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Ex-Sen. Carte Goodwin (D)
Could Carte Goodwin make a return to the Senate?
In an unsurprising move, Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller said on Friday that will not seek re-election in 2014, though he does intend to finish out his term. Rockefeller is 75 and would have been seeking his sixth term, in a state that's grown increasingly hostile to Democrats; West Virginia went for Mitt Romney 62-36 in the most recent election (making it Obama's fifth-worst state), and the president lost every single county.

But Rockefeller, too, had seemingly moved away from the political mainstream in his home state. Back in June, we took note of some extremely unusual remarks Rockefeller made on the Senate floor, castigating the coal industry for engaging in scare tactics over any attempts to regulate it. At the time, it seemed like a potential signal that Rocky was eyeing the exits—after all, you don't go after Big Coal when you're up against a very competitive race in a state where the demographics are racing away from you.

Whether that speech was a tell or not, GOP Rep. Shelley Moore Capito's early entry into the contest back in November certainly raised the stakes for Rockefeller, given that she's unquestionably the strongest Republican candidate in the state. In response to Capito's move, Rockefeller sounded pretty unenthusiastic about saddling up for still one more race, so Friday's news was not unexpected.

The real question, of course, is what Democrats do next. Despite West Virginia's move to the right, there's still a strong Democratic bench. What's more, given Rockefeller's attacks on coal (as well as his lack of fire in the belly), this could be a rare situation where Dems might be better off with a replacement instead of the incumbent. No matter what, though, you can bet that DSCC chair Michael Bennet is on the horn with potential recruits right now. Possible names include:

• ex-Sen. Carte Goodwin, who, as an appointee, briefly served out the final months of the late Robert Byrd's term in 2010;

• WV-03 Rep. Nick Rahall, who's already said he's interested and may be looking for an escape hatch considering he won re-election by just 54 percent last year;

• state House Speaker Rick Thompson, who unsuccessfully sought the Dem nomination for governor in 2011;

• Secretary of State Natalie Tennant (same);

• ex-Gov. Bob Wise;

• Supreme Court Justice Robin Davis;

• ex-state party chair Mike Callaghan, who has also expressed interest;

• and perhaps even current Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, though thanks to a special election, he had to run back-to-back races in 2011 and 2012 and may be ready for a breather.

Undoubtedly we'll hear a lot more on this front in the coming weeks. And note that if Rahall were to jump in, that would create an open seat in his 3rd Congressional District, which would be an extremely tough hold for Democrats given how red it is (it went for Romney 65-33). Moore Capito's House seat is, of course, also open, meaning we could see a lot of action in West Virginia this cycle—and we'll be there to cover it all.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 09:54 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  West Virginia is increasingly voting like a (0+ / 0-)

    Southern state. Rockefeller's seat will be a tough hold, but not impossible. I hope Democrats can find a strong candidate to take on Capito.

    Guns are never the principle in the commission of a crime, but they are usually an accomplice

    by MadGeorgiaDem on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 10:01:27 AM PST

  •  How red is West Virginia? (9+ / 0-)

    My impression is that Barack Obama's problems in West Virginia are (ahem) cultural, and that West Virginia isn't necessarily that hostile to the right kind of Democrat. And it appears they may have a pretty deep bench.

    We all thought North Dakota was a lost cause, and we got Heidi Heitkamp to win. We may be okay in West Virginia too.

    The Bush Family: 0 for 4 in Wisconsin

    by Korkenzieher on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 10:02:23 AM PST

    •  Obama, Kerry, Gore (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Korkenzieher

      I thus think WV is lost for the Democrats at the presidential level post Obama for the long run as well. And it's not as if Obama was the first Democratic presidential candidate to lose the state: Kerry ('04) and Gore ('00) had the bad luck to preceed him in doing that. That realigment was a long time coming. In that Gore's loss in 2000 wa a harbinger. The realignment just took much longer than is those formerly core Democratic statesin the South, and is now also taking place at the federal level in WV. It used to be more midwestern like Ohio and Pennsylvania but it has become part of the Deep South.

      Obama-Biden in 2012: four more years!

      by Frederik on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 10:30:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I get the feeling (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KingofSpades, murrayewv, MichaelNY

      I get the feeling that there's a decent amount of pro-labor populism in the state, and the right candidate could capitalize on that.

    •  Culturally, it's very red right now (0+ / 0-)

      A lot of evangelical Christianists, a lot of Limbaugh and FOX bots, gun nuts, racism, etc. etc. etc. Sometimes I despair of this place.

