Shenandoah County conservative activist Suzanne Curran has been here all weekend and stopped by a while ago. Saw Bruce Richmond, head of the Shenandoah Valley Tea Party, and his wife Pam.
Ron Paul has gone to sign books and the panel is set up for the national policy forum featuring Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, former U.S. Senator and Governor George Allen, Rep. Steve King, and Rep. Rick Santorum.
Rep. King has started the discussion with opening remarks. Rep. Rick Santorum is now speaking about the uniqueness of America.
George Allen received a standing ovation from the crowd and is now addressing the crowd. "Good to see people rise up and stirred up and ready to take control of their lives ... they rushed stimulus spending through, tell us what kind of energy we should use..." (applause, standing ovation) As he speaks about personal responsibility, the rights of law-abiding citizens, putting criminals behind bars, and more, there's additional applause and cheers. "Right-to-work law in Commonwealth of Virginia" (more applause and cheers) ... "My friends, we need to know that whoever controls Congress, Republicans or Democrats, there need to be restraints put on Congress. ... We the People need to get back in control ... trust us the people ... we're Virginians, we're Americans!" (standing ovation, applause)
Ken Cucinelli brought down the roof when he was introduced. Can you say "tea party favorite"? He's now speaking about an article that said Cuccinelli is a throwback to what it used to mean to be small government. (applause, standing ovation) "You all are going to be a steam roller across Virginia next year" for state general assembly elections. "We will take back the presidency with a president who knows what the Founding Fathers meant ..." (applause, cheers) "When people ask how the job's going, we tell them we're not bored!" (laughter) He's hitting on the points that hit home with tea party patriots. "If the Republicans take back a house or two, will we see this administration tack to the middle? I don't think so." (boos) Health care, environmentalism, over-extended government, loss of jobs ... he's hitting it all. Remarks complete, standing ovation, cheering from crowd. Now the panel is going into a question and answer period....
The convention ended with results announced for a presidential straw poll with 1,500 votes cast. The winner was NJ Governor Chris Christie closely followed by Sarah Palin with Ron Paul rounding out the top three.