Politico Gives Draft Perriello Movement A Dose of MSM Attention

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    ( – promoted by lowkell)

    Following the MSM's onesided coverage over speculation on the 2012 Senate race, credit goes to Politico's David Catanese for a well rounded and fair analysis of the competing viewpoints on a Perriello (emphasis added):

    The conventional Washington wisdom has solidified around the idea that Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine is the best candidate to carry the banner for Virginia Democrats in the Senate race to replace the retiring Jim Webb.

    But another — perhaps more valuable question — is whether Kaine would be the most useful candidate to President Obama as he attempts to again lock down the commonwealth's 13 electoral votes in 2012.

    Thank you, David! That's all anyone needed to point out–that there isn't this supposed consensus around Tim Kaine, and that other (and potentially better) options exist. Those of us who want to see Perriello run aren't asking for pro-Tom bias, or even for the media to treat the two men as political equals (because, unfortunately, it is true that today, more VA dems would support Tim than Tom), but instead that political journalists take the time to truly examine differing sides and arguments before making blanket statements about what “Democrats want. Now, to respond to a few Kaine-supporter arugments he presents in the article:

    The former governor has proven he can win statewide, would bring an instant national fundraising base to the table and has already shown he has the full confidence of Obama.

    All valid points for Kaine, but at least two of these are certainly not strikes against Perriello. Tom has already shown himself to be a very strong fundraiser, and the national profile created by a senate run will provide for him the funds needed to effectivly run in Virginia. Furthermore, Tom was the only congressperson President Obama campaigned for on the final weekend of the 2010 election–Obama may be close personal friends with Kaine, but he definitely has a soft spot for Tom as well. I do have to concede the final point on Kaine's state-wide viability, as that (to me) is certainly one of his strongest points going forward.

    Plus, the argument goes, the base will already be there for Obama — and even if it's not, Perriello isn't a powerful enough figure to bring them back on his own.

    In 2012, Barack Obama will obviously drive out the base vote. But getting the base to vote is only half the battle; one of the reasons Obama was so effective in Virginia in 2008 was the insane amounts of volunteers Obama for America was able to deploy to every town, city, and university to drive out votes for the whole Democratic ticket. This time around, Obama is going to be old news–he'll excite the base, for sure, but a completely scientific sampling of my friends at Virginia Tech and UVA seems to indicate that students and the youth in general are not going to have the same rabid and devoted energy they had in 2008. It's an unfortunate reality, but reelection just isn't as exciting as the first time. That's one reason that a Tom Perriello campaign wil be so much more effective than a Kaine candidacy. Whoever votes for Obama will no doubt vote for Kaine, but the two candidates are likely going to be sampling from the same group of consistently reliable volunteers, interns, and staffers. Introducing Tom into the race, on the other hand, will truly excite volunteers young and old throughout the state, and will create the organizational energy necessary for top and bottom ballot victory in 2012. In 2010, a hugely down year for Democrats, Perriello for Congress offices were well staffed and volunteers were reliably showing up by late May. Tom's team included an army of probably 20 interns who gave 50-60 hours a week to the campaign throughout the summer, all because everyone from nightly-church-attending grandmothers to high school students believed in Tom's candidacy. Anyone who doesn't believe Tom to be 'powerful enough' simply hasn't seen the man in action.

    Furthermore, while Perriello became the poster boy for vigorously supporting the Obama agenda despite the oncoming 2010 riptide, the bottom line is he lost.

    And some contend that it was Perriello's 2008 727-vote win over Virgil Goode that was the anomaly — not his 2010 loss. I'm sorry, but I just don't believe that IS the bottomline. Couldn't the bottom line be that he took incredibly courageous and progressive votes, all in the interest of the long-term benefit of his district and nation? Couldn't the bottom line be that despite being in an PVI of +5R in a year where the generic ballot went +9.4R, he lost by 4 points instead of a predictated 8 points or 23 points? And by the way, he outperformed Obama in 2008 as well. The most conservative extrapolation of Tom's electoral success (and even his loss) indicates he will perform significantly better statewide and that 2008 was certainly no anomoly. I was going to save my response to this line of argument until next week becaues I've found this to be the number one myth about people use against Perriello, but in light of this public regurgitation of a frustratingly fallacious argument, I'll try to have my response to this myth up by 7:00 AM (Freiburg, Germany time, that is). EDIT: Myth 4 posted here. Got it up by 2:00AM!

    Props again to David Catanese for putting in the extra effort. Perhaps our friends at the WaPo can learn from this?

    • DC convention wisdom among Democrats is dead wrong, as always.

      Same conventional wisdom said Kaine half-assing it as both governor and DNC Chair would help hold the governor’s mansion — instead it also lost NJ and a senate race in Massachusetts in the first year.

      Same conventional wisdom kept the stimulus from being adequate in size. Same conventional wisdom said Democratic prospects would increase by passing a HCR bill, no matter how bad.

      DC conventional wisdom pushing Kaine is one of the best arguments for Anybody But Kaine.

    • realclearwin

      that Tom absolutely cannot be criticized for is his ground game. Not only is Tom a tenacious campaigner but his team put together easily the best field operation I have ever seen. By the end of the campaign they had over 15 offices open and staffed with at least one paid and trained staffer in each office. There were days when his campaign was knocking over 5,000 doors and making well over 20,000 calls across the district and that is only counting voter to voter contact no robos etc…

      Tom came as close as he did for three primary reasons. 1. Tom is a great guy and people respect him even if they don’t agree with him. 2. Every…single…voter was contacted relentlessly by the campaign in multiple ways. 3. Robert Hurt was uniquely uninspiring and even a lot of the Republicans I talked to voted for him with the same amount of enthusiasm that a lot of Dems cast their votes for Nye….

    • Say What

      is the greatest talent to come out of Virginia Politics since I’ve lived here (some 25 years). He should be the man running for Senate in 2012. But that’s not what we’re seeing happen.

      What is happening is a conservative approach to keeping Democratic Control of the Senate. And the national leadership wants a “connected” candidate who matches up best against former Governor & Senator George Allen. On paper that person is Tim Kaine.

      The problem is … people still want change!  They want to see new faces and ideas going to Washington. Given that thought I think Tom Perriello for Senate would make for a much better candidacy overall. And Tom could easily enlist passionate support throughout Virginia. He’s is an admirable man on many levels.

    • BlueBoyd

      What I thought during the last Dem gubernatorial primaries: I believed the WaPo endorsement, thinking that Deeds, while not progressive to my liking, was the best choice to get Virginia votes. Be amenable to conservative Virginians, Blue Dogs stand the best chance in Virginia, I thought. Don’t be a lightning rod liberal like my hometown Brian Moran. Placate voters with a mushy, inoffensive guy like Deeds, and we’ll win.

      What I learned from that: The “nice guy” conservative Democrat-lite candidate with no fire in his belly will not get Democratic voters to the polls and we’ll get stomped. The guy who is enthusiastic, who’s got a message that resonates with liberal-minded voters, is a better bet. We need to get NoVA’s, Richmond’s, Tidewater’s, etc liberal voters out in droves – we have the numbers – not naively think that getting ROVA conservative Democrats who dislike Obama is the better strategy.

      I see a similar comparison between Kaine and Perriello. As noted in another topic, Kaine should have been itching for a Senate seat, wondering if Webb would not run, and raring to go. His “I have to think about it” should have already been done. I fear a repeat of McDonnell vs Deeds.

    • Marianna76

      Who’ll best carry the vote from the sticks? You shouldn’t write those voters off to the Republican Party. Jim Webb resonated with rural Virginia. Which of these two men does?