A McCain presidency means steady military spending which means a sustained flow of money to Northern Virginia’s economy.
Unlike other high-tech areas such as Silicon Valley or North Carolina’s Research Triangle, the seed money for NOVA’s booming Dulles Corridor came from Pentagon outsourcing that began in the Reagan and Clinton years and accelerated with Homeland Security outsourcing in the Bush years. As I wrote in National Journal in August, 2007:
“Major federal contractors like Booz Allen Hamilton, General Dynamics, and SAIC set up their headquarters in Fairfax. They, in turn, subcontracted work to what [Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerry] Connolly calls ‘technology specialty’ firms, which then hired professionals such as lawyers and accountants. A snowball effect ensued. Fairfax welcomed 103,925 new jobs ‘over a 15-year period ending in 2005,’ according to a December 2006 report by Monthly Labor Review. ‘No other county in the Washington area came close.’”
The young professionals at those firms in Tyson’s Corner, Reston and Ashburn are part of Obama’s core constituency. But, the ideology and lifeblood of those firms is rooted in an aggressive foreign policy that is one part of the Bush legacy that McCain would be sure to continue.
Don’t get me wrong – This doesn’t mean McCain would win Fairfax County four years after Bush became the first Republican candidate to loose it in 40 years. What it means, however, is that NOVA will not be the kind of slam dunk for Democrats that it’s been in recent statewide elections.