24 Hours of Tom rolls on.
As I write this, we’re speeding through the Virginia countryside from Appomattox to Farmville.
(Although by the time I got it posted, we were in Scottsville).
The Roll Call pair left us in South Boston, after Tom’s haircut. Japanese Television left then, as well, so the caravan is no more.
The Audi Boys from the Hurt Campaign, meanwhile, have reappeared periodically, thought they have abandoned their hand-drawn “I Need a Job” signs in favor of generic signs reading “Hurt.” Good for them.
(more on the flip)
Since the haircut this morning, Tom visited Northern Lites, a electrical/gift shop in Gretna, where he met with a group if independent-minded, perhaps more on the Conservative side, voters. The meeting showed how people with different political perspectives can have a meaningful and respectful conversation about issues, a conversation intended to persuade, not to score points. It was the kind of discussin that has marked this entire trip, and it shows Tom connecting with voters in a way Robert Hurt simply does not.
The next stop features a strange scene in Alta Vista as Tom was giving a talk to a group outside the YMCA. Some guy with biceps like Popeye went to enter the building, but stopped, and pointed at Tom, saying “Hey, are you Tom Perriello?” Biceps proceeded to interrupt the talk and rail at Tom for having health care and a retirement plan, all the while doing nothing in Washington for working people, and how he, Biceps, on the other hand, “Had to work for a living.” As he spoke, he jabbed his index finger in the air in Tom’s direction. He finished and went inside. Then some really heavy-set guy followed Biceps into the building, and without pausing says to Tom as he passes, “Take your Socialism and shove it,” or words to that effect.
The outbursts were rude enough that YMCA officials immediately apologized to Tom, and several of the voters outside the Y looked truly horrified. Tom shrugged it off and went inside to take a tour of the facility.
But here’s the kicker. When Tom comes back to the van, he tells us he ran into Biceps in the Y, and Biceps told him, “No disrespect intended.” He goes on say he would tell Hurt the same thing, adding he voted for Tom in 2008.
And not only that, he might vote for him again!