In Virginia, the Romney and Obama Offices Take a Campaign Break

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 29 2012 1:57 PM

In Virginia, the Romney and Obama Offices Take a Campaign Break

ARLINGTON, Va. -- The presidential campaigns have temporarily stopped fighting it out in the Mid-Atlantic swing states. That's the story, anyway. Starting this morning, the Romney campaign in Virginia let reporters know that the campaign bus was being re-purposed to deliver food and water -- "food items, such as beef jerky, granola bars, peanut butter, etc." according to an email the campaign sent to supports on Friday. The Obama campaign, scrapping most events, eventually sent out similar messages -- in lieu of support, give to the Red Cross.

Late morning I donned a sturdy Grundens jacket (purchased in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, but available elsewhere) and drove around to Romney and Obama offices in northern Virginia. By 11:00 a.m., the Obama office -- the one trying to maximize the vote in safe, diverse blue area -- was closed.

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The Romney office was located only 5 minutes away, in an office park near the cluster of Arlingto metro stations. It was still open, with a young skeleton crew going in and out, two people manning a phone bank that could have served 20. This office, the nerve center of the Romney-Ryan operation in Virginia, would be open until 5, and the same went for all other NoVa offices. But all Romney-Ryan offices in the state were collecting supplies. This photo of the Arlington was provided by the campaign*:

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As I left, I got an email from the Obama campaign pointing me to http://my.barackobama.com/Red-Cross. So it's not b.s., really. Campaigning is on hold -- any good that the relief efforts do for either candidate's brand is just gravy. 

*I was at the office, but only after the supplies were removed.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.