Friday, August 22, 2008

Meanwhile, at Virginia's Obama headquarters

Approaching the Virginia headquarters for Sen. Barack Obama it became obvious right away -- this is not your Dad’s campaign office. It’s on the ground floor of an ancient brick building at the corner of W. Marshall St. and Norton St. That’s directly behind VCU’s spiffy basketball arena, the Stuart C. Siegel Center.

Perhaps more importantly, it’s not downtown, where tradition would have it. Geographically, it’s centrally-located, but it’s not on a high traffic thoroughfare like Main St.

Most of the signage on the widows and inside the headquarters was hand-painted. The people working in the front room, volunteers and staff, ranged in age from early-20s to 60-ish. The mood was decidedly upbeat and more than a little anticipatory. Like the rest of the world, they were waiting for the word from Obama concerning his selection for a running mate.

The Communication Director for the Virginia Campaign for Change, Clark Stevens, said there are 33 other campaign headquarters sprinkled across the Commonwealth, with more to come. Unlike Democratic presidential campaigns in elections for decades, Obama has targeted Virginia as a state he can win.

Whose idea was it to hand-paint the Obama signs?

“Grass roots volunteers were responsible for it,” said Stevens.

The office opened last month and the level of energy appeared to be rather high for late-August. Workers were busy on telephones, drumming up more support and organizing precinct parties to watch Obama’s speech on Thursday night.

What about Obama’s choice for Veep?

With Virginia’s Gov. Tim Kaine supposedly on the short list, the interest in who will round out the national ticket could hardly be more intense in this city. After all, he's been living here since he got out of law school and served as mayor of Richmond from 1998-2000.

A cheerful woman shrugged and said she’d heard the much-anticipated message to Obama’s supporters would come around 6 p.m.

If one believes the national media, the other names on Obama’s short list are: Sen. Evan Bayh (Indiana), Sen. Joe Biden (Delaware), Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (Kansas), and perhaps Sen. Hillary Clinton (New York).

Obama has said he has made his decision. There was no sign at the Virginia headquarters that anyone there knew whose name will be in that message. By the time you read these words the suspense may be over. No doubt, that will get the sign-painters working at the Obama state headquarters.

1 comment:

James Young said...

Where did they post the picture of Che Guevera?