Monday, February 23, 2009

Roanoke Times Gives Tom Some Props

There was an excellent article in yesterday's Roanoke Times about Tom Perriello's time in office so far. I can't justifiably summarize it, so your best bet is to read the whole thing. But it did bring up two points I'd like to talk about briefly. 

First, the article quotes a George Mason University political scientist who says as long as Tom maintains independence and doesn't turn into a "party robot for Pelosi and Reid," it will help him to win re-election, despite his vulnerability as a freshman congressman. I think he's absolutely right about that--we met quite a good deal of Republicans throughout the campaign who switched their allegiance to Tom because of his moderate, Mark Warner-esque approach to public policy. Not only does that play well in the Fifth District, but I think it's a winning playbook for Democrats nationally. I have a sneaking suspicion it hasn't occurred to Nancy and Harry that maybe we're in the majority in spite of their leadership, rather than because of it. Pelosi said the stimulus bill would be posted for 48 hours before the vote, then rescinded that promise at the last minute--that's no way to engender bipartisanship or public confidence, and Tom called her on it by voting with Republicans to request more time.

Now, a money quote:

Boucher's district neighbors Perriello's, and the two split representation of Henry County. Boucher said he speaks to Perriello often about how their partnership can benefit Southwest Virginia as well as passing on his own experiences from more than two dozen years in Congress.

"Tom is terrific," Boucher said. "He's tremendously respected on both sides of the aisle. ... He has made a good impression in his first month."

You may have seen the incredibly nasty attack ads that have been running against Tom throughout the Fifth. It's one thing to disagree with his votes and try to win back a seat perceived to be vulnerable. But these ads attack Tom for his character and portray him as a cookie-cutter politician who can't be trusted. I'm here to tell you that whether you agree with him or not, Tom is one of the most genuinely nice, principled people you'll ever meet. He's the closest you'll ever get to Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and he genuinely wants to help our area get back on its feet. If you still want to beat him, fine--but you're gonna have to do better than outright lies and ad hominem attacks. 

1 comment:

Martha said...

You said the same thing I have been spouting. Wish I could figure out why these folks are so desperate to get Tom out already. Maybe some backing from Virgil?