      With the exception of a blue enclave here and there, there's a strong corporate-controlled media that leans right reflexively, toward the bosses.

      WV is another example of "what's wrong with Kansas", or: how you get people to vote against their own interests.

    •  West Virginia (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      Likes right wing Democrats.

  •  WV will be a tough hold (6+ / 0-)

    but then we said the same thing about ND in 2012.

    Filibuster reform now. No more Gentleman's agreements.

    by bear83 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 10:04:29 AM PST

  •  um (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    randomfacts, bumiputera

    Bob Wise? well, he hasn't had an affair with any state employees in almost 10 years. But that seems like that's be a non-starter.

    And WV3 needs some sort of split on the whole partisan thing since it also appears to have had a huge percent of voters who voted Straight Ticket Dem then voted Romney.

    For example. Logan County: Romney 69, Manchin 75, Rahall 67, Tomblin 79, Tennant 76, Gainer 72, Perdue 71, Helmick 65, McGraw 64

    And how much of it was Rahall's tenure? Well, Rahall lost the county he lived in, by 17%.  So maybe his tenure got him to be the 2nd worst performing Dem in his home county there. Who knows.

    The Republican Party isn't a party of small government, it's a party of a government for the few. @bhindepmo

    by RBH on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 10:06:24 AM PST

  •  Goodwin passes the "eye" test (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wdrath, Cederico

    And that matters.

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 10:11:22 AM PST

  •  Natalie Tennant might be the strongest (5+ / 0-)

    candidate.

    Bob Wise didnt run for re-election in 2004, after admitting to an affair with a state employee, so he probably isnt the best candidate.

    Goodwin would be okay, but wasnt there some speculation about him running in WV-02? Since SMC is leaving, I wonder if he tries there, in an open seat.

    A lot will depend on if SMC makes it through the GOP primary. She is favored in the general if she does. But I wonder if Club for Growth and the tea party try harder to win the primary with one of their candidates, now that Rockefeller has retired.

    •  Where is she on guns? (0+ / 0-)

      I like her and have voted for her before.

      However with the gun control agenda at the federal level that will push a lot of dems to vote republican in WV due to the fear that the more democrats are in congress the more likely something they consider regressive will pass.

      That's what killed both Gore and Kerry here. Nearly every body I talked to in those elections cited gun control.

      Rahall is my congressman and I actually like him. He has to be big on the anti EPA stuff but he's got 100% from the NRA which would greatly help him against Capito.

      Remember Capito had a lot of help from the NRA to defeat Humphreys.

      I think WV'ians are fairl liberal on a lot of issues but the whole guns and coal thing push it to the right.

  •  Hopefully many Republicans... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cederico

    ....will vote a la Carte.

    No one ever created a vibrant economy by building houses for each other. Houses are built because there is a vibrant economy.

    by Doug in SF on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 10:17:14 AM PST

  •  Hopefully someone willing to lose... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kleinburger

    I predict the Dems will run some climate denying coal panderer who will lose anyway. Instead, they should run someone willing to tell the truth to West Virginia that they need a plan for their economy that doesn't depend on changing the climate. Yes, that means we'll lose the seat but how do we change the mind of the electorate if we're never willing to run a candidate that will speak the truth?

    Passive renunciation is not the whole of wisdom.

    by play jurist on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 10:22:10 AM PST

  •  The "Club for Growth" (0+ / 0-)

    ..doesn't like Caputo much.

    She must have voted against corporate interests once. Maybe she was having a bad day, or was sick or something..

    Poor people have too much money and vote too often. Republican platform plank, 1980 - present

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 10:22:38 AM PST

  •  If Rahall won with 54% (0+ / 0-)

    in an otherwise 33-65 district then I'd just as soon see him stay put. It's going to be tough enough to squeeze out the seats necessary to win back the House without giving up some seats along the way. But I can certainly understand his desire to move up to the Senate.

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 10:24:48 AM PST

    •  Shelley Moore Capito is no Rick Snuffer (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Andrew C White, murrayewv
    •  Rahall is unknown north of Charleston (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Andrew C White, pademocrat

      Seriously, most people living in Clarksburg, Fairmont, Morgantown, Parkersburg, Martinsburg, Wheeling, and Weirton have no idea who Nicky Joe is.

    •  I think it's a chump move for him... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Andrew C White

      His seat is the most safe for Democrats (in terms of downticket voting), and coupled with low name recognition in the rest of the state, it's hard to see how he wouldn't start out a Senate campaign in worse shape than running for re-election.  

