Kitty Felde |

Scene from GOP event for "Pledge to America"

We're a good 20 miles from the Capitol, standing in an aluminium warehouse in suburban Virginia. Plywood is stacked to the ceiling on either side. GOP leaders left suit coats and ties back in the office, wearing blue Oxford shirts to show what they call a "real distinct contrast" to those politicos back inside the beltway. (And on a day when it's going to be over 90 degrees, not a bad idea to dress for the heat.)

The basics are these: permanently retain the Bush era tax cuts, a new tax cut for small businesses, require up or down votes on federal rules, weekly votes on spending cuts. As one congressman put it, the GOP wants to "save the American dream as it sinks in a sea of red ink."

Across the street, the locals are happy to see the media circus. A dozen or so gave friendly greetings, waving signs that say "Welcome to Sterling, Virginia."

Sterling signs