cheering, sign-waving supporters at the McLean Hilton Tysons Corner. Obama talked up the Democratic nominee for governor, but used the opportunity to defend his own record too.

While Deeds was with Obama, Republican rival Bob McDonnell attended former Congresswoman Thelma Drake's annual party on the pier in Norfolk.

Deeds was endorsed by the Teamsters yesterday --- though he didn't tell anyone. Expect McDonnell and the Republicans to be more than willing to do it for him as they continued to attack him for being tied to big labor (and therefore anti-business).

A new poll by DailyKos/Research 2000 on the governor's race shows that McDonnell leads Deeds among likely voters, 51 percent to 43 percent.

This weekend, Deeds will wrap up his Deeds Country tour while McDonnell hits the road. He will travel the state for the next three weeks in a Winnebago. Both men, and a slew of other politicians, are expected to stop by the 74th annual Old Fiddler's Convention in Galax, Va. (Go find it on a map).

Meanwhile, Gov. Tim Kaine announced his decision to pardon three sailors serving life in prison for a 1997 rape and murder in Norfolk. Kaine's timing -- the much-anticipated announcement came hours before Deeds appeared with Obama -- raised some eyebrows.

Don't expect much news out of the governor's office next week. Kaine leaves for a one-week vacation to Camp Pendleton today.

Legislative committees return to Richmond today to start drafting bills for a special session later this month designed to conform to the new standards set by a recent Supreme Court's ruling. Look for Sen. Ken Cuccinelli, Republican attorney general nominee, to try his best to snag some headlines out of the whole thing. He was the first one to call for a special session while his Democrat opponent, Del. Steve Shannon, called it a stunt (before Kaine agreed, of course).

By Rosalind Helderman  |  August 7, 2009; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , 2009 Governor's Race , 2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , First Click , Robert F. McDonnell , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Next: Organizing for America and for Deeds?

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