Trump’s Visit to Jamestown Shakes Up Virginia Politics

President Trump’s visit to Jamestown roiled Virginia’s political waters, made an obscure delegate momentarily noteworthy, and got Virginia Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment (R-James City) to say a discouraging word.

It may also have unofficially launched a gubernatorial campaign and scuttled another. Not bad for a few minutes’ work.

For once, neither the president nor his remarks led the news stories about the event. Instead, it was Del. Ibraheem S. Samirah’s (D-Fairfax) attention-getting stunt — complete with ready-made news release.

It earned him some new Twitter followers, a quick cable news interview and an excellent fundraising hook.

While all of this may make progressive hearts beat a little faster, it’s still a stunt — and a cynical one at that. It’s the kind of thing that Virginia politicians won’t soon forget.

House Speaker Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) made it clear that Samirah’s actions were “inconsistent with common decency” and, more important, “a violation of the rules of the House.”

But Cox’s admonition pales next to what qualifies as a public outburst from Norment, who told WCVE News Director Craig Carper he was “very proud of [Trump] that he did stay on message when that ill-advised little bastard [Samirah] decided to make a scene of it. The president was unflappable.”

Were Samirah a Republican, Norment might try to give him the “Chris Peace treatment” and have him tossed out in a primary.

And not to be left out of the fun, Republican Charles W. “Bill” Carrico Sr. (R-Grayson) “confronted” Samirah, saying “You’re an embarrassment to this body” and the delegate “should have stayed at home!”

Come now, senator. Republicans needed the cheap theater as much as the self-styled resistance did.

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