While most of the New York Times article I mentioned this morning was setting up the narrative that the Democratic gubernatorial primary was largely a contest between the establishment (Northam) and progressives upset with Trump (Perriello), there was some newsworthy items of interest. One was that Ralph Northam actually admitted he voted for George W. Bush twice.
But the lieutenant governor has blemishes of his own in a Democratic primary race. He conceded that he had voted for George W. Bush in each of his presidential campaigns, explaining that he was an apolitical doctor at the time and now viewed his decision as “wrong.”
This development isn’t exactly something you’d want at a time when the race has become about which candidate is more progressive. But it’s also not the first time that we’ve seen Northam’s progressive values called into question. He’s been known as a conservative enough Democrat, after all, that the Republicans in the state senate have approached him at least twice about switching parties.
This is all noteworthy because he goes after Tom Perriello for supposedly not being progressive enough on abortion and gun rights — issues that Perriello says he’s evolved on over the years. He says he wouldn’t have accepted the NRA endorsement now, for instance, like he did during his campaign for reelection back in 2012.
So the question obviously becomes; if Northam is allowed to come around on certain issues over the years, why can’t Perriello?