Hurt, Reeves, and Bell strike a patriotic stance during "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Local Republicans are thrilled to get a piece of the national election action.
photo by lisa provenceclick to view more photos
The last time Republicans drew a top party member here was in 1991, when then-vice president Dan Quayle came to boost GOP support for George Allen.
It's a sign of how closely contested Virginia is that vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan came to the often blue-leaning Charlottesville area October 25 to rally the local troops for the November election.
An estimated 1,500, according to organizers, were shuttled into the headquarters of electronics company Crutchfield near the airport, where founder Bill Crutchfield became the poster boy for business success for the Republican officials on hand for the event.
"Being successful in business– there's nothing wrong with that," said Ryan to a roar of applause.
The Wisconsin congressman, arriving by bus around 6:30pm with his family in tow, cited Crutchfield as one of the small businesses that could see taxes go up to 44.8 percent in January, to loud boos from the crowd.
"We'd be on the road to prosperity with Greece," said Ryan, denouncing the economic policies of President Barack Obama.
Ryan extolled the man he hopes will be his new boss, Mitt Romney, noting Romney's balanced budgets during his term as governor of Massachusetts.
And in a final note, Ryan urged the party faithful to try to sway the undecided: "Help them on November 6."
Lasting far longer than Ryan's under-20-minute speech was the wait for the shuttle buses to ferry the inspired GOPers back to the Kohl's parking lot.
Correction 10/26/12: "The Star Spangled was misidentified in a photo caption.