Energy was high at Robinson Secondary School on July 10, as hundreds gathered to hear Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama speak about economic security for women. The visit was Obamas third campaign-related stop in just over a month in Northern Virginia, where Democrats have placed special efforts in gaining Congressional and Senatorial seats.
A ticket with Obama, Gerry Connolly, candidate for the 11th District congressional seat, and Senate candidate Mark Warner is the local strategy, said George Burke, a spokesperson for the Fairfax County Democratic Party.
Its wonderful to be back in Virginia, Obama said. We did well in the primary in Virginia and we want to do well in the general election in Virginia.
Introduced by Virginias First Lady Anne Holton, Obama talked about his plan to implement tax cuts for low-income families, making college tuition more affordable and ensuring equal pay for men and women in the workforce.
I want my daughters and all of our daughters to have no limits on their dreams, Obama said.
After his prepared remarks, the presumptive Democratic candidate answered questions from the audience, ranging from questions about stem cell research to education, immigration and the national debt.
Speaking before Obama made his appearance, Connolly, who is also chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, spoke about the opportunity to turn Virginia blue.
If we do our job here in Fairfax County, we are going to make sure Obama is the next president of the United States, said Connolly, who beat his opponent in the Democratic primary in a landslide and now faces Republican Keith Fimian in November.
While Obamas Virginia campaign staff is not singling out Northern Virginia and Fairfax County, they will be very mindful of the area, said Kevin Griffis, a spokesman for the Obama campaign. The large population, home foreclosures, traffic woes and demoralized federal workers in Fairfax County make it a prime campaign area, Griffis said.
Anyone who runs in Virginia, no matter what party youre in, is going to have to pay special attention to Fairfax County, Griffis said.