Creigh Deeds held an event at GMU talking about the direction of his campaign this morning which attracted a crowd of about 200 people. As Creigh told reporters in a gaggle after his speech, this wasn’t necessarily anything new but was simply a reminder of what he’s been talking about all along on the campaign trail. The speech also was designed to point out some of the clear differences between him and Bob McDonnell. With that note, you can see the full text of his speech and a live blog of the speech that Lowell had over at Blue Virginia but I wanted to take a moment to highlight some of the things I noticed while sitting in the room.
** There were a lot of core Democratic activists at the event, but much of the crowd was over the age of 40 which I found interesting considering that the event was being held on a college campus. I thought the campaign might have been a little better served by having the event in another week or so. Since classes start on August 31 at GMU, having the event a little later would have probably resulted in a lot more students on campus. Considering that the building in which the event was held is one of the big hangout places for students, many students would have stopped by out of curiosity and they could have been recruited to participate in phone banks, canvasses, etc.
**A group of people were there from Steve Shannon’s campaign and they had clipboards with signup sheets for anyone who wanted to help Steve become our next Attorney General. There were also a few members of the General Assembly and Delegate candidates, but I didn’t see any presence from Jody Wagner’s campaign. In fact, I even had multiple people tell me that they wish Jody hadn’t won the nomination because they feel as though she’s a drag on the Democratic ticket.
**Creigh was introduced by Jim Dillard and received a standing ovation. There were also some people who were chanting “Deeds, Deeds, Deeds.”
**There was a tracker there who I’ve seen at various events throughout the Commonwealth. We actually sat next to each other a few months ago at the Crusade for Voters forum in Richmond during the Democratic primary. He was very polite, but it was rather entertaining to see him following Creigh around as he was being interviewed by various members of the press after his speech.
**I think the real message that I took away from the event was that Creigh wants people to look at the records of the two candidates. Creigh’s message tends to fall in line with the work that he’s done as a member of the General Assembly, while Bob’s been trying to recast himself as a moderate while on the campaign trail. Voters shouldn’t fall for this last minute conversion, however, as Bob McDonnell has made a career out of standing in the way of legislation that would have truly served the best interests of all Virginians.