Murray Campaigns on the Eve of Tuesday’s Election

by ARLnow.com November 1, 2010 at 11:42 pm 1,852 9 Comments

It was a whirlwind trip around the 8th District today for Republican congressional candidate Patrick Murray.

With the help of a campaign bus, a core group of staffers and a collection of volunteers, Murray greeted voters in ten different locations around the district, part of his week-long “Road to Victory Tour.”

Murray’s first stop in Arlington was a guest appearance on G. Gordon Liddy’s radio show, which broadcasts from Rosslyn. The two men bantered about Murray’s military service and opponent Jim Moran’s comment that military service does not constitute “public service.”

“I don’t know who this Moran fellow thinks he is, but wow, that really takes the cake,” Liddy said, after rattling off the ranks three children and one grandchild who have served or are serving in the military.

After the Liddy interview, it was off to Clarendon. Starbucks was first on the agenda, for a much-needed caffeine infusion.

(The public appearances had started at 6:30 a.m. at the Huntington Metro station, and weren’t scheduled to end until 7:00 p.m., at the King Street Metro station. “I’ve stopped looking at the schedule because it just keeps going,” Murray said wearily.)

As Murray was getting ready to leave Starbucks, an aide told him he had to make a series of important phone calls. He pleaded for some time to walk around first.

Murray was remarkably unintimidated by the deep blue surroundings: a Whole Foods, a yoga apparel store, an indie rock club. Flashing a big smile, he approached the few people who were walking around Clarendon at 12:15 on a Monday afternoon. The grin was greeted with politeness at worst, and an enthusiastic pledge to vote at best.

Murray always made sure to ask his targets whether they were 8th District voters, but more often than not engaged them in conversation regardless of the answer. Among those who Murray took time to talk to were tourists from Sweden, a group of guys from Maryland and a woman who asked for directions to Starbucks.

Murray’s Army background was a continuous topic of conversation. He appeared most adept at connecting with veterans and family members of veterans.

“Okay, I’ll talk a little louder,” he joked upon finding out one voter was a former artilleryman. “Huh?” the man said, playing along. The man and his family promised to vote Murray.

Later, while walking down Wilson Boulevard, Murray casually picked up a discarded piece of plastic from the ground. He immediately the identified it as fake M-16 ammunition.

“Point 2-2-3 caliber, 5-point-5-6 millimeter,” I think I heard him recite from memory, although he said it too quickly to be sure. He placed the Halloween accessory back where he found it and kept walking.

When a staffer suggested Murray head into Whitlow’s, the candidate balked.

“I don’t like to bother folks while they’re eating,” he said.

Though Murray has decided not to advertise on TV in order to save money (he had just over $100,000 cash on hand as of Sept. 30), he talked about a radio ad the campaign had recently launched. He also explained that his burgeoning corps of high school volunteers required a considerable financial outlay.

“The pizza bills have gone through the roof!” he said, smiling but unsarcastic. He consulted with a nearby aide to confirm the expenditure.

Volunteers are especially vital to Murray’s campaign, given Moran’s huge fundraising advantage.

Volunteers, Murray said, have made 112,000 calls to voters on behalf of the campaign. An internet ad released today bragged about “11,000 yard signs deployed” by  “800 active volunteers.”

Murray, in keeping with the military theme, confided that the “ground component” of his campaign was his secret weapon.

  • Liddy?

    Well, after reading this piece it became crystal clear why I was willing to get out at 6am to vote for Moran. G. Gordon Liddy? Really?

    Why would I ever vote for someone willing to pal around with someone who has tried to subvert the political process and has absolutely no standing to criticize anyone about notions of service to the nation.

  • Lee

    It is time for what you liberals love most “change” – Moran needs to retire, get out and vote for Murray!

  • Lou

    Interesting dynamic at the Ballston Metro last night. A Murray volunteer handing out literature and encouraging all who passed to vote for Murray and that he needed their support. Moran himself, standing about 3 feet behind the guy, barely uttering a word. It was kind of creepy looking at first, the way he was hovering. I watched it go on for about 10 minutes. Both groups got about equal attention from people going by, but Moran looked like he was uncomfortable having this guy between him and the escalators.

    • Eh?

      A similar dynamic occurred on Saturday at the Clarendon Metro. I told Moran I voted for him, and he didn’t even say a word. Granted, I’m sure he hears things like that (or the exact opposite) all the time, but still.

      • anon

        I’ve met Moran a couple of times and he’s always been very nice and friendly. Who knows–maybe he’s coming down with a cold or maybe he was running on 2 hours of sleep. Ya never know! I always found him to be personable.

    • Captain Obvious

      Jim’s usually very warm with people. I’m sure they’re both tired.

      • Lou

        It was not as if he was being rude or anything, he just was not doing much at all. Like he just assumed people knew who he was. I can remember back in the day when this was Frank Wolf’s district. He would show up and was always very engaging, introducing himself and seeking out people to talk to. Just a different styles, but the Murray campaign looked like the more energized there, last night.

        • ClarendonDweller

          I’m glad that somebody noticed the same thing I did about Moran – he was there during the rush of people going to the Sanity/Fear rally, and he just stood there looking at people instead of trying to greet anyone. I actually reached out to him to say hello (and I’m not even a supporter). Meanwhile, I have met Murray himself three times at the metro going to and from work, and he’s much better about reaching out and speaking to people. Just an interesting dynamic.

          I also thought this piece on Murray was nicely done. Felt like I was there with the campaign.

    • Greg

      So that was Moran!?! I love this site. I blew past him coming off the Metro and did a double-take. One of his supporters was handing out flyers and two Murray supporters were asking for votes. Moran was just standing there like he had wandered into the middle of the scene by accident. It was a little odd and until this moment I have been wondering if that was really Moran or just someone who really looked like him.


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