7:03 PM EDT, September 8, 2012
Republicans were up early Saturday, gathering for breakfast at the Salem Civic Center and serving up some sharp rhetoric along with the scrambled eggs.
"If we do four more years of Barack OBama's failed policies," Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling told the Republican audience, "we will not recognize the America that it leaves in his wake."
Downtown at Olde Salem Days, the Salem Rotary Club decided not to allow the political parties to set up booths among the arts and crafts exhibitors, but that didn't keep the politicians away. 9th District Congressman Morgan Griffith worked the crowd outside his Main Street office, and shared his views on the choice Virginians will make in the presidential election.
"No matter what his aspirations are," Griffith said in an interview, "the President isn't getting the job done. It's time for a change in Washington."
Griffith's Democratic opponent Anthony Flaccavento picked up some produce at the farmer's market, prospected for votes along Main Street and offered a different take on President Obama's record.
"You can have your frustrations with the current administration, with the President," Flaccavento said, "but the fact of the matter is they're taking positive steps in creating jobs, in addressing health care, in our area with Black Lung. There's a lot of good things that get buried in the shouting."
A cardboard cutout of Barack Obama was relegated to a private parking lot near Main Street, but Salem Democrats were working to win converts in what appeared to be a largely conservative crowd.
Nathan Auldridge is the Vice Chairman of the Salem Democratic Committee. "I think the President has done a remarkable job at moving us forward," he said.
It now appears that the two presidential campaigns are fighting over a small percentage of the vote in Virginia, and a handful of other battleground states. And with that in mind, one Republican leader said that every campaign commercial, every handshake, is taking on more importance as we head closer to election day.
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