Whatever one might think of Rep. Tom Perriello, only a fool or a liar would deny that the guy has cojones.
Just look at what he did this evening: speak at the monthly meeting of the Jefferson Area Tea Party. Consider that for a moment. Perriello is, for the second year in a row, holding dozens of town hall meetings across the district. Last year he held more such meetings than any other member of congress, and I imagine he’ll set the record this year, too. That’s really quite remarkable. Those of us in the district have come to regard this as normal, but it’s really not.
Can you imagine Virgil Goode having ever done this sort of thing? Speaking at—to use the left-wing equivalent of teabaggers—a meeting of angry socialists? Taking questions, some hostile, from audiences of hundreds of people? Of course not! Save for the minimal number of debates with challengers, I don’t remember Goode ever addressing an audience more challenging than his own donors, and that includes when he was a Democrat, independent, and a Republican.
I wonder if Robert Hurt might be willing to commit to doing the same thing, if elected. Would he agree to hold two dozen public forums throughout the district each year, take unscreened questions from audience members, and respond to all of them? Like all challengers, he’d almost certainly say “yes,” but the important thing is to get him on the record, in case he does win. If he does emerge victorious next November, I’d put $50 up against anybody that he won’t meet or exceed the bar established by Perriello in this regard.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more responsive, more open congressman in the nation than Rep. Perriello. Don’t lose sight of that.