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Morning Read: Virginia Plays Big Role At RNC

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell speaks during the Education, Early Childhood and Workforce Committee panel meeting of the National Governors Association winter meeting in Washington Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

    News4's Julie Carey sends the following dispatch from the RNC in Tampa:

    Call it the battleground advantage. Even though the Republican National Convention has been compressed from four days into three, speakers from Virginia will stlll get their time on the big stage. A headliner, Gov. Bob McDonnell will be speaking just a bit earlier than originally slated. He'll be up between 8-9 p.m. on Tuesday. Fairfax County Del. Barbara Comstock, who is also Mitt Romney's Virginia campaign co-chair, gets her time in the spotlight on Tuesday afternoon.

    And the Virginia delegation will get a front row seat for it all. They were assigned to one of the most coveted spots in the Tampa Bay Times Forum. One the flip side, they also have one of the longest convention commutes. The Virginia delegation is staying at a waterside hotel in Clearwater, nearly a 30 mile drive to the Forum.

    For more coverage from the ground at the RNC follow Julie on Twitter @JulieCareyNBC

    * Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who heads the GOP platform committee, defended the GOP’s anti-abortion platform that does not include an exception for rape.

    Via RTD:

    "I don't think it's any surprise that the Republican Party is the party that embraces the dignity and sanctity of life," McDonnell said on ABC's "This Week" program. "We're a pro-life party, the Democrats are pro-choice."

    McDonnell added: "What matters in this race ... as everybody knows, is how we're going to get the greatest country on earth back to work and out of debt."

    A Romney spokesman has said that, as president, Romney would not oppose abortion in instances of rape.

    * Because of Maryland’s unwavering blue status, the state hasn’t been getting much buzz at the delegation.

    But, the Baltimore Sun reports, the Maryland delegation to the Republican National Convention is in Tampa, enthusiastic and unified behind Romney.

    IN OTHER NEWS:

    The Maryland GOP called Gov. Martin O’Malley “wildly inaccurate” and divisive after the governor slammed the GOP as a “party of exclusion.”

    * The Capitol dome is in need of repair, but is imperiled both by tough economic times and by a politically polarized Congress.

    New murals are going up on the wall outside of Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street

    * "[D.C. Ward 3 Councilmember Mary] Cheh has been forced to recalibrate her council role, a byproduct of her ties to Brown and Gray as well as whispers from some colleagues that her political star has dimmed. With the council returning from summer recess next month, this fall could be a crucial period as Cheh manages friendships and her image." --Washington Post

    * D.C. was ranked the fourth best city for millenials to live in

     * Baltimore Sun editorial board: Opponents of Maryland’s marriage equality law are resorting to the same playbook of false attacks they have used to great effect in other states.

    * Virginia Democrat Senate candidate Tim Kaine rallies with Planned Parenthood in Arlington

    * Susan Allen, the wife of Virginia Republican Senate candidate George Allen, raises her profile as a campaigner.