The Campaign Spot

The Candy-Collecting Neighborhood Canvas

From today’s Post-Halloween Jolt:

The Scariest Halloween Decoration in My Neighborhood? The Jim Moran Door Hanger

So Sunday afternoon, my Big Little Guy number one donned his Buzz Lightyear costume, my Little Little Guy Number Two made an alternatingly amused and sleepy cow, and I became Woody the Cowboy by donning the world’s most hideous yellow plaid shirt, blue jeans, and a brown cowboy hat, and a silk handkerchief doubling for what should have been a red bandana. It looked more like an ascot.

I mention all this because I live in a neighborhood in Alexandria, Virginia that is a deep blue spot in a deep blue district of Virginia, represented in Congress for a long time by the infamous Jim Moran. My neighbors are wonderful people, but in 2008 the houses came with Obama yard signs conveniently pre-installed. Last year, when Bob McDonnell was winning Virginia by the largest margin of any Republican gubernatorial candidate ever, he won only 38 percent in this district and barely 37 percent in Alexandria City, although he did win 45 percent in my polling place. The folks for Patrick Murray, the Republican running against Moran this year, have done a terrific job, blanketing the local roads with yard signs and getting all the best spots at major intersections.

But it wasn’t until Sunday’s trick-or-treating that I could definitively say that Jim Moran signs are an absolute rarity here. I saw one or two Moran yard signs but many, many Murray signs, and one sad, lonely door hanger promoting Moran, left by the local Democratic Party. Perhaps with Jim Moran’s flaws — the snide dismissal of his rival’s military service, his blithe declaration that the economy has recovered, his occasional comments about the vast foreign policy influence of America’s Jews, the neck-grabbing defense against the 9-year-old he insisted was a carjacker — that local Democrats just don’t want to brag about who they’re voting for. Perhaps tomorrow they’ll get up, go and do their duty as Democrats, and vote Moran. But here in Virginia, with no Senate or governor’s race on the ballot, this House race is the lone contest on the ballot. (There are also three proposed amendments to the Virginia state constitution, which have gotten almost no attention or publicity.) So maybe these Democrats get up and interrupt their commute and stand on line. Or maybe they go straight to their coffee place or office and figure maybe they’ll do it on the way home. (Polls close at 7 p.m. in Virginia.)

I mention all this because one of Ace’s readers has been active with the Murray campaign and reports, “We went to Murray HQ yesterday and the place was packed with enthusiastic volunteers. The head of the office says it’s been like that for over a month. Maybe Jim Moran’s time has come. We were given the names of veterans in the precincts and a door knocking we did go. Many of the vets we spoke to had never heard of Moran’s disrespectful statement about military service. I suspect that they’ll do their own networking amongst themselves with this new information. When we came back with our walkbooks the HQ was even MORE crowded with people making calls, compiling information. The place was a hive of activity. I have worked in other campaign offices before, but the level of electricity was more than I’d ever seen.”

Is this effort Quixotic? To dream the impossible dream . . .”

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