Anne Holton visited with Democratic volunteers at her husband's Oakton campaign office Saturday, encouraging them to keep up their hard work canvassing nearby neighborhoods and calling registered voters.
Holton, wife of U.S. Senate hopeful and former Gov. Tim Kaine (D), stopped in Oakton for the first time in this campaign about a month after Kaine himself visited the volunteers at the same office in Hunter Mill Plaza.
She applauded the volunteers' efforts, saying their work at the grassroots level is the answer to the other side's Super PACs.
"Wouldn't it be fun to show those folks who think that if you just write more zeroes on their checks they can determine what happens on Election Day ... that they're wrong?" Holton said. "The best way to show them that is to win on Election Day. So let's do it."
Holton's message to the volunteers went beyond promoting Kaine, emphasizing the importance of Virginians turning out to re-elect President Barack Obama (D).
"It's going to be an absolute squeaker here in Virginia," Holton said. "... We are the swingiest of the 50 states. We are the state that if the president wins in Virginia, it's a checkmate. There's just simply no way the other side can do the math."
Kristin Cabral, the Democratic opponent to U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10th District), introduced Holton and pushed volunteers to galvanize others to vote for Democrats on Nov. 6.
"It is so important to get out the vote for our Democratic ticket," Cabral said. "We get it. We get it. We understand your lives. We get that you have student debt, that you're looking to keep your job, you're looking for child care options, and quite often you're stuck in traffic. ... By electing the Democratic ticket, we will move the country forward in finding solutions for these issues confronting us."
Holton also answered some reader-submitted questions after speaking with the volunteers:
As a voter, what issue is your No. 1 priority?
That's a great question. For me, I'm concerned about who is going to watch out for the least of these. I care passionately, particularly, about children and who is watching out for our children and our children's future and education. I think that's what a lot of Virginians do.
How do you plan to use your influence as wife of a U.S. Senator? Will you have an agenda of your own?
What I have worked on all of my professional career is things related to children and families. I expect that I will continue to do that. I think the spouse of a senator is a lower profile gig than the spouse of a governor. Virginia has a tradition of giving our spouses, our first ladies, a spotlight and I really had a great opportunity to use that spotlight to help make some real significant changes in the foster care system, which was something near and dear to my heart. ... I'm going to quietly be doing my own work on similar issues, working with at-risk young people or young people who are in and out of the foster care system. I suspect I'll continue my professional work there and that'll be my focus.
What is your husband's best trait as a politician?
Gosh, Tim really has a great ability to listen well and help hear people's concerns and then meld them together to help find solutions to problems. So that ability to bring people together, partly because he is such a good listener, and can figure out what folks' real goals and real concerns are, and then find the common ground. We desperately need the common ground piece right now at the federal level.
Why do you think your husband is the best candidate for the average Northern Virginia family?
Northern Virginians have a lot of issues that matter to them for which we need folks to move beyond the gridlock in Washington, be it transportation, be it jobs, be it dealing with this fiscal cliff issue that's coming up. All of those are ones that require people to move beyond the division and gridlock and have Congress start being a functioning partner to whomever is the president. I would say Tim worked really hard specifically on something like Rail to Dulles, that's a very important issue up here. Transportation generally, and Rail to Dulles particularly, was something Tim worked very, very hard on and worked with then President Bush to get it done and partners throughout state, national and local government throughout the region to get that done successfully. I think that folks in Northern Virginia would resonate with his focus on problem-solving instead of being divisive.