With former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe holding an razor thin edge over GOP nominee Glenn Younkin with less than weeks until Election Day in the state’s gubernatorial showdown, McAuliffe’s bringing out some of the biggest names in the Democratic Party to help him energize Democrats to vote.
McAuliffe said Tuesday during an education roundtable in Alexandria, Virginia that President Biden will return to the commonwealth, telling reporters «he’ll be coming back. You bet he will.»
The McAuliffe campaign didn’t provide any further details, nor did the White House.
«I don’t have any updates on travel. I would expect we would have more to convey soon about his plans to support the election of former governor McAuliffe,» White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during Tuesday’s briefing.
The president last teamed up with McAuliffe on the campaign trail in late July in the voter-rich and heavily Democratic Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.
That was before McAuliffe’s lead over Youngkin, a first-time candidate and former CEO of a large private equity firm, started shrinking amid the sinking of Biden’s approval ratings. The drop in the president’s numbers were fueled by criticism of his handling of the turbulent U.S. exit from Afghanistan, the surge in COVID-19 cases this summer mainly among unvaccinated people due to the spread of the highly infectious delta variant, and the latest surge of migrants trying to cross into the U.S. along the southern border with Mexico.
The president’s approval ratings in Virginia have also deteriorated. A recent Fox News poll indicated Virginians equally divided on the job Biden’s doing as president and on his favorability, in a state Biden won by 10 points in last November’s presidential election.
McAuliffe, in a recent video conference clip that Republicans spotlighted, acknowledged that «we are facing a lot of headwinds from Washington, as you know. The president is unpopular today, unfortunately here in Virginia, so we have got to plow through.»
Adding to Biden’s polling woes is the inability to date by the White House and congressional Democrats – due to an intra-party battle between progressives and moderate Democrats on Capitol Hill – to agree on the party’s massive social spending, human infrastructure and climate change package, as well as a bipartisan infrastructure bill. That has forced McAuliffe to criticize his own party. The odds that the Democrats will come to agreement and pass both packages before Election Day in Virginia are diminishing.
The former governor has repeatedly emphasized – on the debate stage and in interviews – that it’s time for lawmakers in Washington «to stop their little chitty-chat up there, and it’s time for them to pass it.»
An average of the latest polls in the race indicates that McAuliffe – who’s running for his old job – holds a slight, single-digit edge over Youngkin in Virginia, where Republicans haven’t won a statewide contest in a dozen years. The Cook Report, a top nonpartisan political handicapper, three weeks ago shifted its ranking of the race from «lean Democratic» to «toss up.»
Virginia and New Jersey are the only two states to hold gubernatorial elections in the year after the presidency’s decided, guaranteeing they always grab outsized attention.
There’s a long-running trend of voters in the commonwealth defeating the gubernatorial nominee of the party that controls the White House. McAuliffe broke with that tradition in 2013 with his election as governor in the year after Obama was reelected. McAuliffe was unable to run for reelection in 2017 because Virginia governors are barred from serving two straight terms.
The close contest in Virginia – a one-time key battleground but still competitive state which is seen as a key bellwether ahead of the 2022 midterm elections – has national Democrats on edge as they defend their razor-thin majorities in the House of Representatives and Senate in next year’s contests.
The latest surveys in the state also indicate that Republican voters are more motivated than their Democratic counterparts. And McAuliffe’s putting on a full court press to get Democrats to cast ballots in the current early voting period, or to go to the polls on Election Day.
Besides Biden, McAuliffe’s team also announced on Tuesday that former President Obama will campaign with the former governor in the state capital city of Richmond a week from Saturday, on Oct. 23. Even after nearly five years removed from the White House, the former two-term president remains very popular and influential with voters in his own party.
«Folks, I’m excited to announce that President Obama will be joining me,» McAuliffe wrote on Twitter.
McAuliffe will also campaign with First Lady Jill Biden on Friday in Richmond. And he’ll team up on the campaign trail this upcoming weekend with voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams, the former Georgia House Democratic leader who in 2018 made history as the first Black female gubernatorial nominee of a major political party.
Veteran Democratic strategist Josh Schwerin, who ran communications for McAuliffe’s successful 2013 gubernatorial campaign, said «there’s no nervousness at all» about having Biden return to the Virginia campaign trail. Schwerin said that Biden «absolutely» can still energize the base, even with his deteriorating poll numbers.
«We’re at a point in the election where this is about getting your people out to vote,» he emphasized.
But Youngkin campaign communications adviser Devin O’Malley said «it’s telling that the announcement about Biden was not included with their list of other surrogates coming in to stump for Terry. All of these announcements are an indication that the McAuliffe campaign is scared. There is a huge enthusiasm gap that McAuliffe’s trying to close because he doesn’t excite his base.»
By contrast, there’s no indication that former President Trump, who’s endorsed Youngkin, will come to Virginia to campaign with the GOP nominee.
A Virginia GOP official told Fox News that there are no plans in the works right now for the former president campaign in Virginia, but that «the two teams are in touch to determine how the former president can be most helpful.»
McAuliffe’s been repeatedly linking Youngkin to Trump, who remains deeply unpopular with many Virginia voters.
McAuliffe constantly calls Youngkin a «Trump wannabe,» and doesn’t miss an opportunity at campaign events, interviews and during the two debates between the nominees to tie Youngkin to Trump.
