President Coming to Charlottesville on Friday

President Obama is coming to Charlottesville on Friday. He’ll be holding a rally at the pavilion in support of Congressman Tom Perriello, who is up for reelection on Tuesday. Perriello has been tied with challenger Robert Hurt, and is looking for every advantage in the final days before the election. Not only will this get him media attention throughout the district, but it’s probably also intended to fire up volunteers. The trade-off is that it’s likely to fire up Hurt’s volunteers, too. The event is public, gates open at 5 PM.

The last time a sitting president visited Charlottesville was George Bush, in 2008, when he spoke at the Independence Day naturalization ceremony at Monticello.

Disclosure: I’ve donated a few hundred bucks to Perriello, between this race and in 2008. I’m not really sure how much in all.

61 thoughts on “President Coming to Charlottesville on Friday”

  1. I would like to have a seat on the stage with my PRESIDENT. Barack Obama at the Pavillion on Friday, Oct. 29/2010. Is this possible? Whom would I have to see about this?.

  2. A media release from the city notes:

    Signs will not be permitted to be taken into the Pavilion Event. Participants will be asked to discard them before entering. Liquids and other items not normally permitted in any similar TSA airport check point will not be allowed to be taken into this event. Metal detectors will be set up at different locations of entrance and participants will be let in beginning at 5:00pm following an inspection by Secret Service. Two lines will form down the mall to lead participants into the event.

  3. Phyllis, I suggest you contact the Secret Service. They have a field office in Richmond that is probably handling PR. I’m sure they will probably move you right to the front of the line to meet the president. I doubt if anyone else has even thought to ask.

    When you contact them, ask for their free booklet, “Keeping Secrets in the Digital Age.” Those guys are really tops when it comes to keeping stuff secret.

    One of the tips I learned from the booklet was so simple I don’t know why I didn’t think of it myself. I just had to say “Holy cow!!” and slap myself on the forehead.

    (Psssssst.. This is just between me and you, so keep it under your hat!) When you run into a box somewhere on the internet and it asks you to enter your name, you can use a name other than your actual name.

    Damn if I’ll ever again slip up and let anyone on the internet know that my name is Richard T. Jones III.

  4. Phyllis, I’m not sure what you’re asking me to do. Every time you post a comment here, your name will appear on the screen. Were you not aware that was the case, and you would now like me to delete all of your comments?

  5. I’m just waiting to see Air Force One land at CHO.
    I’m not sure a 747 has landed there before.

  6. I’m sure he will helicopter in from DC. I forget how Bush got here but I remember the whole damn town was shut down. He may have driven in.

  7. I’m reasonably sure a 747 can’t land (and am more certain it couldn’t take off) from CHO. If he comes in through CHO it could be helicopter (that is how Bush came down, though not via CHO, he landed at PVCC.) He may also fly any of the several planes painted up in the Air Force One livery. There are several, including some that are much smaller than the ubiquitous 747. A lot depends on where he is coming from (he isn’t necessarily going to be coming from DC.)

    I work on the Downtown Mall. It’s going to be a circus.

    Hey Waldo … did your “few hundred bucks” get you invited to the private meet-n-greet? I’m guessing yes. A friend of mine got the invite but is out of town. My invitation must have gotten lost in the mail. Please pass along my best wishes to the President. :)

  8. According to the account here, 737s and 757s can land and take off from CHO. So it won’t be a surprise if some form of Air Force One rests at our little airport for a while on Friday, just not the huge one you see at Andrews AFB or around the world when the President travels.

  9. Any Air Force place/copter etc is called Air Force 1 if the Prez is on it. Even if it is a little puddle jumper.

  10. Just another reason for local Republicans to hate Obama a little more! Jesus, they are literally shutting down half of the downtown area just to accomodate this (roads & businesses).

    By the way, Phyllis, since your not using that screen name anymore, you mind if I take it?? Too funny!!

