October 29, 2010
On a chilly late-October night in Charlottesville, President Barack Obama took the stage at the Pavilion without a coat and with his sleeves rolled up.
The President addressed the crowd of around 9,000, urging those in attendance to vote.
"Go out and vote on Tuesday for one of the best congressmen Virginia has ever had," he said.
President Obama said he did not come to Charlottesville because Perriello agrees with or votes with him, noting that the two sometimes disagree. He remarked that political courage is hard to come by in a freshman Congressman and praised Perriello for going to Washington to do what is right.
However, President Obama was quick to point out that the candidate who does what is right is not always the one that gets elected.
"Sometimes folks who are operating in the best interest of their constituents don't win. This is where you all come in," said President Obama, as the Pavilion crowd erupted into a chorus of "Go Tom, Go!".
Obama centered much of his 40-minute speech on trying to incite the democratic vote. He focused centered not on trying to switch Republican or Independent votes, but rather on trying to get the democratic vote out on Tuesday. He stressed this by telling the crowd, "We are proud to be democrats, but prouder to be Americans."
Obama said Charlottesville and the Fifth District as a whole would serve as a “political test case” for whether Americans can elect, or in Perriello's case re-elect, trustworthy leaders.
Earlier in the night, Perriello took the stage to introduce President Obama, thanking everyone in attendance and in the Fifth District for believing in him two years ago. Perriello said they defied the odds and the pundits predictions in 2008, and will do it again on Tuesday.
President Obama fed off the underdog mentality in his speech.
"This country was founded on what seemed impossible. They could have given up, but they kept on going in the face of difficulty and uncertainty. That's what made us the greatest country on Earth. That's the spirit we need now. That's what put me in office and Tom Perriello in congress."
Interesting to note, throughout the nearly 50-minute rally, Robert Hurt's name was not mentioned once by either Tom Perriello nor President Obama.