(Lovettsville, VA) ... Loudoun County in Northern Virginia has been Republican red for a long time but something revolutionary has happened that has everyone scratching their heads about the change in Virginia politics that has Loudoun County and perhaps all of Virginia turning from red to blue this presidential election season.
Former Virginia Governor Mark Warner has discouraged partisan posturing and trumpeted a policy of results that matter to the voters. In a year when the economy is sour, the war is never-ending, and government seems to be coming up short, Governor Warner has a message that voters want to hear. Governor Warner will likely become our next US Senator with his record of performance and his promise to do more of the same in the US Senate. It is no accident that Governor Warner is the keynote speaker at next Tuesday's Democratic Convention in Denver, Colorado.
Nor does it appear that Governor Warner is alone in this resolve. Governor Tim Kaine, the incumbent, has followed the same kind of policy in office and won high praise for his hard won results.
Senator Jim Webb, a decorated marine, celebrated author, and former Navy Secretary was a Reagan Democrat who found the prosecution of the Iraq war ill-advised and wrong-headed and thought we weren't doing enough for the middle class and for those men and women who put their lives at risk. When Webb won his upset victory over Republican Senator George Allen, he showed the way to a Democratic Majority in the U.S. Senate as he led other Republicans to pull the voting lever for good government that got them results.
Loudoun County has been a mix of farmers in fox hunt country and hi-tech behemoths that breed IT innovation. The County has grown faster for years than any other County in the U.S. It was solidly Republican but it changed because the voters preferred results and accountable officials over ideology that meant less to their everyday lives.
Virginia Congressman Bobby Scott, one of my personal heroes, said that Senator Barack Obama, slated to be nominated as the Democratic presidential candidate next week, will carry Virginia in November if we register 200,000 new voters by early October.
When we talked months ago, there were already 100,000 voters. The robust primary season nationwide and in Virginia that pitted Senator Obama against Senator Hillary Clinton, and other worthy Democrats, caused many to register to vote because they liked what they heard.
In Loudoun County, by way of example, we increased registered voters by 23% since 2004 when we last had a presidential election. Whether you like the campaign slogan or not, that's real "change."
President Lyndon Johnson last won Virginia in 1964 after President Jack Kennedy was slain in Dallas against Senator Barry Goldwater. President Clinton came the closest in 1996 when he beat Senator Bob Dole.
But this is a bellwether political years that has confounded party elders, aged pundits and every prediction anyone has made.
This is a year of hope and it is a year of change from what was.
We wait to watch Virginia, the cradle of Presidents, to defy the elders and pundits and make Virginia blue again.