On Friday, President Obama will campaign in Charlottseville, Virginia, alongside freshman Democrat Tom Perriello, who is locked in a tight battle to win re-election. The thing that makes this unusual is that Perriello's district -- Virginia's 5th -- supported McCain by a three-point margin in 2008, yet Perriello is embracing Obama's visit anyway.
As Virginia families face tough times, this election is a choice between those who hid on the sidelines behind their powerful corporate donors and those who stepped up to the plate with solutions to stabilize the economy and move America forward. The President and I disagree on some issues, but we agree that America cannot return to the failed Bush-Hurt policies that brought our great nation to the brink of economic ruin. The President knows I'm an independent fighter, that I work tirelessly for this district, and that I'm interested in what we can accomplish together, rather than what divides us. Robert Hurt offers us a $4 trillion deficit, a bankrupt Medicare trust fund, and the outsourcing of American jobs at the request of his special interest donors. It's time for Hurt to come out of the shadows and explain one area he differs from the policies that created this economic mess in the first place. In the meantime, I will keep working with anyone from any party who's serious about producing results for Virginia.
Perriello's embrace of President Obama is a perfect example of what makes him special. Instead of running away from his record and pretending to be a Republican, Perriello has stood firm, not just defending his votes for energy reform, health care reform, Wall Street reform, and the stimulus, but also taking credit for casting them, making the case that even though they were tough votes, they were votes that put America on a better path. That's true leadership -- and it's something to be proud of. Hopefully, voters in Virginia's fifth see it the same way.
If you haven't seen Perriello in action, here he is on video, slamming his opponent for opposing campaign finance disclosure (the still image is of Perriello's opponent, but the video starts with Perriello):
As Meteor Blades said, that's how it should be done.