  11. Hey Waldo … did your “few hundred bucks” get you invited to the private meet-n-greet? I’m guessing yes. A friend of mine got the invite but is out of town. My invitation must have gotten lost in the mail. Please pass along my best wishes to the President. :)

    I haven’t heard a thing. :) IIRC, I sent in $100 in 2008 and $200 this year, which I’m pretty sure nets me exactly nothing in the way of special invites. :) Anyhow, I’ve already met President Obama, and I’ve got the photo to prove it. :)

  12. The part of Phyllis Johnson will now be played by Robert Goulet.

    Thank you,

    The Management.

  13. “Hmm, that looks photoshopped to me. I can tell by the pixels …”

    But seriously, folks … cool photo. And before the rest of the world knew who he was.

  14. Whoa, wait a second! I’m busy playing Barrack Obama, how am I going to swing that too? Calling my agent right now.

  15. FYI – The Air Force One (Boeing VC-25) does “touch and go” at CHO on a regular basis. It can definitely land here. Actually, ask anyone living near the airport or its flight path, they’ll tell you all sorts of Air Force jets and planes use CHO for training and practice. It’s close to many bases (relatively speaking for a jet, that is), but relatively rural and with little traffic.

  16. While I am not sure if it ever is the 747, Air Force One often uses CHO for touch ‘n go practice, and, circles over the Proffit area, sometimes just a few loops around, sometimes for hours on end. Maybe every other month or so.

  17. 747’s can land and take off on a 6000′ runway. It’s just a matter of not being “fully loaded” (with fuel, etc).
    It’s probably not a good idea to do so with the Pres on board if you have the 737, 757 backup planes though.

    They’ve already issued a press release that CHO operations will be impacted, so he’ll be flying in there in “something”.

  18. Damn, nice photo Waldo You’re even taller than the president

    Phyllis come and seat with me- I’m sure they will let me sit down front

  19. They’re not tied, Waldo.,0,5106200.story
    Sabato has Hurt the winner as well:
    This visit may change things, but I think it will hurt Periello as much as it helps him. If Hurt is smart, he’ll run ads all weekend showing Periello and President Obama standing together.
    Full disclosure: I gave $50 to Hurt. Yesterday. Because the president is coming to town. I don’t think he’s anything special, but I am eager to send a message on Tuesday to the arrogant, paternalistic monopoly party. It’s time for some divided government.

  20. They’re not tied, Waldo.,0,5106200.story

    Actually, Mark, that is a tie. Those survey results show the two candidates eight points apart…with a whopping 4.4% margin of error, meaning that either candidate may be polling 4.4% higher or 4.4% lower. Either candidate would need to be at least 9% ahead (well, 8.9% ahead :) to exceed the margin of error. This poll is the very statistical definition of “tied.”

    SUSA’s polling has been all over the place in this race. Sometimes they show the candidates tied, sometimes they’ve showed Hurt ahead by thirty points. There’s been nothing to cause that sort of volatility in this race, so the logical conclusion to draw is that their polling isn’t reliable in this race on this occasion. Which is too bad—SUSA’s robo-dialing polls are cheap, and about all that anybody’s going to spring for in this district, and while often maligned by pundits, I think they’ve generally been pretty good in their polling of Virginia in the past five years or so.

  21. This rally isn’t as much about converting people (well, maybe some middle-of-the-roaders, but not really) as it is about motivating the supporters to actually *vote* on Tuesday. “Voter turnout” is a popular buzz term at election time, and generally the more people overall that vote, the more likely the opposition is to win (the most motivated are often the most unhappy.)

    Perriello wants to make sure every registered Charlottesville voter who supports him realizes the importance of their single vote. Sure, he’s gonna win Cville, but the more Cville residents that vote for him, the better his chance of winning the district.

  22. I was driving by CHO yesterday afternoon and I saw a couple of pickup trucks driving in, each one towing a wheeled, red-carpeted stairwell. It was an odd sight and it took me a second to realize that they would be used after Air Force 1 landed this evening. They must have been driven down from Andrews or somewhere….

    Anyway, that would suggest that he’ll be flying in one of his airplanes and not Marine 1.

  23. While I would certainly like them predicting a Perriello win, I would just like to add that both Sabato and SUSA predicted Perriello’s defeat in 2008. I know things change, but it just shows that polls and pundits can be wrong.

