Storm won't cost Comstock moment in sun

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Local,Virginia,Steve Contorno

TAMPA, Fla. - Virginia Del. Barbara Comstock had what she thought would be her only turn at the Republican convention podium Sunday morning during the dress rehearsal.

"I got to check out the podium, took a picture, got to get a grip on it," Comstock said. "Everyone wants to see Ann Romney and [New Jersey Gov.] Chris Christie and [Florida Sen.] Marco Rubio and [Virginia Gov.] Bob McDonnell. I'll help out how I can."

Comstock was one of a couple dozen speakers scheduled to address the convention Monday before the Republican Party canceled the opening festivities as Tropical Storm Isaac swept across the Florida Keys and headed for land late Sunday.

But Comstock, of McLean, won't lose her moment in the sun. She's been rescheduled to address the Republican National Convention on Tuesday afternoon after convention organizers scrambled to squeeze four days of activities into three.

Most every speaker whose appearance was canceled Monday will still get to speak, though they'll each have a little less time to talk.

Getting a speaking slot at a national convention is no small trophy. Conventions often serve as launching pads for a party's rising stars, many of whom are appearing on a national stage for the first time and in front of an audience of party activists from across the country.

Comstock, 53, is just beginning her rise in the national party. Presidential contender Mitt Romney tapped her to co-chair his campaign in Virginia, one of the most hotly contested states in the election.

Before running for office in Northern Virginia in 2009, Comstock worked on Capitol Hill for Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., and in President George W. Bush's Justice Department.

She's no stranger to conventions, either, having worked them in 2000 and 2008.

Comstock plans to talk about how Virginia, with its relatively low unemployment rate and Republican-controlled government, can serve as a model for a Romney presidency.

"In Virginia, we've already proven the kind of policies that Mitt Romney and [vice presidential candidate] Paul Ryan want to put in place work," Comstock said.

Already there is speculation Comstock could be in line for a position in a Romney administration, should he win. But she insists she's not lobbying for a job.

"I look forward to serving in the Virginia legislature with someone who will work with Virginia and double down on the great policies we have," she said. "I'm excited about what we can do in Virginia when we have partners in Washington."

scontorno@washingtonexaminer.com

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