I'm a big fan of John Grisham's writing and while there always seems to be some chatter about him potentially running for statewide office here in Virginia, I don't think the general public really understands just how active he's been in the political arena. They probably don't know, for instance, that he spent 7 years in the Mississippi House of Representatives or has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to various causes and candidates. Perhaps more importantly, however, it appears as though he has also played a role in talking about politics to college students like he did during a recent appearance at UVA.
According to the local NBC affiliate's website, Grisham told the class that he is supporting Terry McAuliffe for governor and has even donated $50,000 to his campaign. This is where I believe Grisham's appearance relates to a lot of the recent discussion in Virginia's blogosphere. Terry's ability to bring in some of the big names like Grisham as well as large donations certainly could be beneficial during the general election. I have to admit that even though I don't support Terry I was impressed that Grisham appears to be actively supporting his campaign. If nothing else, Grisham's name recognition will help draw attention to the fact that Terry is running.
While I most definitely view Terry's fundraising ability as something that could be beneficial during the campaign, it's completely ridiculous to think that nominating Terry is the only way the Democratic candidate will have the necessary resources during the general election. Grisham, for instance, has donated to every single Democratic gubernatorial nominee in Virginia since 1997 and has done events for other statewide elected officials including Jim Webb. Especially when you also take into consideration that he donated $5,000 to Creigh Deeds' campaign in 2005, it's rather easy to assume that Grisham would make an effort to help whichever candidate came out of the primary. Since the race is considered to be the biggest one in the country this year, that would likely also be the case for other national figures and organizations.
So since Virginia has become a battleground state and the Democratic nominee will have the necessary resources no matter who wins, it is therefore important for voters to base their judgments on which candidate has the best stance on the issues and not which one can simply rake in the dollars.