  24. As a follow-up to my own comment, FWIW, I’m not saying that Perriello (or Hurt) is going to win, simply that polling shows that the two of them are tied. Most pundits agree that Perriello is at a disadvantage—only turnout can help him now.

  25. The line for the rally went from the pavilion, down around the Ice Park and back down water to the C & O as of 515PM.

  26. It was a pretty amazing event. the crowd was enormous, and it was cool to chat with the folks in line with me who said that they are volunteers in a heavily Republican part of the district–so seeing the 10-20,000 supporters in one place was so affirming to them.

    And, in the interest of stimulating the local economy, we encouraged them to make reservations at the C&O for 9 pm before they headed home.

  27. The event was amazing. I just don’t get why this is even a choice. I mean we pretty much know what Hurt is against – everything the President is for, but does he have any proposals of his own?

  28. I mean we pretty much know what Hurt is against – everything the President is for, but does he have any proposals of his own?

    That’s really the bit that I find frustrating about Hurt’s campaign. Robert Hurt is a good guy. We have a handful of friends in common, and I understand him to be a decent guy. But his proposals consist of “taking a look at reducing the size of government” and “getting in there and figuring out what to cut.” He wants to go over waste he can’t put his finger on, fraud that may or may not exist, and abuse that he can’t or won’t name. In the debate on WSLS two weeks ago, the host asked Hurt twice if he could name a single federal program that he’d cut, and Hurt couldn’t do it. Perriello did so without hesitation: ethanol subsidies.

    Robert Hurt has had years to figure out and describe his plan for improving government. Once he’s in congress, he won’t have some magical access to information that he doesn’t have now. Our budget is public. His campaign message seems to be “just trust me, I’ll figure out the right thing to do, even though I haven’t figured it out yet.” And maybe he will figure that out. But I prefer Tom Perriello (admittedly for ideological reasons, primarily), who ran for office saying exactly what he’d do, he got into office, he did it, and now he’s telling us what he’ll do next. That’s my kind of congressman.

  29. waldo – would local papers in southside print your last missive above as a letter to the editor; would you send it? it’s such a straight forward explanation of why hurt, while a nice-enough guy, is not the right choice!

    thanks for providing this site – b

  30. Waldo, I have to quickly return to the “tie.” You have to qualify that as “statistical tie,” because I can just as easily swing that 4,4% MOE the other way and say Hurt is leading 55%-39%. It’s disingenuous to look at that poll and conclude tie. Granted, the poll may be wrong and/or outdated after Friday’s rainbows and unicorns rally.

    Regarding your criticism of Hurt’s campaign, this is not an “issues” election- it’s an “issue” election, the issue being the size and role of government. Hurt is saying both should be smaller. I support that, also for ideological reasons. Honestly, Periello seems an earnest and hardworking guy, although he has really wallowed in the slime with his ads. So much for Jefferson Smith going to Washington.

    For me this election is as much about President Obama and his party. This is the first time in two years that I get a chance to register my disagreement with deficits, bailouts, and flat-out arrogance. Pushing my thumb on that screen is going to be so cathartic.

    Obama’s 2008 jetstream brought Tom in; his 2010 undertow will drag him out.

  31. TH White, in his “making of the President” series was very clear that anything over a 5% difference is too be considered a landslide.

    That said, the best thing that could happen to the republicans is for them to lose this round, because then the burden of the state of the USA is clearly on the Democrats.

  32. Waldo, I have to quickly return to the “tie.” You have to qualify that as “statistical tie,” because I can just as easily swing that 4,4% MOE the other way and say Hurt is leading 55%-39%. It’s disingenuous to look at that poll and conclude tie.

    I’m really not sure of what to tell you here, Mark: this is the very definition of a tie. (And, again, you’re ignoring SUSA’s bizarre polling history in this race.) I did get something out of two semesters of political statistics classes while getting my political science degree. :)

    Regarding your criticism of Hurt’s campaign, this is not an “issues” election- it’s an “issue” election, the issue being the size and role of government.

    So with just one issue, Hurt still can’t muster a single example of how he’s going to reduce the size of government. Seriously, do you know how bad that is? This is a “trust me” campaign. He doesn’t have any ideas now, but with enough votes on Tuesday then somehow, mystically, they will come to him.

