Obama Campaign Opens New McLean Office
Romney supporters campaigned for their candidate outside the new Obama office in McLean on Monday night.
Nearly 250 Obama supporters from McLean and Great Falls turned out Monday night to the now-shuttered Blockbuster store on Chain Bridge Road to mark the grand opening of President Obama's new campaign office in McLean.
The space will be used to organize phone banks, neighborhood canvassing efforts and other field operations to boost chances for the president's reelection in Virginia, where Obama is just slightly ahead of former Gov. Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential nominee, in recent polls.
The event was headlined by Democratic heavyweights, including Dranesville Supervisor John Foust, state Sen. Barbara Favola, former DNC chair Terry McAuliffe and Congressman Jim Moran.
"When you walk out that door, you stop every person you see," said McAuliffe, a McLean resident, who co-chaired Bill Clinton's 1996 re-election campaign. "If they don't stop, tackle them."
With little more than a month to go before the election, speakers at the event urged attendees that canvassing door-to-door was the most effective method to spread Obama's message, even if it feels a little unnatural.
"Now is the time that really matters. We've got to make sure we drive this home. The wind is at our back and we need to take advantage of that," McAuliffe said. "The most important thing of my message today is, folks, we need you knocking the doors."
Silvia Gonzalez Roman, a neighborhood team leader for the Obama campaign in Great Falls, said she's noticed more Romney signs in her neighbors' yards than Obama signs, but that it doesn't worry her.
"I'm not really concerned about yard signs," she said. "Yard signs don't vote...There are an incredible number of Democrats in Great Falls."
John Schell, a neighborhood team leader in McLean, said this final month of campaigning is crucial.
"Right now is when things really heat up," Schell said. "Really the kind of work we're doing in the field is how you win. It's a grassroots campaign."
But Democrats weren't the only party making noise in downtown McLean on Monday night.
As hundreds of Obama supporters flocked to the new campaign office, a smaller contingent of Romney volunteers turned out at the Safeway parking lot next door and passed out campaign literature to interested shoppers.
"We're basically just showing our support - showing the colors for our candidate," said Jill Cook, the Dranesville District chairwoman for the Fairfax County Republican Party. "We're pretty low key."