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Friday, October 8, 2010

E. J. Dionne Jr.: Perriello is This Election's Test Case

Yesterday's Washington Post had this article about the race in Virginia's 5th Congressional District by E. J. Dionne, Jr, where he wondered if:

Tom Perriello is this election's test case of whether casting tough votes is better than ducking them, and whether a progressive who fashions an intelligent populism can survive in deeply conservative territory.
Most polls have shown Perriello trailing badly in his race for a second term in congress but a poll released this week by The Hill newspaper showed the race tightening considerably.  Dionne points out that Perriello voted for the "Stimulus" bill, "Cap and Trade" and for Obamacare and says by this measure he should be the most endangered Democrat, especially since he is running in a district that John McCain won in 2008 and that Perriello won by only 727 votes.

Election watchers may have noticed a trend in most recent articles about the endangered incumbents - that these Democrats that have been considered as possible losers in this year of the Tea Party and "throw the bums out" are now starting to claw their way back.  Dionne's article is no different.  In fact you would think that the Perriello campaign fed Dionne a script for the article.  Take this choice nugget for instance that says Perriello:

...can't be pigeonholed as a down-the-line Obama supporter. He has been critical of the president's economic team for not putting enough money into rebuilding the country's infrastructure and for being too close to Wall Street.
How do you in one breath say Perriello has made all the tough votes by standing with Obama then say he can't be pigeonholed as an Obama supporter, simply because he does not think Obama has gone far enough to the left?

I guess we will know in November which was the winning strategy: standing by your votes like Perriello, or running as far away as possible from Obama and his policies like most of the endangered incumbents have been for the last six months.

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