Obama Commits to Corzine, but No Word on Deeds
President Obama has not yet agreed to campaign again for Virginia Democrat Creigh Deeds--but he's made time for the nation's other Democratic gubernatorial candidate. New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine's campaign announced today that Obama will be holding a rally for his reelection effort at Fairleigh Dickinson University next Wednesday.
The news comes as Corzine's effort has pulled even with Republican Chris Christie, even as Deeds trails Republican Bob McDonnell by nine points in a recent Washington Post poll.
Obama did visit Virginia today, to tout the impact of the federal stimulus package at the Fairfax County Parkway extension construction project, the largest project of its kind in Virginia and a federal highway project partially funded by stimulus dollars.
But the event was not a campaign stop and Deeds was not present. Also not on site: Democratic Governor and Obama ally Timothy M. Kaine, who stood at the very same project with Obama in February to push for the stimulus' passage in Congress, citing the Fairfax County Parkway as a possible benefactor.
Kaine spokeswoman Lynda Tran said the governor was informed of Obama's visit this morning, hours before the president choppered across the Potomac. She said Kaine's schedule did not permit his participation but that he was "thrilled" by the visit.
"The Recovery Act is now helping get our economy back on track and pumping billions of badly-needed dollars into the Commonwealth's core priorities--including key transportation and infrastructure projects that will ease congestion on our roads and create the jobs Virginia's families need," she said.
The local politics swirling around the president's last minute Virginia visit have been fierce. The Democrats say the construction project is an example of the kind of spending that would not have taken place if Republicans, including McDonnell, had their way.
The Republican Party of Virginia, meanwhile, says the event highlights a "rift" between Obama and Deeds--and has used it to remind voters that a Congressional Democrat just recently blasted Virginia for spending infrastructure stimulus dollars too slowly.
"You've got to figure that both Creigh Deeds and Tim Kaine aren't too happy about the president's decision to come to Virginia to highlight these problems," said Party Chairman Pat Mullins. "Deeds has blamed a lot of his troubles on Washington, and this just underscores that. Plus, it indicates that Chairman Kaine is probably in the political version of a 'time out' because of his lackadaisical approach to leading Virginia in the manner he was elected to do."
October 14, 2009; 5:54 PM ET
Categories: 2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman , Timothy M. Kaine
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