The makeover is apparent. With less than an hour to the official start time, the speechifying has already been going on for three quarters of an hour. With some 19 speakers allotted time, some are being given the honor to address the sparse crowd of early arrivals.
There has been a truce in the sign wars. Only Ella Ward planted any and those are all after the turnoff from 460; you know, the highway Bob McDonnell famously squandered millions of dollars to study. There really is no evidence that there is a heated Presidential race. There is a Trump supporter wearing his t-shirt under a sports coat. A Cruz supporter just spoke on her own behalf seeking to become a Republican National Committeewoman. The Republican candidates for Attorney General are at this moment cued to speak…still well before the official start time.
Interestingly, no evidence of a Gillespie presence.
And now the rain has begun to fall; actually pouring. So it is doubtful the crowd will swell to the 4,000 that attended before the days of in-your-face Confederate sympathy; doubtful it will even match last year’s 1,500 or so. Too bad because the Ruritans made an effort to rehabilitate with a goal of being inclusive. But as I will explain later, Virginians just want to talk past each other and this just isn’t working.