As I had the day off on Tuesday, I joined the JMU College Republicans in welcoming Bob McDonnell to Harrisonburg. While driving to the university, I took a moment to reflect on the choice of location. Although an event at JMU would bring the students, it may have proven difficult for the locals to participate. After all, there are very few metered parking spaces and about half the time they are completely full. Fortunately, I was lucky, finding a space without the typical ritual of circling the parking lot.
In the meeting room hung a prominent sign stating the room had a maximum occupancy of 50 people. The reason I mention this fact is that there were about 70 or so chairs in the room, and, by the time the former Attorney General arrived, not only were the seats filled, but there were a cluster of folks standing nearby the speaker. I understand the tactic, getting a smaller room to make the crowd appear larger, it is used in the British House of Commons, but some of the people standing looked a bit uncomfortable at the end of the event. I should also mention that there were a handful of JMU Democrats in the crowd who wore their group’s shirts and held anti-McDonnell signs. The local press was also present.
First up, Del. Matt Lohr (R-26) first spoke to the crowd, followed by Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-26), and then, of course, the man of the hour, Bob McDonnell. The Gubernatorial nominee spoke for about 30 minutes. During this time, he touched on a number of issues ranging from job creation and tourism to energy policy and offshore drilling. Although fortunately the Democrats in the crowd were non-disruptive, I think Bob McDonnell dealt with them in a cool and collected manner. I know that I hate having hostiles in the crowd when I speak in front of a crowd.
However, when it came to stirring up conservatives like myself, with respect to the other speakers, Senator Obenshain clearly stole the show. As soon as he started speaking, I began to wish that I had taped the speech of the Senator. He focused his brief time discussing limiting the role of government, exercising fiscal responsibility, and promoting our values. It was real meat and potato stuff. Words that would make me reach for my wallet (assuming it had any money in it, of course). Although all of the issues that Bob McDonnell delved into are indeed important, unless we preserve a government that legislates within its constitutional boundaries, protecting the lives, liberties, and property of its citizens, ever other concern pales by comparison. Although Bob McDonnell discussed these topics, I humbly suggest that he makes these issues the cornerstone of his campaign. Conservative principles are not dead, and as the Obama administration continues to shred our economy and Constitution, Virginia voters will be looking for leaders who will act decisively to counter the largess pork and federal mandates spewing forth from Washington.
Here are a few pictures from the event. Unfortunately most of them did not turn out properly. If you would like some video of Bob McDonnell, I suggest you trek over to Rick Sincere’s site covering his Charlottesville visit. Hope you enjoy!
Update: Courtesy of Mr. Orndorff, I’m pleased to show you the speech that Senator Obenshain gave at the Bob McDonnell rally. Thank you very much for your video sir.