It is hard to argue with Virginia prominence in the 2012 presidential election. The fact that presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney chose to unveil his running mate here shows that this is one of a select few battleground states, where both campaigns will be dedicating all their resources.
It is not just republicans, remember President Barack Obama launched his re-election in a two part stop in Ohio and Virginia.
However after the tour buses have left town, the pick of Paul Ryan will need to continue to encourage and motivate GOP Virginia voters to get to the polls in what will be a razor sharp election. Initially there are some things to look for in the Ryan pick.
McDonnell disappointment: When your state's governor comes close to the prize it can be a bit of a letdown when he isn't picked. However despite the build-up and the well placed rumor mill that gave the Virginia governor a sliver of hope last week, it doesn't appear that Bob McDonnell was ever in the top tier of candidates. Virginia went through a similar experience in 2008 when Tim Kaine was in the final running but eventually Barack Obama went it in a different direction. It didn't keep democrats away from the polls, and Kaine is still very much in the thick of things as a candidate for U.S. Senate. Also- McDonnell's connection to Romney may not be done just yet. He will continue to stump for him across the country and be expected to help deliver Virginia. There could be a Romney Administration position waiting for him just yet.
Cantor connection: This may be the untold story of the election to this point. Rep. Eric Cantor is very close to Paul Ryan. The two wrote a book together and formed a coalition in the House of Representatives called the "Young Guns". Cantor and Ryan come from the same budget view of low taxes and deep budget cuts and if Romney and Ryan are successful it stands to reason that Cantor's influence in the White House would be strong. Earlier this year, Cantor told NBC's Luke Russert that he thought Ryan would make a good candidate for president.
Allen impact: The one Virginia republican who may have the most difficult time with the Ryan selection is U.S. Senate candidate George Allen. Allen hasn't necessarily been running arm and arm with the Romney campaign, but he will be with the new ticket at all three stops in Virginia today. Allen has in the past been very complimentary of Ryan as a congressman, but got into a bit of a spot during his primary campaign when he refused to endorse the controversial Ryan budget plan. His GOP primary opponents were pushing him hard to say he would vote yes, while democrats were pushing him just to take a stance. Allen never budged and at this point his ambivalence hasn't had any measureable impact on his campaign. That could change now that Ryan has taken such a big part of the spotlight.
Virginia voters: It will take some time to see how the Ryan pick will be taken by Commonwealth voters. For the most part, the mid western republican is largely unknown here. However, Virginia voters have been very deliberate in their selections over the past decade. They have swung back and forth pretty consistently between democrats and republicans in statewide votes when they thought the candidate deserved to win. Don't expect Virginia voters to be swayed by the ways Ryan is characterized by attack ads and flowery platitudes. He will get a serious vetting of his performance and their decision may decide the election.
Finally in case you missed it.. the introduction of Ryan got off to a bit of a rocky start when Romney "promoted" him to the position he is looking for.
See the full story on NBC12.com.