I, like many Vermonters, found Peter Shumlin’s and Pat Leahy’s extremely early endorsement of Hillary Clinton disappointing.
Coming as early as they did, those endorsements rang of quid pro quo for campaign support from the powerful Clinton bloc, or currying political favor with the presumptive nominee.
They also carried the distinct message, “ he’s not with us.”
To some this was an unnecessarily disloyal thing to do, since Bernie Sanders has, with few exceptions, pulled with the Democratic “team” since being sent to Congress, and more than given back to the others’ campaigns from his own well of regional popularity.
I immediately credited Peter Welch for shrewd independence and character under the circumstances.
His endorsement for Bernie coming now, at some distance from Shumlin’s and Leahy’s rush to declare, not only casts a positive light on Welch’s own greater discretion, but it gives him valuable cache amongst the groundswell of young voters who have been attracted to the race in support of Sanders.
Congratulations, Congressman Welch, and thank you for giving me another good reason to celebrate your service to your constituents.