Mixing bluegrass music and politics


When politicians come to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwestern Virginia they had better know how to shake a leg on the dance floor as well as pick and grin.

A mandatory stop for all candidates seeking office is the Friday Night Jamboree, a weekly bluegrass music gathering in the small, one-stoplight town of Floyd.

Mark Warner visited the Jamboree frequently and also held town meetings at the Floyd Country Store while serving as governor of Virginia.  His first statewide tour when he ran for the U.S. Senate included a stop at the Friday night Jamboree and he brought former Gov. Tim Kaine — currently running for the second seat in the Senate against former Senator and governor George Allen.

“I know if I want votes in this part of Virginia, I’d better make a stop at the Jamboree,” Democrat Kaine told Capitol Hill Blue on his most recent visit.

Most politicians know it’s not smart to dress up in a suit when you come to rural areas but Creigh Deeds, a Democrat who ran for governor two years ago, didn’t get the memo.

He showed up in a suit.

He lost.

Virginina Sen. Mark Warner (left) and Senate hopeful Tim Kaine jam on the stage of the Friday night Jamboree in Floyd, Virginia (Doug Thompson/Capitol Hill Blue)

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6 Responses to "Mixing bluegrass music and politics"

  1. ThadHunter  May 13, 2012 at 9:54 am

    When I see articles like this I have to wonder if Virginians in Floyd are also reviewing Tim Kaine’s liberal record as governor and DNC Chairman. And if he talks the same way in Southwest as he does up here in NoVa.

    As governor he aggressively advocated cap and trade and other anti-coal positions and as senator he would certainly not vote to get rid of the zealots at the EPA and Dept of Energy. While NoVa liberal Democrats ridicule the rest of Virginia, many of us (I live in Loudoun) are concerned about adequate electricity capacity and understand that we are critically dependent on coal mining and generation. Virginia is still the second largest importer of electricity and now the Surry plant is in jeopardy with the new 1000 lb carbon/megawatt rule which effectively kills the project.

    As governor he relentlessly tried to raise taxes from week two, even in an economic pullback. He still enthusiastically supports Obamacare. He never misses an opportunity to mention gun control legislation such as after the Tucson shootings. He actively worked against Virginia’s marriage amendment, and the list goes on.

    I can’t think of a single reason why any conservative leaning person who worries about out of control spending, the intrusion of Obamacare, the lack of new businesses especially manufacturing would vote for Tim Kaine. If you would like to review his record I invite you to DefeatTimKaine.com or follow @DefeatTimKaine. Don’t expect the media to remind you of his record this election.

    • Doug Thompson  May 13, 2012 at 10:08 am

      I don’t agree with some of Tim Kaine’s positions but I will take him over that racist lunatic George Allen any day of the week.

  2. Almandine  May 13, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    And here I thought it was about the music…

  3. Jon  May 14, 2012 at 2:54 am

    Somehow I don’t think the ability to dance or the ability to pick a banjo says a damn thing about their ability to govern.

    That you failed to elect someone who did not demonstrate those totally extraneous qualifications says more about you than it does about him.

    Jon

    • Doug Thompson  May 14, 2012 at 10:37 am

      Good grief Jon, did you wake up on Sunday and decide to overdose on “I’m going to take myself way too seriously” pills?

      It’s not about playing an instrument. It’s about connecting with voters. This particular area of Virginia is typically Republican but Mark Warner won the region because he connected with the residents of a rural area. Creigh Deeds lost because he ran a campaign that will be used in textbooks to show how to lose. He was a piss-poor candidate.

      I didn’t fail to elect anyone. I wasn’t running his campaign or supporting him. He should have known better than to show up at a bluegrass event wearing a suit that made him look like a banker but that was typical Deeds. He’s an asshole and mountain folks can spot one a country mile away.

      • Jon  May 14, 2012 at 2:54 pm

        A problem with the English language is that there is no distinction between the you plural and the you singular. I did not have you, singularly, Mr. Thompson, in mind. Perhaps I should have said, “y’all”.

        Maybe I should knock the top off a beer and mellow out for awhile, but this place does at least make me think about things from a different perspective.

        Connecting with the voters is how to get elected, and Mr. Deeds may or may not be an asshole, I’m not qualified to comment upon that, but the qualifications to get elected are not the same qualifications regarding governing. I would cite President George W. Bush on this. You may cite whatever elected official you like (or don’t like).

        That was my point, anyhow. I guess it has been made.

        Have fun,

        Jon

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