FWD BLOG: PERRIELLO FOR VA-GOV!
Dems need the best “Unity” Candidate who has proven he can mobilize “The Resistance” for the most important race in America in 2017 and in 5 months he has hustled his way from NoVA to SoVA to earn a lead in the latest polls.
After waiting to see how the campaign has developed and polls showing him as the new Democratic front-runner in the Primary AND General Election, I have concluded that Tom Perriello has proved to be the best choice to unite the Democratic coalition (with support ranging from both the senior-level to the grassroots of the Bernie, Hillary and Obama constituencies) as well as deliver a “100-District Strategy” in November so I am officially endorsing the former Congressman, State Department negotiator and CEO of Center For American Progress Action Fund for the Democratic Nomination for Governor.
If we have learned anything from 2016, I hope its that Democrats need to support campaigns and party organizations who know how to inspire and engage voters so we see proof they can WIN….no excuses!
Tom officially won that battle on May 8th when his Health Care ad wasn’t just featured on the news but on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert….because it was so creative not as a punchline. This is a great example that if Democratic media professionals want to get their message out they don’t need to be a racist gaffe machine but they need to be provocative and they will be thanked ten-fold by spreading their content for free while giving it more credibility due to the “endorsement” of media coverage if it’s engaging enough.
Of course, one ad doesn’t make a campaign but it exemplifies what I am seeing on the ground too. Now, I am not as involved in Virginia politics as much as I was when I was a leader in the Arlington Young Democrats, Arlington Democrats and various statewide campaigns like Virginia for Obama but with the rise of so much enthusiasm in DC right now for winning swing elections I am re-connecting with local party activities to see how I can use my experience to facilitate more successful grassroots engagement throughout the region. And in the process I have seen there is still a clear difference in party-building philosophies in our community as we remain plagued with plenty of business-as-usual tactics from the top all the way down to the local party level.
We need to bury “Old School” political thinking once and for all or be doomed to watch history to repeat itself. Loyalty is a strong thing and I’m sure Ralph Northam does a fine job in Richmond where he has built some great relationships. But even though Tom Perriello had been working in progressive national politics and for President Obama at the State Department over the past few years unfortunately the Virginia Democratic “Establishment” is stuck with another attempted coronation instead of embracing another national figure who worked his ass off to run for Governor and use that stature to his advantage. Sound familiar?
But either way, the “outsider” has actually leap-frogged Ralph in a hurry in Northern Virginia from what I’ve seen, because it is clear that Tom has reached out to more “Grassroots” Democrats in the past 5 months than Ralph Northam has done over the course of basically a 3-Year Campaign for Governor.
Watch or Listen podcast-style to 7 minutes of this interview with long-time Virginia Democratic pundit Ben Tribbett on The John Fredericks Show:
In recent weeks I have been invited to attend NON-FUNDRAISERS like a Meet-And-Greet and a Town Hall with Tom and met his campaign staffers at the Democratic Party of Virginia’s NOVA Summit after-party as well as this past weekend at the 8th District Convention which elected 20 new Central Committee members. Unlike Tom, for some reason Ralph didn’t attend but even worse didn’t even send a lowly intern to set up a table to pass out buttons or talk to the core of the party base!
Meanwhile, Tom’s campaign is also demonstrating a savvy digital presence by doing facebook events and live-streams to spread his message to voters of all ages — including the many older activists who are increasingly connecting online that he will need to stop the Republicans statewide in the Fall.
He hasn’t covered every base yet but Tom’s team is SHOWING UP and BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS down to the local level. And those conversations have shown me that they’re open to new ideas, whether it be new online tactics or metro-accessible events to attract DC Volunteers and Young Voters.
Finally, as you can see I have skirted comparing the candidates on issues and their baggage so far as I am a “big picture” guy who doesn’t see enough of a gap between the candidates to worry about who wins an ideological purity test or a rehash of who voted with Republicans in the past. But Tom has shared a smart, charismatic narrative about how he can appeal to even Trump voters, whether it be raising the minimum wage, opposing intrusive pipelines or investing in clean energy and jobs in rural areas. Ralph is frankly “low energy” and doesn’t have sharp talking points that explain his plan for governing.
We don’t have time to wait for a candidate that is learning how to build a 21st Century Campaign on the job, so I have decided to start lead some campaign efforts for Tom starting this Memorial Weekend.
The bottom line is this: Tom Perriello’s campaign with his proactive agenda and unifying outreach strategy, represents the future of a winning Democratic Party and proves why he is the more “electable” candidate in Virginia this November.
And I suggest you make your own choice…because most endorsements you hear don’t take that into account.
But don’t just take my word for it!
If you have 15 minutes then you can hear his very sharp message in this Washington Post video here:
You can also watch videos on facebook like Tom’s campaign announcement and Arlington Town Hall Opening Remarks with Q&A, see him in-person by finding upcoming events too and visit his web site at www.tomforvirginia.com to read about his issue proposals, then let me know what you think!
Want updates on why people should support Tom and how they can help? Join my Forward Progressive page’s “Grassroots Dems supporting Tom Perriello for VA-GOV!” event for June 13th where I am sharing some grassroots events and news until Primary Day.