( – 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?