Monday, June 20, 2011

Is Tom Perriello More Valuable Outside of Congress?

There's no doubt that I would rather see Tom Perriello representing Virginia's 5th District than Robert Hurt. Hurt is yet another vote for the Republican agenda and has illustrated this by supporting things like Paul Ryan's plan to end medicare. With that being said, Perriello's voting record wasn't that great either (he scored a 70 on ADA's report card in 2009 and a 75 in 2010). And that is a major reason why I wasn't dissapointed when he implied that he probably wouldn't be running for Congress in 2012.

Another reason I wasn't dissapointed was the reasoning he gave for not running. According to the Daily Progress, Perriello said "I' just trying to figure out places to make a difference." He then added, “I think there’s a big chance in the Middle East right now.” This makes since when you consider that Perriello has been involved in Middle East issues long before the recent uprisings. In fact, some of you might remember that Tom was actually overseas doing work to help locals in other countries when his name was floated as a potential candidate to replace Tim Kaine, which is why he didn't initially respond to questions about whether or not he'd be running.

The fact that he didn't rush home early to take advantage of what was a lot of interest in his potential candidacy tells me that he is more interested in actually making a difference than simply advancing his political career. When you combine this with the fact that he said that he wants to get as far away from Washington as possible and that he would still be a relatively junior member of the minority party in the House of Representatives if he had been reelected, it looks like Perriello's passions and personality could make him more effective outside of Congress. As a result, I'm not only not dissapointed Perriello's not running, but I'm actually happy and look forward to seeing what he does regarding issues in the Middle East.

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