Obama Couldn't Save Virginia's Periello : It's All Politics Republican Robert Hurt's defeat of Periello came despite President Obama's campaigning for him. While Periello was a reliable vote for Obama, he was also a centrist who was seen as well suited to a district that leaned Republican.

Obama Couldn't Save Virginia's Periello

President Obama caused a lot of head scratching when he went into Virginia's 5th Congressional District to campaign specifically for Rep. Tom Periello, the endangered Democrat.

The second guessing will now only increase with the news that Republican Robert Hurt has defeated Periello even after Obama's exertions last week when the president visited Charlottesville, the university town where he did well in 2008.

Periello was a reliable vote for Obama, voting for the economic stimulus and the health care plan and that certainly didn't help him in a district that leans Republican.

But he was also seen as popular in the district, the kind of Democratic moderate who could do well in a district that was more marginal for Democrats.

His defeat, while not a shocker, will certainly add to the sense of Democratic foreboding tonight.