01 July 2008

Manchin Going To Bat For Obama (Updated)

Amid various signs suggesting West Virginia will remain red in this year's presidential election, Gov. Joe Manchin has pledged to come out swinging for his party's nominee.

Manchin told The Charleston Gazette, "after meeting with other 'centrist' leaders of the Democratic Party for two days in Chicago," he believes "Illinois Sen. Barack Obama can carry West Virginia in November."

"I've told Barack, 'You need to come to West Virginia and sit down and talk,'" Manchin is quoted as saying.

The Associated Press covered the weekend meeting of the Democratic Leadership Council. MetroNews also caught the governor afterward, and reports him saying "he was recently able to talk with the Illinois senator and his staff and stress just how important the West Virginia vote could be to his campaign."

MetroNews also has audio with its report, which also said that "no Democratic nominee has won the White House since 1916 without winning the West Virginia Primary."

The observation dovetails with the recent county-by-county electoral map analysis of Appalachia that accompanied an op-ed on the topic in The New York Times. The op-ed, in turn, was invoked in a Monday piece, "Winning over West Virginia," in the United Kingdom newspaper The Guardian.

Update: Manchin also spoke to Public Broadcasting (audio here), recounting this conversation with Obama:

He says, 'You know Joe, I don’t know if my demographics work that well, which is being an African American in a state that is predominantly white Caucasian.' And I kidded with him. I said, I come from an ethic background, in being Catholic in a state that has very few Catholics. You could say my demographics do not work well in West Virginia, but people need to know you. They will base you on your performance. You need to spend time in West Virginia.

2 comments:

clear eyes said...

But does Obama really need or want the votes of the "bitter clingers" here in WV? Isn't there too much religion and gun ownership here to make us suitable suitors for the great Messiah who promises hope and change?

Chris James said...

MetroNews needs to fact check a little more. In 1976, Byrd "won" the West Virginia primary as a "native son" candidate in hopes of influencing the convention. Carter, of course, went on to win in Nov. without winning the WV primary.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:1976DemocraticPresidentialPrimaries.gif

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