On the same day that a new Rasumssen Poll showed the presidential race in a dead heat in Virginia, the Obama campaign opened a headquarters at 124 South Main Street in Harrisonburg (about a block from the courthouse). The atmosphere reminded me of an Apple Store - lots of smiles, enthusiasm, energy, optimism, and knowledgeable people discussing issues and strategy. Over the past few days, the Obama campaign has opened 20 offices in other small and medium sized towns.
An Obama headquarters should be opening in Staunton in a few weeks.
The HQ opened at 10 AM and there was steady stream of visitors getting signs and bumper stickers and signing up to volunteer. A young lady from Staunton registered to vote and her application was added to a stack of others who had previously done so. Another table had maps of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County - folks were signing up to host events and talk to neighbors in their precincts. Laptops were connected to my.barackobama.com and to the Neighbor to Neighbor online organizing tool. Mitch Stewart, the statewide campaign director of Virginians for Obama arrived about 1 PM and ignited the crowd while speaking at the reception.
The crowd swelled as the Grand Opening Reception was about to being at 2 PM. Lemonade, ham biscuits, roasted pecans, fresh fruit, and other snacks made for a gathering point at the back of the room if you could weave your way through the crowd to get there .
As the reception was about to begin the room was filling with people. What's the fire marshal's limit?
Visitors were greeted at the door by local Obama campaign workers and volunteers from the local Democratic committees. Bumper stickers and yard signs were gone shortly after noon - even with an extra supply brought by Barbara Lee from the Augusta-Staunton Democratic headquarters.