Eliane Luria came into Congress on a wave of anti-Trumpism, and left on a wave of anti-Bidenism. That’s how it goes most of the time.
The bottom line is that Luria was a fine Congresswoman that should have breezed into into a third term, however, the moronic Democratic Party gave her enough rope to freely tie her own noose.
Her accomplishments were great for the Shore–she brought money and attention, would have fitted the last mile of broadband, would have put even more eyes on Wallops.
Her best work was as the House Armed Services Committee’s Vice Chair for the 117th Congress.
To local shipbuilders here in Coastal Virginia, and sea power supporters, she’s an ally; to the Navy, she’s both a supporter and a skeptic. She led a bipartisan coalition to boost defense spending, and she often used her military experience to grill officials on both the size and readiness of the Navy’s fleet, and whether those factors were enough to win a war against China. Luria was making up for 20 years of the Navy being underfunded or under-resourced.
This should have resonated in the 2nd district whose local economy is tied to Naval Station Norfolk, home of the most U.S. Navy personnel, and to Norfolk Naval Shipyard, which services nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines on the East Coast.
But then came the January 6th Committee, and Luria was tapped as a member, and in many ways, became the face of it–she was a regular guest on national news shows.
Luria emphasized her role on the Jan. 6 committee in her closing television ad, and told Vox that she felt it was ultimately a good decision. “If it’s not popular with voters and I don’t win reelection, I’ll be able to sleep at night because I know I did the right thing . . . in the long run, I think I’m on the right side of it, and the economy will recover,” she said earlier this month. “Democracy may not.”
This was a big miscalculation. People, especially on the Shore, and across the Bay are struggling, and we are all pretty sure what policies are driving the pain. The Jan. 6th stuff tied Luria directly to Biden and Pelosi, and she was viewed as just another partisan politician up in Washington, out of touch with what the working class is actually going through.
Essentially, the January 6 Committee ruined her brand. The committee has been broadly mocked, and is even deemed the real threat to Democracy by many of the ordinary people.
It’s a shame, she had much more good work to do for the US Navy, and the Defense Department in general. There are many in the DoD that may be glad to see her go. Whether Kiggins will pick up where she left off is story yet unwritten.