This morning, around a thousand individuals gathered at the Festival Center on the campus of James Madison University. I arrived a little after 8:30 AM for an event which was slated to begin at 10:30 and already the line stretched around the building. Along with fellow blogger Nick Farrar, we checked in at the press table and awaited the start of the rally. About an hour later, a group of nine gathered outside to show their support for the Cuccinelli campaign while another local activist drove his truck down the street with signs of the three Republican candidates.
It seemed that just about everyone who was anyone in local Democratic politics attended, including past mayors and party leaders. About a third of the seats in the room were reserved for them. Given that seats were at a premium, a vast majority of the crowd had to stand.
After a few individuals spoke, including the Chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Virginia and a former Republican member of the House of Delegates, both gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe and former President Bill Clinton took their turns in front of the podium. Rather than offer you a summary of what they said, here is a recording of both speeches:
To the best of my knowledge, this event was the largest, and thus arguably most important political event in Harrisonburg since candidate Obama spoke at JMU in 2008. Does this event herald a victory for McAuliffe in Harrisonburg and statewide? We’ll find out in a week.