On Monday, the McAuliffe campaign went up with a new digital ad accusing Youngkin of «putting Trump’s agenda first.»
«All the Democrats are on the field. On the flip side, Trump’s in hiding,» Schwerin charged. «He’s who Youngkin needs to turn out his voters and for whatever reason they’re afraid to bring him to Virginia. In a close race where both sides need to be throwing everything at this, the Democrats are and Trump’s MIA.»
DJI announces compact, modular, and magnetic Action 2 camera
DJI has announced a follow-up to its Osmo Action camera, and it’s got a completely new design — the Action 2 drops the Osmo name and focuses on modularity with a suite of additional parts and accessories that attach to the camera magnetically.
The camera module itself is small (it’s 39mm square and 22mm deep) and includes a 12MP sensor capable of 4K recording, a lens that provides a 155-degree field of view, and a 1.76-inch OLED touchscreen covered by Gorilla Glass. Using magnets, you can attach another touchscreen (which also boosts the battery life and adds an array of microphones), an extra battery, or a variety of mounts that let you attach it to tripods or GoPro mounts, or even wear the camera as a necklace.
Speaking of GoPro, any action cam is going to face comparisons, and the Action 2’s specs fall short when put side by side with those of the recent Hero10 Black: it can do 4K at 120 frames per second like the Hero10 but lacks any higher-resolution options (the Hero10 can do 5.3K60), and its 240fps super slow-motion runs at 1080p instead of the GoPro’s 2.7K.
It’s worth keeping in mind that the Action 2 is tiny in comparison — it weighs just 53 grams, which is almost exactly a third the weight of the Hero10. DJI also includes 32GB of built-in storage (expandable with a microSD card), something the GoPro lacks.
There’s also the system of magnetic accessories DJI is working on, which lets you customize your camera in a way that’s not really possible with the GoPro. If you need a second screen or more battery, you can just snap them on — and then take them off when you want a compact or discreet camera. Other accessories, like a headband or magnetic ball-mount adapter that can be attached to tripods, are similar to GoPro accessories but will (in theory) be easier to attach to and detach from the camera.
The Action 2 also has action cam table-stakes features like electronic stabilization, horizon leveling, and the ability to livestream or be used as a webcam, as well as some neat tricks like a color temperature sensor that DJI says will help produce better colors in complicated lighting situations or underwater.
Comparing the Action 2’s price with GoPro’s isn’t straightforward, due to GoPro’s pricing model and the DJI’s modularity. You can get the Hero10 for $400, but that requires having a $50-a-year subscription — otherwise, the camera is $500. The Action 2 power bundle costs $399 and includes the camera, power module (which extends your record time to 180 minutes versus the camera’s 70 and adds an extra microSD card slot), a mount, and a lanyard. DJI tells me you can’t buy the camera by itself, which seems like a shame.
If you want to replicate the Hero10’s built-in front-facing screen, you’ll have to go for the $519 dual-screen bundle, which includes the same things as the power bundle (but swaps out the battery module with the screen one) and adds a ball-joint adapter as well. While that’s technically more than the GoPro’s non-subscriber asking price, the Hero10’s lack of built-in storage means that you’d probably make up the price difference buying a microSD card anyways.
DJI says that the dual-screen bundle will be coming on November 2nd, and the power combo, along with most other accessories, will be coming in “mid-November.”
Nor’easter: 490,000 outages as Massachusetts hit by strong winds
Nearly 500,000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts were without power early Wednesday as a powerful nor’easter continued to batter the East Coast.
The National Weather Service in Boston warned of a «dangerous situation» near and southeast of I-95, the East Coast’s main highway.
«Winds gusting over hurricane force across southeast Massachusetts. Numerous downed trees,» the service warned on Twitter. «TRAVEL IS NOT RECOMMENDED early this morning in southeast MA.»
The storm has already caused flooding in New York and New Jersey, where emergency services have carried out dozens of rescues.
Coastal areas of Massachusetts are now bearing the brunt of the storm, with reported wind gusts of up to 97 mph that have brought down trees and power lines.
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency said close to 490,000 customers were without power as of 8:30 a.m. ET
Most of these, almost 300,000, were in Barnstable and Plymouth counties, which cover Cape Cod and an area south of Boston.
All schools on the Cape have been closed, according to the Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee. And images and video posted on social media showed downed trees and other debris littering roads.
In Boston, downed trees disrupted parts of the Red Line and Mattapan Trolley service, according to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, which deployed replacement shuttle buses.
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency warned people to «avoid downed power lines, check on neighbors, and use generators outside away from buildings.»
The Massachusetts Steamship Authority, which runs ferries from the mainland to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, said it was canceling all services until further notice. It warned people not to attempt to get to its terminals and to stay off the “extremely dangerous” roads.
The harbormaster in Plymouth said some boats had broken free from their moorings.
On Tuesday, New York City saw almost 4 inches of rain in lower Manhattan and and Brooklyn in 24 hours — which are amounts approaching the rainfall typically seen in a month.
The weather service said the window for the strongest winds along the coast was between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. local time, «with somewhat lesser winds farther inland.»
It said early Wednesday that the wind would «slowly diminish today but it remains windy» as the storm pushes off the coast.
The Northeast won’t have much time to dry out, as there’s more rain in the forecast for the region on Friday.
The DJI Action 2 is like a modern GoPro Session with magnets #Shorts
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