With this in mind, the New York Times has an article on the attention Rep. Perriello has drawn over his ACES vote. Money quote:
The freshman Democrat from southern Virginia, who has little name recognition outside his district and little influence over the legislation, declared a couple of weeks before the vote that he would support the bill. And so much of the media attention and lobbying efforts were on the powerful committee chairmen and a number Midwestern Democrats that seemingly held the fate of the bill in their hands.The reaction to Perriello's vote, naturally, has broken down partisan lines. While the Republicans have been using the vote to bruise Perriello for his next election, Perriello thinks this strategy might backfire:
Much has changed in two weeks.
Since Democrats squeezed out a 219-212 vote on the legislation, no single member of Congress has been the subject of as much scrutiny -- and political sparring -- as Perriello.
"These are the kinds of bills that we came to Washington to pass," Perriello said. "What I think you're seeing is a new generation of politicians that are more interested in solving the issue than scoring the political points."Of course, it's too early to tell how this vote will affect Perriello's future, to which Larry Sabato opines:
Adding that even if voters punish some Democrats in 2010, the long-term impact of the legislation will result in more voters turning away from the Republican Party. "It may not backfire [on the Republicans] next year but it will backfire over time," he said. "I think it's a short term political risk for the Democrats, but its a long-term risk for Republicans because of the national security and economic impacts."
At the moment, the energy issue is being used primarily to rile up each party's political base, Sabato said. "Democrats think the bill is terrific, and Republicans think it is awful," he said. "The battle is partly to motivate base voters for a relatively low turnout midterm election."Like it or not, that is probably a fair assessment.