    This is a pet peeve of mine: candidates who are convinced that their wisdom will allow them to have good ideas, if elected, even though they don’t have any just yet. The flip side of that pet peeve is candidates who lose the election, and they just drop all of the causes that they spent six months describing as their life’s goal. I don’t have much patience for either.

  33. Your missing the point. Many are not voting for Hurt, they are voting against Obama.

    He is doing what he needs to win.

  34. I think you should be concerned about more things than just winning. That’s what’s wrong with politics now, especially the Republican-everything-the-President-does-is-evil style. Perriello articulates his positions and stands by them. Hurt has nothing to stand by because he has no affirmative and positive positions of his own in this race.

    I really hope Virginia voters are smarter than falling for the tag lines and empty rhetoric that’s been thrown out there. On health care all we get are dark and scary ads with music that came straight out a horror movie decrying the evil Pelosi-Obama health care bill. No explanation of why its so horrible. I guess the darkness and the music are suppose to be enough to convince people.

    We hear about the state of the economy, but with no mention of the job growth that occurred since the stimulus went into effect (an average of 100,000 a month). What was the alternative? What are the alternative proposals? What if we didn’t give states money to fix their budgets and keep on their employees? What if there was no infrastructure spending that provided immediate jobs? Some would say we should have given tax cuts. Wouldn’t that still, in effect, amount to government spending? Wouldn’t this still have had an impact on the federal budget? The idea would have been that people would have had more to spend and then this money would have trickled throughout the system and provided jobs. Why not just skip the trickling phase and just hire people immediately for building infrastructure who then go out and spend? Is it not the same effect, but one being quicker?

    We hear about how the Republicans will be more responsible, but don’t get many specifics and the specifics we do get show that the Democratic tax plan and budget produces less debt and gives more people a larger tax cut (middle class). See Ezra Klein.

    We hear about bailouts and how horrible they are, but get no discussion on the impact of letting huge financial actors and employers fail. Were we supposed to do this just to say we are strict capitalist at all costs? We also hear nothing about the companies paying back their borrowed funds.

    There is so much more to be said. The 12,000 people who showed up downtown and the many others who lined 29 to see the President seem to want more than name calling and empty rhetoric. I sincerely hope that many many more throughout the state and country want the same.

  35. “That’s what’s wrong with politics now, especially the Republican-everything-the-President-does-is-evil style.” Pretty easy to substitute “Republicans” with “Democrats” in 2003-2008.

    The egocentric belief that 12K in Cville equals the population of the USA is fairly strong evidence of the problems that much of the right has with the left.

    As too empty rhetoric, David Swansons book on a more perfect union covers it pretty clearly. “while we think of the crimes of the Bush-Cheney administration as lying somewhere in the past, the aggressive wars, warrentless spying, lawless imprisonment and torture continue…”

    Dont get me wrong, I lean to the right in that I simply believe that one should be responsible for oneself, act accordingly and not depend on others when those others have done nothing to move forward. OUr family gives more to those without, than 99% of the country. (anyone who wishes to challenge this is welcome, loser buys dinner… we will eat at C & O) I just want it to be MY choice.

    Bottom line in this great country. If you graduate HS, finish college, get a job, get married, and then have a child, in that order, you are almost guaranteed entree to the middle class.

    Will it be easy. No. Will it still be easier than anytime in the history of mankind save a few decades now and then. Yes.

  36. A lot of those opposed to Perriello argue that he simply toed the party line. That he didn’t do what was best for the 5th district, he just did whatever Nancy Pelosi told him to.

    Many times Perriello supports have brought up facts showing that wasn’t the case. Yes, Tom voted in favor of President Obama’s major initiative, but he *said* he would during his first campaign. And then he did it. He has *not* unabashedly supported the Democrats or the administration.

    Now, all of that said, how about we have a gentleman’s bet here on How about if, should Hurt win, we tally up all of Perriello’s votes during his 2 years, and figure out how many times he voted against his party, get the percentage. Then, in November of 2012 (let’s say early October, because I think it won’t matter much) we do the same for Hurt.

    Who wants to bet Hurt, on a percentage basis, votes with the Republicans more than Perriello voted with the Democrats?

