Home Virginia Politics Webb for Senate 2006 HQ Finally To Meet the Wrecking Ball

Webb for Senate 2006 HQ Finally To Meet the Wrecking Ball

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This certainly isn’t the most beautiful building in the world. Its wiring is sketchy, it leaks when it rains, and it probably was ready to be torn down several years ago. But, for those of us who worked on the 2006 Webb for Senate campaign, we’ll always have fond memories of 1916 Wilson Boulevard in Arlington.

I remember the early days of Webb’s candidacy in early March 2006, when Steve Jarding and Lee Diamond (photo after the “flip”) were driving around Northern Virginia, looking for affordable (aka, “cheap”, since the campaign had very little money) office space suitable for Webb’s budding campaign. They finally found what they were looking for, right near Courthouse Metro and – perhaps just as importantly – close to several bars and restaurants like Ireland’s Four Courts, Brooklyn Bagel Bakery, California Tortilla, and Rhodeside Grill. Webb staffers held many lunches and many “meetings” at those establishments, no doubt providing a significant boost to the local economy. 🙂  Inside that building, the Webb for Senate team on the 3rd floor, and the volunteers on the 2nd floor, somehow managed to pull off a victory that pretty much nobody thought was possible when 2006 began. That victory came, of course, with a big assist from an anti-Bush tsunami and a huge cowboy-booted foot in George Allen’s mouth, but we’ll take it nonetheless!

Anyway, it now appears that there are plans to demolish Webb’s old headquarters and replace it with “stores and restaurants on the sidewalk level…200 residential units, two open courtyards and an underground parking garage.” Sounds like a major, much needed, upgrade. Still, I’ll miss driving by 1916 Wilson Boulevard and remembering the excitement of the 2006 Webb-Miller and Webb-Allen races.  Good times.

Among many other fond memories of the Webb for Senate HQ at 1916 Wilson Boulevard, I’d definitely have to list the rally with Jim Webb and John Kerry held in the parking lot (see photos above and after the “flip”) the day before the June 13 Democratic primary. Kerry’s endorsement was a big one for Webb in the Democratic primary, and 300 supporters turned out to celebrate.

Of course, I also remember the hordes of volunteers – ably guided by people like the extraordinary Mary Detweiler, and of course Josh Chernila – descending on 1916 Wilson Boulevard during the fall of 2006. People like filmmakers Annabel Park and Eric Byler from LA, a group of law students from Yale (intent on protecting the vote), senior citizens, high school kids, and “Real Virginians” of all types, all fired up to elect Jim Webb, defeat George Allen, and help take our country back from the disastrous, Republican misrule of Bush, Cheney, Hastert, DeLay, etc. The energy was incredible, and in the end it helped us take back the Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008.  Now, we need to make sure we don’t lose that energy, or even worse, cede it to fired-up folks on the far right.  If we let that happen, then a “wrecking ball” will come down not just on 1916 Wilson Boulevard, but also (metaphorically) on all the progress we’ve made in the last few years.  With that, enjoy the photos…and the memories!

  • Teddy Goodson

    glued to the phone in the midst of incredible background noise, eating great food brought in by supporters while calling Bristol, Danville, everywhere all over the Real Virginia (which turned out to be every part of Virginia), watching our candidate begin learning how to campaign (he was clearly uncomfortable with that part of the gig), making signs and marshalling to get out to every parade and event possible, scheduling tabling (thanks, Todd), subway leaflet drops, canvassing, squeezing out dime after dollar after dime for the campaign when we were literally on our uppers, hunting for a parking space at the building and ending up on the street stuffing parking meters (I only ended up with two parking tickets)…. yeah, a great time was had by all, right down to the last minute on election day, stepping over legs in the hall as dozens and dozens of young Democrat volunteers showed up with their cell phones to GOTV.

    Oh, and remember when a staffer came in as we were stuffing envelopes and announced that Harris Miller, the opponent in the primary, had dumped a bundle of his own money into his own campaign, so limits on donations were raised, and now previous donors could give more money to Webb (so we dug out our checkbooks—- who needed to eat lunch, we’d give the money to Webb)  

  • leedynamo

    Matt Hand found the lead that got us to 1916 Wilson.  The property he saw didn’t work out, but it connected us with the real estate agent responsible for 1916 Wilson.  Matt also did a bunch of great graphic stuff for us, computer and posters.  He is a very talented guy.

  • teacherken

    that is, both the building, and especially the rally with Kerry, which was (a) the day before the primary, and (b) the day after the end of the 1st Yearlykos Convention in Las Vegas –  I had flown back over night, gone and taught and come straight to the rally from school in Greenbelt, not having slept.

    I wound up talking with Chris Cillizza, who had been in Vegas.  After the event, a group of us went to the downstairs semi-outdoor bar (was that Bardo Rodeo) for drinks and I had my first extended conversation with Webb, at the end of which he said he wanted me in his kitchen cabinet.

    The next evening, after he had addressed us upon knowing he had won the primary, and Moran and Kerry had come in to congratulate him, as he was leaving he turned and pointed at me at said again “kitchen cabinet!” –  it never happened, as I was away for a month in July in a seminar at W&M.

    At times we were bursting at 1916 Wilson.  I can remember shortly before the election when every single phone line was in use, and about a dozen of us were sitting on the floor in the hallway using our personal cells to make calls.

    What a campaign!!

  • kindler

    ..but there is history within those moldy walls!

    I remember going there before the primary and it was like a big cavern with barely a soul in it.  But boy things really changed after Webb beat Miller — the energy and enthusiasm in there, with indefatiguable folks like Mary Detweiler and Barbara Kreykenbaum…such is what great revolutions are made of!

  • teacherken

    John Harwood talking with rally attender:

    John Harwood at Webb-Kerry 2006 rally

    Webb and Kerry walking to rally:

    Kerry and Webb walking to 2006 rally

    Webb with family:

    Webb with family at Kerry rally 2006

    Webb addressing the rally:

    Webb with Kerry at rally 2006

    Webb and Kerry embrace, with Leslie Byrne on one side and John Bruhns on the other:

    Webb and Kerry at 2006 rally

    peace.

  • The Richmonder

    I remember driving up to deliver Richmond/Henrico’s signatures during the “ballot petition phase.”  

  • Brian

    And that is nothing’s been redeveloped. I don’t know about the rest here, but I live across the street from this. I volunteered on Sunday’s entering data into the Donkey Database. I would just walk from home here.  Here also had a Taco Bell and a Bardos. Bardos, really was on Death’s doorstep, but did Taco Bell have to go with it?  Yes California Tortilla did have better burritos, but it was more exotic food, not real Mexican. Sure Taco Bell was crap, and it went fast through you, but it was real, cheap.  These plans started to take root around 2003 when I was working at the Hollywood Video. I remember being faced with a downsize threat, after the downsize from my fulltime job at Home Depot. The downsize threat was really Blockbuster trying to do a hostile takeover. It didn’t work, still there was always the threat that they were going to but in a big fancy hotel on a fucking meridian strip, oh gee I wonder how the cars are going to park,maybe where the apartment complex use to be-that’s still there. But these plans were in the heady economic boom of the Bush Administration. In 2008 they got approval to knock Bardos and Taco Bell down, and were going to start building. That’s when the Heady day of economic growth came to a head and Wall Street crashed in 2009, and home mortgages dried up, and jobs vanished and banks collapsed, and now it is 2010 and nothing is still there.

    That said, I was honored to take part in the downfall of George Allen, that gave the Senate to the Democrats, the very next day after the Democrats took control of the House.