Friday, February 18, 2011

Live-blogging: Eric Cantor's annual campaign breakfast feaures Bob McDonnell

7:00: The Congressman and the Governor are in Richmond this morning.

Congressman and Majority Leader Eric Cantor is headlining his annual campaign breakfast and this year the keynote speaker is Governor Bob McDonnell as they join forces at the Richmond Convention Center. There will be almost 1,500 supporters and business leaders filling the 154 tables that are set up and waiting as the crowd filters in the doors.

Fellow bloggers are setting up at the back of the ballroom ... Jim Hoeft with Bearing Drift and Tom White with VaRight are here. Former RPV New Media Committee chair Cortland Putbrese is talking with all of us.

George Allen, Linwood Cobb, and Ben Marchi have been seen but most folks are still in the hallway visiting and greeting others.

Breakfast Agenda
Welcome & Opening Remarks:
Linwood Cobb, Chairman, 7th District Republican Committee

Pledge of Allegiance:
Carlos Valdez Talley, Lt. Col., Henrico County Sheriff's Office

The Honorable Bill Bolling, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia

Recognition of Elected Officials:
Linwood Cobb

Introduction of Governor Bob McDonnell:
The Honorable Eric Cantor, U.S. House Majority Leader

The Honorable Bob McDonnell
Governor of Virginia

8:00: Linwood Cobb is opening breakfast with welcoming remarks. Because the room is maxed out, he joked that they have a call in to Jerry Jones to see if Texas Stadium is available next year, to laughter from the crowd. More tables have been added so there are 1,500 or more in the room. This is quite an impressive crowd.

8:04: Lt. Col. Carlos Valdez Talley recognized our military men and women and led a moment of silence in thanks to them, then led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling approached to lead the invocation but first joked that he had one comment to Linwood Cobb ... this event will NEVER go to Texas," to laughter from the crowd.

8:06: Breakfast is being served. Ben Marchi is visiting Bloggers Row ... many familiar faces have stopped by ... Chesterfield Chairman Donald Williams just passed by and said hello. The room is buzzing with conversation....

8:25: Introduction of elected officials in the room by Linwood ... here's a partial list....
Congressman and Mrs. Eric Cantor, Governor and Mrs. Bob McDonnell, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, Congressman Scott Rigell, Former Lt. Gov. John Hager, Former Gov. George Allen, Del. Bill Howell, Speaker of the House of Delegates ...

... Sen. Mark Obenshain, Sen. McDougle, Sen. Ralph Smith, Sen. Steve Martin, Del. Ben Cline, Del. Kirk Cox, Del. Bill Janis, Del. Terry Kilgore, Both Delegates Bell, Del.Cole, Del. Barbara Comstock, Del. Cosgrove, Del. John Cox, Del. Nixon, Del. Scott, Del. Wilke, Del. Greg Habeeb, Del. Lingenfelter, Del. Lapossi, Del. Massie, Del. Miller, Del. O'Bannon, Del. Peace, Del. Poindexter, Del. Ware

8:30: Introduction by Linwood Cobb of Congressman Eric Cantor (standing ovation).

Eric Cantor is addressing the crowd, hitting on all things Republican ... smaller government, reined-in spending, advance small businesses to applause from the crowd. His wife, Diane, is in the crowd. The Congressman was in session in the U.S. House until late last night.

Congressman Cantor is now speaking about Bob McDonnell and the leadership he has provided for Virginians, proving that we can live within our means in the Commonwealth. Destination for business, jobs ... and recognized Maureen McDonnell and thanked her for all she does for the Commonwealth. He introduced the Governor to a standing ovation ... Gov. McDonnell thanked the Congressman for all he does, noting that he was operating on three hours sleep and will be heading back to DC immediately after the breakfast.

McDonnell is talking about inviting businesses to come to Virginia ... 235 years ago a group of principled men got together to make a great nation. He recalled that when first elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, he was stuck in the "amen" corner but he figured it was a good thing because Jefferson's statute was right behind him, and a guy to his right who looked like he was about 12 years old was Del. Eric Cantor and on his left was Del. Kirk Cox. So here's the moral of the story, he said: If you want to do something great, sit next to me! (Laughter from crowd) He talked about Eric Cantor's understanding of what it takes to get our great nation on track and thanked him for his leadership.

8:55: Congressman Cantor is thanking everyone for coming out, noting that he is now heading back to DC and wishing everyone a good day.

Good to talk with Jim, Jason, and Tom afterward as well as Melissa Nelson and Kristi Way with Congressman Cantor's office and Melissa Pugmire with Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling's office.

Governor Allen greeted folks before breakfast and received a rousing round of applause when introduced. After breakfast, the Congressman had to head directly to DC; the legislators had to head to the Capitol. In the far corner of the ballroom, there was a large gathering of people and standing in the middle of them was George Allen shaking hands, posing for photos, talking with folks. Vintage George Allen.

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