    Or, to put it more bluntly, who is willing to bet Tom was more “his own man” than Hurt will be? Because my faux money says Hurt toes the Republican line more than Tom toes the Democratic line.

    I’m not saying one is better than the other. Just saying that this is a beef many have with Tom. And I think it’s unjustified. There are other things you could complain about with him. But not that.

  37. Inserting Democrats into the statement as a reference to 2003-2008 doesn’t address the underlying issue that partisan politics and empty rhetoric is harmful. It’s been much more one sided these past couple of years. I just don’t think the “well he/she did it first” argument is convincing.

    I definitely get the sentiment that one should work hard. However, I just want to point out a few things. One, I hope this isn’t making some judgment about taxes. No taxes have increased (they’ve been cut) and the Democratic budget plan benefits more people with a larger cut while costing less. Second, we have to recognize that not everyone is going to be fortunate enough to even have their basic needs met. Even the strictest adherents of economic theory acknowledge that there are, at times, “market failures.” When a country is as wealthy as ours is, I think it cruel to let some go without their basic needs. There are also things that are better handled by a single actor who can pool resources and take advantage of economies of scale. Three, the government allows individuals to make a choice about giving and encourages you to do so. They reward them for it by giving tax credits for donations.

  38. C,

    Of course not. But that you think its been one sided recently means you have not been paying attention, or that you just agreed with them back in the day…

    One sided? Are you that new to the system? LBJs midterms? The reactions to Reagan? And Clintons midterms? DOH! Your info marks you as new to the ongoing issues… Hell, “The Powers That Be” covered exactly what we are dealing with today…in 1979.

    Taxes have been increased. My unemployment taxes are up 400%. Other taxes are up 250%. So your wrong. I pay more taxes and I do not make that 250K. TAXS HAVE GONE UP.

    Single actor pooling resources for economies of scale. Wow, socialism..? You do little more than stoke the tea party people.

    The government does not really encourage giving. Have you ever really gone though the nightmare of tax credits? I am guessing not that much…and I am guessing you really do not understand the realities of the credits vs. income vs. tax rates.

    Time for bed.

  39. Now, all of that said, how about we have a gentleman’s bet here on How about if, should Hurt win, we tally up all of Perriello’s votes during his 2 years, and figure out how many times he voted against his party, get the percentage. Then, in November of 2012 (let’s say early October, because I think it won’t matter much) we do the same for Hurt.

    Who wants to bet Hurt, on a percentage basis, votes with the Republicans more than Perriello voted with the Democrats?

    I would happily bet that Hurt will vote with Republicans more than Perriello has voted with Democrats, should Hurt win. As long as I could find somebody to bet against me. I’d put $50 on that, with the money going to the charity of choice of whomever would bet against me.

    For years now I’ve considered adding a “Bets” section to, where we could actually do this sort of thing regularly. Will the Meadowcreek Parkway actually have any effect on traffic five years after it goes into use? Will the effective county property tax rate climb or fall in the next three years? Etc. If people wanted to make such bets, with proceeds going to charities, I’d be all about that.

  40. I’ll back Waldo with a little of my own charitable capital; I’ll add $50 to his kitty. Any takers? After all, if Tom Perriello is such a sock puppet, this ought to be an easy way to get $100 to the charity of choice.

  41. “Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?”

    Oh the irony of using a film quote from one of Richard Nixon’s speechwriters!! :)

    I just don’t think we’ll get any takers. I’m in for $50 with Waldo and A. Soroka. (I think I have to be since I tossed the idea out there!)

    Of course, one reason we won’t get any takers is that a lot of our discussions here are civil. We might passionately believe what we believe, and be passionately opposed to each other, and comments may get a *little* snide now and then, but overall cvillenews is a great place for this kind of discourse. I think it’s been a while since Waldo has had to give anyone a smackdown to keep it polite.

  42. I am sorry, but where are you getting those percentages from? I wasn’t familiar with the unemployment tax so I looked it up in the Code. I found the relevant section and there don’t appear to be any updates in the code adjusting the rates. Could the increases have been the result of something outside of the government raising rates? I don’t think you can really blame the government for raising taxes if they don’t adjust the rates. That would be like me going to the store and buying more stuff one day than I did the day before and then saying that taxes have gone up because I paid more when the rate remained the same (if this is indeed what happened).

