Home 2017 Races Northam’s Campaign is Too Busy to Explain

Northam’s Campaign is Too Busy to Explain


by FreeDem

The Northam Playbook: “No, I regret nothing”

The old political saying is “if you’re explaining, you’re losing” which may explain the closing arguments from the Northam campaign as we enter June and approach the Democratic Primary on June 13th.

Don’t explain, attack.

This animosity towards dissent has been underneath the surface of the Northam campaign since Perriello’s announcement. The id has been Dick Saslaw’s rude and vulgar attacks towards Perriello; Northam’s own dismissive approach towards his own past has been the moralizing counterforce. But his bristling response to criticism took center stage at the final debate, where he dug in his feet on an issue core to his campaign: “No, I regret nothing.”

The VMI cadet who twice voted for George W. Bush has never, ever made a mistake. That one time he entered into an elevator going the wrong way, he meant to do that, because he wanted to take the extra steps because that’s what VMI taught him. He has never learned from past experiences, as a politician he was birthed fully formed in 2007, or maybe 2011, or was it 2013, as a true bona fide progressive with no flaws befitting a mere mortal.

As the debate moderator noted, “Not sure that qualified as a mistake, but let’s try you Mr. Perriello on that.”

But Mr. Northam doesn’t have time for mistakes, he’s too busy winning. So much winning you’d think he’s sick of it. Listen to his own campaign, reassuring everyone that he’s winning, he’s the best, because they all agree he’s the best. Don’t agree? You better watch out.

Northam isn’t explaining, he’s attacking. Because he’s earned this Governorship, and he isn’t about to explain to you why. What will he do as Governor? Be a winner. Except for policies that would make a difference in the Commonwealth, because that would upset his dear friends in Richmond like Republican leader Kirk Cox. But remember that one time he got a smoking ban passed? Kinda.

People who support Perriello, who don’t understand that it’s Northam’s right to become Governor, are worth attacking, not Republicans in Richmond. Because Blue Virginia is unfair to Northam, and anyone who wants to share their stories of being uncomfortable with the negative tone from the Northam campaign in going after Perriello is a misogynist. Even other women.

To Northam, Perriello is too distracted with silly concerns about solving problems. In the debates, Perriello explained his approach. “Leadership is about starting with what actually solves the problem.”

That’s why Northam appreciates the support of Richmond leaders like Dick Saslaw and his friendship with Republicans like Kirk Cox, because they recognize that Northam is already a leader and doesn’t need to explain how he’ll solve problems. Good Democrats just fall in line.

National Democrats are bad, because they haven’t fallen in line behind Northam. They don’t understand Virginia’s problems … well, no, they do, because affordable health care, a quality education, and economic opportunity regardless of zip code or race aren’t just Virginia problems, they are American problems. But National Democrats like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and Henry Waxman and Rosa DeLauro and John Podesta don’t understand that you need Virginia solutions, which starts with what will placate the Republicans in the General Assembly and big donors like Dominion.

That’s the Virginia way.

You need those deep Virginia relationships in the General Assembly, because you could never imagine a Democratic Governor with no previous experience in state government, who’s background was largely defined by his time in Washington, D.C. and work for partisan organizations to figure out how to reach across the aisle and work with Republicans to raise taxes.

I’ve had Northam supporters assure me that their candidate really does want the same economic policies as Perriello, he’s simply more accepting of the politics of Virginia and the General Assembly. This is shockingly inconsistent with Northam’s own rhetoric.

Countering Jackson’s attempts to paint him as a big-government liberal, Northam brands himself as a fiscal conservative who is determined to sway moderates and independent voters.

“I don’t consider myself as a liberal. I consider myself as a moderate person. I think the less government, the better,” Northam said.

Northam continues to explain away real policy solutions by saying they aren’t plausible in Virginia. And he should know, he perfected the trick of saying one thing in the Democratic Primary and another thing in the general election back in 2013.

Ralph Northam 2017: No, I regret nothing.


  • Mike H

    Ralph Northam is regarded by many as a good man who has stood for good causes. I certainly don’t have reason to disagree. But, he has proven himself to be a thoroughly unimpressive and highly vulnerable candidate throughout this primary.

    This primary is about ensuring the Democrats nominate the strongest candidate to represent them and give them the best chance of ensuring a general election victory in the Fall. Perriello has proven himself to be that candidate. And, in my opinion, it hasn’t even been close.

