Can the Romney campaign become a cause? Can a mere electoral effort become a broad political movement? That's what really successful campaigns do—think Reagan 1980 or Obama 2008. The last few days have suggested this possibility. And the Virginia small businessman who took a stand provides an opportunity to help make this possibility concrete.
Here's the story (via Drudge) from Radford, a small town in southwestern Virginia about 30 miles from Roanoke:
One New River Valley business owner turned Vice President Joe Biden down. … Wednesday morning, advance teams for Vice President Joe Biden walked in.
"I approached her she said Joe Biden is coming to town today," McMurray said.
"Crumb and Get It" is a mom and pop store. Literally. Chris and his wife Kelly run the place and need all the business they can get.
McMurray said the Vice President's entourage got to the point and made its pitch.
"She said they have selected 'Crumb and Get It" to be his stop on his way to Blacksburg and was wondering if that was ok."
Here's the part that might make other business owners crazy.
"This is an opportunity of a lifetime but essentially I said 'No offense to you or the campaign but I just decline you guys coming in here. At that time she said 'Are you sure? There's going to be a lot of press, a lot of activity,’" McMurray said.
Why in the world would a new business owner say "no" to a photo op with the Vice President of the United States? McMurray said it was President Obama's recent remarks about small business and who built what.
"Very simply, ‘you didn't build that’” McMurray said. “Speaking of small businesses and entrepreneurs all across this country and actually last night my wife was up all night. No sleep, she's worked a full 24 hours.".....
Here's the back story, we’re told that shortly after Crumb and Get It told Biden’s advance people 'no' -- the secret service walked in and told Chris McMurray ''Thanks for standing up and saying 'no' -- then they bought a whole bunch of cookies and cupcakes.
Will the Romney-Ryan campaign visit Crumb and Get It? Will they feature Mr. and Mrs. McMurray in an ad? Will the Virginia GOP organize visits to Crumb and Get It? Do Republicans have the wit and agility to use this moment—and others like it—to bring home the fact that this election isn't about replacing one bunch of politicians with another, but is about the citizenry against the nanny state? Can they channel the spirit of Patrick Henry here in Virginia, the cradle of liberty?
They could say, We stand with Crumb and Get It—or we yield to Obama!
UPDATE: Needless to say, TWS readers living in or passing through southwestern Virginia might want to patronize Crumb and Get It. And it sounds like it wouldn't be a hardship--the pastries and ice cream get rave reviews!
UPDATE II: It's heartening to see the fine people of southwestern Virginia rise to the moment. "The line at a Radford bakery was out the door this afternoon following a TV news story that went viral in conservative circles after the business' co-owner on Wednesday declined a visit from Vice President Joe Biden because of President Barack Obama's comments about small business owners at a July speech in Roanoke," reports the Roanoke Times. "By 1:30 p.m. Crumb & Get It Cookie Company on East Main Street had run out of dough but was still selling ice cream to customers."
UPDATE III: A reader e-mails: "Crumb and Get It is CLOSED!!! They ran out of food and had to shut their doors. I guess your words, and Chris's sentiments, echo through the New River Valley."