David Reynolds: Seen and heard in Buena Vista on Labor Day

Column by David Reynolds

– If the sign war is any indication of the outcome of the Senate race between Mark Warner and Jim Gilmore, Gilmore loses by more than 20 to 1.
– Turnout at the Republican breakfast was slightly down from last year. The Dems had a few more at their table.

– No explanation was provided at the GOP breakfast for three missing speakers: McDonnell, Bolling and state party chair Frederick. (They were probably at the RNC in St. Paul.) Meanwhile, up on the hill, Sen. Webb and Gov. Kaine were absent.

– Not much political red meat was served at either breakfast. Possibly that was because both breakfasts had the look of an AARP gathering.

– Buster Lewis was the only member of the Rockbridge County Board of Supervisors to attend the Democratic breakfast.

– Ben Cline will have a Democratic opponent next year. He is Jeff Price.

– Best line heard at the high school was when Mimi Elrod was introduced as a mayoral candidate for the City of Lexington: “By Republican standards she is qualified to be the next Vice President of the United States.”

– The presidential campaign may be all about oil. The Dems seem to hate the sticky stuff our economy runs on, wishing to find an energy alternative. Meanwhile the GOP keeps talking about drilling for more of that black gold.

– Del. Brian Moran of Alexandria, who wishes to be the next Democratic governor of Virginia, along with Creigh Deeds, was slighted at the Democrats’ breakfast. Moran has raised more money than Deeds, but our state senator has collected more endorsements. Maybe Moran thought that he was in a foreign country, which is understandable.

– Sam Rasoul is waging a steep uphill class-warfare fight against long-term incumbent Bob Goodlatte. Question: Will his race be closer than the projected Warner landslide?

– Deeds on the presidential campaign: “Something is going on; people are looking for hope.”

– Deeds on politics: “Politics is for the common good. It is a means to an end – to make a difference in people’s lives.”

– Warner on American preeminence in the world: We can not maintain our 20th century position in this century without a highly trained and highly educated work force.

– Warner on government and politics: “I’m a fiscal conservative… I am also part of the ‘radical center’ where 80 percent of all Americans are.”

– Creigh Deeds is ahead of Mark Warner 19-18 in consecutive Labor Day breakfasts in Buena Vista. Unless a future President of the United States pays a visit to BV, Deeds should maintain his lead.

– A final word for now on Mark Warner: If the Democratic Party is to have a long and healthy future, Mark Warner’s brand of politics will lead the way.

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