Are you feeling a little left out on Super Tuesday? One can see why. We’re having a presidential primary here in Virginia, and Northern Virginia’s two contenders for the White House — Newt Gingrich (R-McLean) and Rick Santorum (R-Great Falls) — aren’t even on the ballot, mainly because neither ever imagined they’d still be in the race in March 2012.
But that doesn’t mean NoVa isn’t having an impact in this election year. First, The Post’s Marc Fisher pointed out in an excellent piece Sunday that places in NoVa like Walney Village, a townhouse neighborhood in Chantilly (western Fairfax County), have almost always picked the presidential winner, and share a lot of characteristics — diverse, in debt, disillusioned with both major parties — with the electorate. Maybe Virginia really is a swing state this year.
Second, The New York Times brought us a front-page article datelined, “GREAT FALLS, Va.,” which details Santorum’s and his wife Karen’s relatively late embrace of Catholicism, and the fact they are immersed in their Great Falls parish, St. Catherine of Siena. The article also notes that Karen Santorum, as a single nursing student in her 20s, lived for six years with a doctor who operated an abortion clinic, who was in his 60s, and had delivered her at birth. Quite an article.
Third, Professor Steve Farnsworth, formerly of George Mason University, newly returned to Mary Washington University, published a spirited call in The Post Sunday for Virginia to move its primary date ahead of those homogenous non-representative lands of Iowa and New Hampshire. “Iowa and New Hampshire try to sell the rest of the nation on the idea that they represent the last vestige of Norman Rockwell’s America,” Farnsworth wrote. “In fact, the process is more Norman Bates than Norman Rockwell. Iowa often favors an extreme candidate, and New Hampshire generally turns to a well-funded, media-friendly candidate. (Plus, this year Iowa demonstrated that it can’t count.) Why should these two small states have such outsize influence?” An entertaining and logic-filled read.
Finally on Sunday, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-RoVa) snubbed his two fellow Virginians and jumped on the Mitt Romney bandwagon. So we would be remiss if we didn’t include this clip of Cantor inventing a new, bad-sounding adjective to describe the presidential campaign as he announced his endorsement on “Meet the Press:” (ht: NotLarrySabato)