Sen. Deeds certainly seems ready for the task ahead, brimming with energy and ideas. Standing in a very warm room, a little sweat dropping off his face, Deeds explained his plans to make Virginia a green energy leader, to deal with health care in the Commonwealth, to improve education and to make it so Virginians can get around the state.
As our host's dog walked by a couple times, Deeds couldn't resist giving the pup a pet or two. We sensed that he'd just as soon spend more time with the canine than with the rest of us, but who can blame him.
Deeds described himself as a "nomad" these days, traveling about the state. With his home in Bath County, down in the southwest (but not the far southwest, as he was quick to point out), he pretty much spends every day on the road. That's good--it makes him fully aware of the true extent of the transportation crisis facing the commonwealth's citizens.
The Senator also gave a nice explanation of the importance of the governor in the redistricting process that will take place after the 2010 census, and the incredible importance of that process to Virginia's political calculus going forward.
Deeds projects a down-home, aw-shucks manner, but you can tell he's a sharp cookie. We would like to see him be a bit crisper in answering questions and discussing policy issues--his approach will work well in the general store down home, but NoVa audiences will expect a little more polish.
Part of the good news for Deeds was that the crowd assembled for this fundraiser consisted of a fair number of Democrats who had supported his two opponents in the primary. It appears that the prospect of Bob McDonnell as governor is enough to unite party after the tough primary battle.