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Va. BBQ shop thriving after 66 years says don’t blame politics for failure

“When Presient Obama took office, there was a lot of hope that things were going to change,” Rhoda Elliott, the owner of a recently closed barbecue chain, said in a web video for the Mitt Romney campaign [Click here to view the full video]

“They talk about an emotional story that hits home with most people in Central Virginia,” Ashley Shoval, VCU Professor of Advertising said.

Shoval believes the Romney video is brilliant, making use of the recent Bill’s Barbecue, after 82 years, to stir the emotion of voters, in a battleground state.

“I mean everybody has heard of Bills Barbecue and when they announced in September that they were going to close, a lot of people were shocked and they wanted to know why.”

Elliott said in the video that the blame is with President Obama.

“Things have not changed; the pattern is no different now except for worse than it was four years ago.  We can’t stand four more years like it is today.”

Elliott says she didn’t get paid to be in the two and half minute web video, although she did spend some time with Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney, including some time in her now closed restaurant.

King’s Barbecue in Petersburg has also been open for decades. They have 66 years of pork business under their belts, and they are still going strong.

“We’ve actually had an increase of business here in the last four years,” Matt Keeler said.

He doesn’t want to take a political stand, but Keeler has concerns about where to place blame on a failed business.

“You can’t blame everything on a particular administration, a lot of it comes from yourself, and what kind of business you’re doing,” Keeler said. 

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