Tom Perriello apparently will cast his final vote as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives today. I just wanted to take a moment and thank Tom for the great work he’s done the past two years, not to mention the courageous work he did around the world – Sierra Leone, Liberia, Kosovo, Darfur, Afghanistan – prior to his election to Congress.
I’ll never forget some guy named Tom Perriello calling me out of the blue in the fall of 2007, telling me he was planning to run for Congress in the 5th Congressional District against the seemingly unbeatable Rep. Virgil Goode (R). Something about Tom struck me – in a highly positive way – in that conversation, and it was confirmed a few months later when I met him in person. As far as I’m concerned, one of the best things I’ve ever done as a blogger was to support Tom Perriello early, often, and strongly, despite numerous people telling me he “had no chance,” that Virgil Goode was entrenched and certainly couldn’t be beaten by someone with Tom’s name/profile/address/you name it. Well, so much for those predictions, and I’m thrilled we proved them all wrong.
Possibly even better than working to help Tom win that election was watching Tom conduct himself as a Congressman. Whether you agreed with every one of his votes – and I certainly didn’t – you had to admire his tremendous work ethic, his integrity, and his eagerness to engage his constituents in a way that few other Congressmen do. In my opinion, Tom also showed tremendous courage, not that this should surprise anyone given his work in some of the most dangerous places on earth, in voting the way his analysis and his moral code told him to vote.
Anyway, once again, I just want to thank Tom Perriello for the two years he gave us – Virginians, Americans – in Congress. I am hopeful that this won’t be the last we hear from Tom Perriello when it comes to political office, but whatever he decides to do in his life, I wish him all the best. Thank you, Tom Perriello!