U.S. Rep. Jim Moran delivered a fiery message Sunday at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, banging his fist and demanding an end to "un-American extremism."
Moran was among a number of Democratic dignitaries to rally the crowd in advance of Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe and President Barack Obama.
"So, are you ready to make history?" Moran asked the crowd, which continued to stream into the high school gymnasium 40 minutes before the main event. "You know that what you do Tuesday will send a message that will be heard all around the country."
Moran, who represents Northern Virginia, criticized what he called a small group of "mean-spirited people," who he called "anti-immigrant, anti-gay, anti-woman , anti-government and anti-science."
He talked about the partial government shutdown, which stung Northern Virginia, where many federal employees live and work, and attempts to derail the Affordable Care Act.
"They've really wrought a lot of destruction," Moran said. "But it stops Tuesday."
Moran invoked two Virginia-born presidents, George Washington, who, he said, warned against political parties that declare war on the government, and Thomas Jefferson, who, he said, warned against politicians who would impose their own religious beliefs on the populace.
Shortly after noon, the line to get into the high school stretched down Stafford Street, turning onto Washington Boulevard and going almost all the way to Quincy. A small group of protestors stood outside the school's main gate, at least two holding the Gadsden Flag — the "Don't Tread on Me" symbol that's a favorite of tea party activists. They chanted, "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Obamacare has got to go."
Moran, along with Democratic Party of Virginia Chairwoman Charniele Herring, U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly, and actress Kerry Washington, among others, delivered the pre-show, firing up the crowd and pleading with them to sign up for shifts to work the polls.
"You deserve a governor who respects women's rights to make our own healthcare decisions — and trusts us to do what's right for ourselves and our families," Washington said.