The Washington Post article that Lowell includes in today’s news summary is quite informative. But in some crucial ways it’s also misleading.
The article does a good job of showing that Ralph Northam, in his years as Lieutenant Governor, has built up a reservoir of gratitude among Democratic political leaders in Virginia. However, the article failed to indicate that Northam’s abundance of endorsements from establishment figures was already in place before anyone knew the nomination would be contested.
That omission, which leaves the reader with the impression that those Democratic politicians chose Northam over Perriello, borders on journalistic malpractice.
A second failure in the article concerns Northam including an anti-Trump message in his campaign rhetoric. The article fails to note what a “Johnny-come-lately” Northam was in addressing the extraordinary political crisis of our times. It was only after Tom Perriello, who is clearly moved by the emergency of this political moment, had struck a chord with the activated Democratic base that Northam decided to adopt the anti-Trump theme.
My own main abiding issue is climate change and the environment. (When I ran against State Senator Mark Obenshain in 2015, he accused me of being a “full-time climate activist.” That statement by Obenshain, at least, was true.)
Tom Perriello’s commitment to addressing environmental issues in general and climate change in particular has been consistent and impassioned. The same cannot be said of Ralph Northam.
Whereas Perriello has spoken out against construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Northam has not.
And Perriello has shown a concern about the undue influence of Dominion Power over Virginia’s elected officials that Northam has not matched.
If Ralph Northam becomes the nominee, I will of course support him over any conceivable Republican opponent. However, any person who, back in 2004, could imagine that it was right to support George W. Bush for a second term (as Northam has said he did) would seem not to have the reliable moral compass or political antennae I want in my Governor.
From what I can see, Tom Perriello does.