    I am quite aware that partisan bickering and name calling has gone on for a while. I am just saying recently it has been one-sided and that I don’t think just because people did it in the past it makes it okay today.

    And this talk of socialism is one thing that annoys me the most. It’s name calling its simplest form. No one explains what it is, no one says what fits into the category, and no one says why whatever program that does fit is bad. What is most annoying is that while many candidates are decrying socialism they are simultaneously running ads and trying to convince seniors that that the government is going after their social security and medicare. It just makes no sense to mean.

  43. Oh, please let’s have a bet. This should be a new article/section: bets. Then when people state a fact or claim to know the future they can put their money where their mouth is. Make it a monetary donation or volunteer hours cleaning up a city/county park, etc. Looks like Tom, A. Soroka, and Waldo have put up $50 each; where are the other takers?

    To make it even more exciting, I’ll hold it in escrow at the UVA Credit Union and we’ll be able to see how well the economy does based on the interest rate paid. Or even more exciting, we can invest it across the blue chips and we can really see how well the economy does.

    Now why aren’t their any takers, is everyone afraid to put their money up to back their words (facts)?

  44. A poll conducted on Friday, a day 12,000 people went to the Obama rally and many young people were out celebrating Halloween, only shows Hurt up by three points. Here’s the real kicker: it’s a GOP internal poll for the Hurt campaign. Tomorrow could be a very interesting day in the 5th District.

  45. On the other hand, we’ve consistently seen Hurt ahead in the polls—even by just a few points—in a trend that has only solidified in the past week. At the risk of stating the obvious, it’s a ground game now—it’s all about which guy can turn out the most voters.

  46. No doubt, Waldo. Goode was consistently ahead as well. I’m not saying it will go one way or the other, I just think it shows that Perriello has a real shot.

    Another really interesting point I noticed from the GOP memo is that it claimed that Perriello “maxed out” among black voters as he is receiving 89 percent and Hurt is receiving 0. What the poll doesn’t do is say what percentage of the population it has those voters. Early voting in North Carolina has black voters turning out at a rate that would make those voters match their percentage in the population (21% of electorate vs. 22 percent of the state). If this holds for the 5th district as well, which is about a quarter black, and Perriello pulls out something like a 90-10 percent lead among this group, he would only need 35 or 36 percent of the rest of the electorate’s (including the relatively small percentage of Hispanic and Asian voters) vote to get over 50 percent. This seems very possible.

    Again, I am not saying it will go one way or the other, just that this could get interesting. We will all know soon enough.

  47. Waldo’s bet is based on a false choice. The 5th is a republican district. Hurt has no problem running on the fact that he will vote 95% with Eric Cantor. There is no downside to that percentage in this district

    If Perriello was running just in the city of Charlottesville he would also say “I’ve proudly voted with Our President and I plan on doing exactly that for the next 2 years”.

    The only reason the republicans mentioned the percentage that Perriello votes with Pelosi is because it damages Perriello in this district, mostly the southside.

    The New York Times has rated Hurt’s chance of winning the 5th at 90% and as you might expect Perriello chance is rated at 10%. Sabato has Hurt winning but this is the ONLY district that he missed 2 years ago.

    If Perriello wins it would be an upset- this is unlikely to be a repeat of 2008.

  48. The 5th is a republican district. Hurt has no problem running on the fact that he will vote 95% with Eric Cantor. There is no downside to that percentage in this district

    I don’t buy it. The public always hates congress. Right now Republicans are running against Pelosi; two years from now Democrats will be running against Boehner, I expect. (Granted, Republicans rely way more on opposing Democratic congressional leadership than vice-versa, but whatever.)

  49. The public does hate Congress but having a liberal from San Francisco lead the house is less acceptable in the 5th the an overly tanned conservative from Ohio. Also Cantor being next door helps. Not a value judgement just looking at demographics.

  50. Waldo, you don’t remember how the Dems ran against Gingrich? or even how Obama tried to make an issue of who would be leading the Repubs?

    Both parties run against congress whenever its convenient.

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