Alexandria’s Democratic faithful gathered last night to celebrate US Representative James P. Moran’s victory over Republican challenger Scott Tate.
The main campaign issue for Moran’s opponents was ethics. “Those signs and those bed sheets are withering in the rain and we are here celebrating the fact that Jim Moran was our congressman yesterday; he is our congressman today and he will be our congressman tomorrow,” said Alexandria Mayor Kerry J. Donley, as he introduced Moran to the more than 100 well-wishers who were gathered at the Radisson Hotel in Old Town.
“He has served Virginia’s 8th District well and will continue to do so. We are one of the most well represented districts in this country.”
Moran cruised to victory, earning more than 60 percent of the vote. In Alexandria, he won by a two to one margin. He made his victory speech surrounded by his family and the local elected officials who have supported him.
“You are much more than just fellow elected officials,” Moran said. “You are truly family and you are here because, like me, you love this area and all of the things it offers. I thank you for your support and I will continue to work hard for you.”
MORAN EXPRESSED his disappointment that more Democrats did not win nationally. “Because of the economy, there are a lot of people who are unemployed,” he said. “There are a lot of people who don’t know where they are going to get their paycheck tomorrow. This is when the Democrats who clearly have a far more people-oriented agenda than the Republicans, are normally called upon. This should have been an election where the Democrats gained control of the House of Representatives. We didn’t; we won’t; and I think there are a couple of reasons. One is that we let ourselves be co-opted. We lost not on the basis of principle because we stood up for something and had the courage of our convictions, even if it was something that was not popular and was the right thing to do. That’s not why we lost control. We lost because we didn’t show a real distinction between the Democrats and the Republicans. Too many Democrats voted for a tax cut, the vast majority of which goes to the people who need it the least and it’s going to be paid for by the people who need help the most.
“The tax cut is going to be paid for out of FICA taxes,” he said. “It’s going to be paid for out of social security taxes, which are regressive and which everybody pays. We’re going to borrow $2 trillion from those social security taxes to pay for this tax cut. This is a transfer of wealth in the wrong direction. Democrats are supposed to represent a transfer of wealth in the right direction so that ever more people can realize their potential and in doing so, the country realizes its potential.”
MORAN ALSO SPOKE about the differences between Democrats and Republicans on foreign policy. “The Democrats have an opportunity to show that we have worked for 50 years for multilateral institutions,” he said. “We have worked to lead this world by example, to show that while we may be the mightiest nation militarily; the most powerful and certainly the wealthiest.
"We use that prowess, if you will, to lend a hand to other nations, to lead by example, to try to bring about peace and prosperity and to overcome dictators and tyrants around the world by giving the people under their oppression the motivation to overthrow them. We do this by making people like Saddam Hussein irrelevant. The last thing we should be doing is implementing a policy of unilateralism, of preemptive action against any other country. That kind of example is going to get us into situations that will go way beyond our control. Those are some of the things that concern me and I wish the Democratic Party had better defined itself.”
SCOTT TATE, who received just under 40 percent of the vote, was philosophical.
"I think the fact that we held Congressman Moran to 60 percent is significant. It shows that more than a third of the citizens of this district are ready for a change.
"Of course, I would have hoped that we could have gotten 50 or 51 percent of the vote, but that didn't happen. I am proud of the campaign we ran and of my wonderful volunteers.
"This is a district that, with redistricting, Moran should have won by 70 percent or more. I am a long-time resident of this area and I am going to be around."
Moran concluded his victory remarks by promising to continue to serve the 8th District well. “Our objective is to represent your dreams and your hopes and to make this country a better place in which to live,” he said. “That’s why we continue to do this.”