    • People should really take the time to watch Tom’s and Ralph’s respective appearances at Georgetown University. Note that Tom was super comfortable, the audience was engaged/excited, etc, while in Ralph’s…well, watch for yourself.

      a) Tom https://www.facebook.com/gupolitics/videos/742601992584485/
      b) Ralph https://www.facebook.com/gupolitics/videos/751774431667241/

      • Secret Canadian

        Seriously Lowell? You’ve moved on to publishing anonymous sarcastic hatchet jobs against Northam?

        I have no issue with endorsing, supporting, or extolling the virtues of Periello. But Northam’s done good work for our party, our state, and our country. He’s crossed Virginia countless times to help other Democrats get elected and raise money. He doesn’t deserve this.

        • Several problems with this comment.

          1. Someone posting under the pseudonym “Secret Canadian” isn’t exactly one to talk.
          2. FreeDem has been a front pager at Blue Virginia for years, not anonymous at all, but I’ll let him address that if he wants.
          3. Northam “doesn’t deserve” factual information about him being put out? But Tom, of course, does. Gotcha.

          • Secret Canadian

            I’m anonymous, but I’m not out here assailing anyone’s character. Tom seems like a good man, I think he’d make a good governor, I’d be happy to vote for him in November.

            What’s factual about this post? How about this statement? “To Northam, Perriello is too distracted with silly concerns about solving problems.”

            That’s some honest statement of fact? I’d love to see the citation to where Northam indicated anything like this sentiment. This is entirely opinion, and the opinion can best be described as Ralph Northam is unprincipled and a bad Democrat.

          • I’ve heard Ralph Northam articulate variants of the “Perriello is too idealistic” or “Perriello is not pragmatic” or “Perriello doesn’t know how things REALLY work in Richmond” or whatever about a gazilion times now. Just watch any of their forums or debates, you can’t miss it.

          • Secret Canadian

            What you just wrote in your comment is factual information, contrary to the original opinion piece.
            Saying ‘my opponent is too idealistic’ is worlds away from saying my opponent is “too distracted with silly concerns about solving problems.” No one but a cartoon villain, speaking in private to his henchmen, would say the latter – it doesn’t even make sense as a criticism. Not to mention describing Northam’s attitude as “he’s earned this Governorship, and he isn’t about to explain to you why.” You may not care for his explanation, but he’s out there at event after event after event providing it.
            Bottom line: the published article is a hit piece, and I’m disappointed that Blue Virginia thinks its tone is appropriate.

          • Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

          • Actually, it’s very easy to figure out who you are.

        • Anonymous Is A Woman

          Secret Canadian, first let me clear up your objection to “Anonymous Posters, though you too chose to remain anonymous. My pen name, AIAW, was just the name of my now defunct blog. I am not personally anonymous. My name is Karen Duncan, which was on my blog, and I used to be a BV front pager too, so lots of readers knew who i was. No real anonymity. Just free publicity and promotion for a website.

          Now let me state, FreeDem’s post is brilliant and spot on. I have personally received attacks from Northam supporters whom I used to think were my friends. Silly me. One even refused to believe I was a Hillary supporter, not a Bernie supporter despite ample evidence all over my FB page, as I supported, defended and debated Hillary’s opponents throughout a primary and general election. The refusal to believe me was because it did not suit the Northam narrative that this race is a replay of the Bernie vs. Hillary rivalry. It’s not. John Podesta endorsed Tom early on.

          And it is true that while Perriello has apologized for and explained his bad votes and mistakes, Northam never does, does not admit he makes mistakes, and is very abrupt with people who bring any up. That inability to ever admit a mistake is 1) common among doctors (sorry but surgeons often have what the medical profession acknowledges is a “God complex ,” (If you Google God Complex, you will see a bunch of articles about it.

          2) It is a character flaw to not be able to admit a past error.

          The whole tenor of his campaign and of his supporters on social media has been vicious to those who dare to contradict them or support an opponent. But that is not the way democracy works. Candidates are supposed to earn votes, not demand them because it’s their turn.

  • Anonymous Is A Woman

    Not quite related, but I just received an email that best-selling author John Grisham has endorsed Tom Perriello. Let’s see how Northam and his supporters object to this? Grisham is not a Virginia outsider (their favorite objection to any progressive who supports Tom). He is a long time resident of Charlottesville, who has done many fundraisers and lent support to lots of Virginia candidates.