Sherwood's Notebook: Labor Day Done…Now What?

The digital world has pretty much obliterated the seasons.

It’s easy to work or be in touch anytime — on days off, weekends and vacations.

Still, Labor Day serves as something of a demarcation point.

The presidential campaign you can’t escape heads into the homestretch.

New school years from elementary to college have begun, although Labor Day is highly debated in Maryland.

The college and pro football seasons are starting.

Major League Baseball is winding down its regular season, and teams are jockeying for the post-season. (Go Nats!)

A year-round sport — guessing where the next Washington Redskins stadium will be built — continues unabated. Last week shows why it’s a more heated subject than whether the team itself will be a real contender.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said last week that he’s confident he can work out a taxpayer-friendly deal to bring the team to Northern Virginia, likely Loudoun County.

Not so fast, says Ward 2 D.C. Council member Jack Evans, the No. 1 fan of the idea of all local pro teams playing in the District. Only the ’Skins play in the ’burbs. Where the team’s corporate headquarters and tax obligations are remain different stories.

Evans and McAuliffe good-naturedly squared off before NBC4’s cameras at the ’Skins annual charity luncheon last week in Tysons Corner. The two put up their fists in mock battle, but there is nothing “mock” about their contest.

Despite the controversial team name and unanswered questions about the best use of nearly 200 acres around the old RFK site, the ’Skins are a billion-dollar business with an annual payroll around $200 million. Prince George’s County has never monetized or benefited much economically from FedExField.

Both McAuliffe and Evans (and Mayor Muriel Bowser) believe they can craft better land-use deals. Neither is an easy fight given community opposition and whatever favors the team might try to gain. There’s only a decade left on the team’s commitment to Prince George’s County. McAuliffe said, and others agreed, that the team needs to make a new-home decision within the next year. It will take years for any new deal to be worked out and for the new facility to be constructed. None of the jurisdictions is interested in paying for the new stadium. That will be on Dan Snyder’s dime.

We’re likely to see many more Labor Days before we know the final score of this story.

■ The Virginia ballot. Polls show Republican Donald Trump trailing badly in the state many thought would be a battleground. Trump has no independent ground game and isn’t advertising in key television markets. He was in Fredericksburg a few weeks ago and held a rally in Virginia Beach this week in hopes of reversing the trend lines.

Still, Trump already has lost one contest in the Commonwealth: the official ballot placement for Nov. 8. Hillary Clinton will be listed first. Generally, anyone listed first is seen as having a slight edge, although we know of no real proof in major elections.

■ What’s next for Maryland’s Donna Edwards? The Prince George’s congresswoman lost her Senate battle to Chris Van Hollen. She told WAMU’s Politics Hour on Friday that she plans a long drive to visit all the national parks in the Lower 48 after she leaves office in January. (She had to give up her House seat to make the bid for the Senate.)

Appearing more relaxed and thoughtful than we’ve ever seen her, Edwards recalled how as a child her family visited national parks and how her father instilled in her respect for them.

On the radio, Edwards clearly was looking past her bitter contest with Van Hollen. She told Politics Hour host Kojo Nnamdi and the Notebook that she believes Van Hollen will win and be a good senator for Maryland.

She doesn’t back away from her criticism that Maryland Democrats talk a good diversity game but that the party’s delegation to Washington likely will be all male and almost all white after November.

And she left a door cracked for a possible next campaign for herself. Edwards aggressively criticized the Head Start debacle in Prince George’s County, singling out county executive Rushern Baker’s oversight of education politicians. Now, that likely is in part payback for Baker’s endorsement of Van Hollen.

Baker is gearing up to run for governor in 2018; he can’t run again for county executive. We asked Edwards if she would run for county executive. She sidestepped the question, but she says she intends to remain in “public service.”

We’ll see how she feels when that national parks tour is over.

Tom Sherwood, a Southwest resident, is a political reporter for News 4.

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