Obama in Virginia, But Not For Deeds
President Obama is in Fairfax County today.
But not to campaign for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds.
Instead, Obama visits the Fairfax County Parkway extension today with Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to talk about federal stimulus spending.
After days of very public discussions about whether Obama will choose to visit Virginia again on Deeds behalf before Nov. 3 and whether the president is trying to limit his exposure in the swing state in anticipation of a possible Deeds loss, that's got to hurt.
The campaign points out that it's not unusual for Obama to make quick hops across the Potomac to talk about how federal policy is affecting people in the states. And that it would be rare to co-mingle a political event with a policy event. And Jake Tapper of ABC twittered yesterday the White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said time is being carved out for the president to campaign in Virginia, New Jersey and New York before election day. (Tapper soon added, however, that Gibbs did not specify "if and whom" Obama would campaign for.)
Plus, you heard it here first, Vice President Al Gore will be doing an event for Deeds--a private fundraiser Friday night in McLean at the home of Al and Claire Dwoskin.
"The White House has been very clear that the Virginia governor's race is a huge priority for them. We've been thrilled with their commitment so far. I think it would not have been appropriate to mix a political event with a visit in his official capacity, and I think people will appreciate that. There's still plenty of time for him to help, and the White House has been remarkably helpful," said Deeds's senior adviser Mo Elleithee.
But if the president has time for Virginia, it's hard to argue he would not have time for Deeds. Maybe Obama will say something about Deeds and transportation while he's talking about the topic in Fairfax? Event starts at 2:05 p.m. and we'll all be listening carefully.
UPDATE: Elleithee has something additional to note--he calls the $177 million Fairfax County Parkway Extension that Obama will tout "incredibly important" to Northern Virginia and says that if Republican Bob McDonnell had had his way on federal stimulus money, the project would not be underway. He said McDonnell tonight holds a fundraiser with House Minority Leader John Boehner, who opposed the stimulus package. McDonnell has said he did not oppose the bulk of the stimulus package--but did oppose a $125 million portion of the package for unemployment benefits in Virginia.
October 14, 2009; 10:19 AM ET
Categories: 2009 Governor's Race , Barack Obama , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman
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