October 17th, 2009
10:00 AM ET
4 years ago

Political stars descend on Virginia campaigns

Sen. John McCain is holding a rally with Bob McDonnell on Saturday.
Sen. John McCain is holding a rally with Bob McDonnell on Saturday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – As one of only two statewide campaigns in the 2009 election cycle, the Virginia governor's race has seen a parade of national political stars make the trip to the Old Dominion.

Late Friday, Creigh Deeds' campaign announced that President Obama would join the Democratic candidate on the trail at the end of the month. Obama's 2008 presidential rival will get there first: On Saturday, Sen. John McCain will make his second trip to Virginia on behalf of Republican candidate Bob McDonnell. McCain, a decorated Navy hero, will help McDonnell make a closing pitch to veterans at a rally in Hampton Roads, a region of the state with a heavy military population.

McCain isn't the only high-profile Republican who has stumped for the former Virginia Attorney General: Two other former presidential candidates - former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee - have twice visited the state twice to campaign. Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani also raised money for McDonnell.

Along with Romney and Huckabee, McDonnell has welcomed a number of top Republicans who may run for president in 2012. That list includes Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, the chairman of the Republican Governors Association. Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele campaigned with McDonnell in May.

Creigh Deeds, who spent the first half of the year in a three-way fight for the Democratic nomination, hasn't had an army of national figures campaign with him. But several prominent Democrats have chipped in to help.

On Friday, former Vice President Al Gore held a fundraiser for Democratic candidate Creigh Deeds. And next week, former President Bill Clinton will appear at a rally for Deeds along with longtime Clinton friend Terry McAuliffe, who sought the Democratic nomination before losing to Deeds in June.

The party's leader, President Obama, will make his second trip to Virginia to lend a hand, the Deeds campaign announced Friday. The visit will be Obama's second on the trail for the gubernatorial candidate: he campaigned for Deeds and hosted a fundraiser for him in August Vice President Joe Biden and Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, have both stumped for Deeds.

For a campaign thought by many to be a referendum of the Obama presidency, the election will largely turn by local issues - specifically transportation and the economy. Deeds has also tried to make the race about women's issues by highlighting a conservative thesis written by McDonnell in which he called working women "detrimental" to families.

Entering October, McDonnell held a significant cash advantage, with $4.5 million on hand to Deeds' $2.7 million.

– CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby contributed to this report

soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    You mean Sara and Rush aren't in Virginia stirring up the hate? What happened?

    October 17, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  2. GI Joe

    Who is that orange man standing beside McSongbird?

    October 17, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  3. chubby

    Can you say CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN. In November, Virginia will elect a Republican Governor and the race will be on to remove as many of the tax and spend demorats as possible. Now this is the type of change we need and in 2012 the White House will be returned to a Conservative and hopefully we can fix this mess nobama has fouled up. No wonder he did not get the Nobel for Economics.

    October 17, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  4. W. Spivey

    John please go back to Arizona and retire. You have outlived your usefulness if you ever had any.

    October 17, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  5. Flo

    I pedict Deeds will be victorious in VA race for governor. McDonnell was too smooth and controlled during his debate and I don't think this man is telling the truth. Creigh Deeds seems genuine and is the better candidate. Can't wait for Nov 3, this is going to be a nail bitter waiting for results.

    October 17, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  6. Erik in Real Pennsylvania

    Let's see....McDonnell counts on the winning images of McCain, Huckabee and Romney to help is campaign? Aaaahahahahahahaha!

    October 17, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  7. victim of republican greed

    As a wingnut, Bob McDonnell is wrong for Virginia

    October 17, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  8. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    loosers pitching for loosers..

    pretty much sums it up

    fire it up ready to go

    October 17, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  9. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    I see Bonner in the back drop with McCain shouldn't he be at a tanning booth or at the liers club

    October 17, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  10. George

    Political "Stars"???

    October 17, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  11. g ontario

    looks like the corperate. america first group with the trickle down work.s it,ll only take another 10 years

    October 17, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  12. Glen Beck is king of the morons

    Call this the joke of the day?The two in this photo are more like dumb and dumber.hahaha

    October 17, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  13. Australian Billionaire

    I am thinking of buying media outlets that will reach over 50% of Americans. For TV, I would eliminate fact checking and hire people who can make up sensational negative stories. The more ridiculous, the more people will tune in and believe it. I would build on people's fears. My purpose would be to move the direction of the US to the right, like China.

    I think I will name my media group after a sly animal, maybe call it . . . coyote.

    October 17, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  14. ICARE

    The elephants left us 5 trillion dollars worth of debt, so please, dont put them back in power. It was in their hands, that everything crashed to the floor.

    October 17, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  15. A vote is SUPPOSED to be by the citizen..S Callahan

    So much for State's choice, or even local choice. This is what is getting really sickening' to the voters....and you pluggers just don't understand.......

    October 17, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  16. delia

    Deeds has already shot himself in the foot with his remark to a reporter – "I think I've made myself perfectly clear YOUNG LADY"
    Condescending piece of garbage.
    But Obama's appearance will be the kiss of death for Deeds.

    October 17, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  17. Keegan Nunley

    As a democrat I must say with deep dissapointment, the lack of jobs created will snatch power from the democrats whether health care reform gets passed or not. Along with the lackluster stimulus program, years of propoganda by the special interests has successfully confused americans into uncertainty about any kind of government envolment in health reform. By the time 2012 comes around anyone who is a democrat may consider moving to another country. Sadly politics is like trying to control the weather, we are at its mercy.

    October 17, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  18. Jaxson

    The old, angry, white guys who make up the GOP just don't get it.

    October 17, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  19. carlos, THAT one

    political stars descend on virginia campaigns.......please don't tell me those two pathetic repugnants are polit. stars........CNN, pleaseeeeeeeeeeee

    October 17, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  20. Gregg

    Let all these "starts" of the GOP go there; the REAL star isn't, and THAT is going to cost him the election. But the stupid GOP establishment doesn't get it. Surprise, surprise.

    October 17, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  21. Oy Vey

    I love off year campaigns ... the gathering of politicians resembles two flocks of posturing aggressive vultures hissing over the scraps of a not-quite-dead carcass.

    October 17, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  22. B

    McCain can’t even help himself let alone anyone else....

    No more credibility.

    October 17, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  23. Cr. Wa.

    No, No, No, not crash & burn, Get Meghan in her tank top and you will have better luck.

    October 17, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  24. W l Jones

    If the Viriginian know what good for their state they would run for the mountian...It might be safe up there.

    October 17, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  25. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Boy, they really do look like "Angry Old White Men". They could try a little tenderness during a photo op.

    October 17, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
1 2