      The counterbalancing point, however, is people seem to vote for senators based upon the person still, to some degree, whereas house votes, like presidential votes, seem to closely mirror partisan affiliation now.  Possibly because people understand individual Senators have a lot of power, where house members have nearly none except what their caucus gives them.  I'm not sure if this is enough, but it was in North Dakota, Montana, etc.  

      Maybe he just wants to hang it up in the house within the next six years, and he figures it would be a good capstone to his career to go into the Senate.  If he doesn't feel like he personally has anything to lose, I can understand his desire.  

  •  West Virginia needs (6+ / 0-)

    an alternative -- and I don't mean political party.  They need alternative industries to King Coal.  A chunk of federal money encouraging alternative energy industries to settle in coal country could provide hard working folks with a chance to extend their lives and their children's lives.

    It is a noble ideal to end mountain top removal, deep coal mining, fracking, oil extraction -- but noble ideals don't feed, clothe and house families who depend on those industries.  There's plenty of smart progressive folks who have connections, money, influence and should be working to bring a real future to some of these red states.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 10:25:11 AM PST

  •  I just checked out Justice Davis... (0+ / 0-)

    ...her state Supreme Court experience is impressive!
    http://www.courtswv.gov/...

    "There is power in speaking up. We know the face of unfettered gun proliferation. Now it’s time to see more faces of regulation and restraint." - Charles Blow

    by Beastly Fool on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 10:25:18 AM PST

  •  Tennant is the only choice (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    murrayewv, betelgeux

    Capito is a pro-choice Republican female. The only way to balance the gender gap and help keep right-wing fundies at home is to nominate a pro-choice Democratic female.

    Her name is Natalie Tennant.

    •  Capito really isn't pro-choice (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      prfb

      if she is, she's a pro-choicer who always votes against the pro-choice side

      The Republican Party isn't a party of small government, it's a party of a government for the few. @bhindepmo

      by RBH on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 10:53:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  30% NARAL; only 55% NLRC (0+ / 0-)

        The extremists who ran the abortion-based campaign against Mollohan in 2010 failed to remember that he was more pro-life than Capito.

        •  not sure how wide their nets are but (0+ / 0-)

          every single vote on here, SMC is on the pro-life side. I'm sure she voted for an amendment or two that escapes most radars. But still.

          The Republican Party isn't a party of small government, it's a party of a government for the few. @bhindepmo

          by RBH on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 11:03:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yet... (0+ / 0-)

            Capito has voted for more pro-choice and against more pro-life bills than Rahall, McKinley, or Manchin.

            •  would it be a safe bet to (0+ / 0-)

              guess that interest group ratings (on both sides) can be some of the least statistical measurements we have to measure legislators?

              It seems like the biggest difference between SMC and the WV delegation is self-identification. SMC is using the old 80s/90s definition of pro-choice where it was "don't ban all abortions". As opposed to the current definition of pro-life, which seems to involve a giant cross-section of positions on the topic. It's like the people in the "middle" just switch labels depending on the mood of the voters.

              The Republican Party isn't a party of small government, it's a party of a government for the few. @bhindepmo

              by RBH on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 11:18:00 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Carte Goodwin (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cederico

    looks like a young, appealing guy...what was his experience prior to being named interim Senator and what were his approvals? Has he ever run for statewide office? It sure would be good to get a young, popular person into this office, someone who might be able to...hold onto it for a while.

    •  He was a Manchin aide (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wdrath, murrayewv, Cederico, MichaelNY

      He appointed him to keep the seat warm for him. I think he voted pretty much with the party while there.

      •  if he was a Manchin aid and (0+ / 0-)

        Manchin was able to win the special election and win the seat outright...maybe that could be a plus...am sort of just wondering out loud who the strongest potential Democratic candidate might be.

        •  nepotism takes you pretty far here..... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wdrath, mph2005

          but Natalie Tennant was the first woman Mountaineer mascot.  Sounds silly, but really does work for folks here.  I have listenedto her several times at conferences and she is very forward thinking.

          You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

          by murrayewv on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 12:49:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  He was Counsel to Gov. Manchin (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      and is an attorney from a prominent West Virginia family.  But the key qualification he has is he already has been a US Senator.  Just because he was just interim does not detract from the fact he actually served the people of WV well during his 4 month stint.

      He hasn't of course run statewide yet.  But he would have two years to campaign and would have the enthusistic support of Sens Manchin and Rockefeller.  Manchin already chose him to replace the great Bob Byrd and Goodwin's wife is a top aide to Sen. Rockefeller.

      WV Dems would be wise to go with him.  He is basically a blank slate issues wise and therefore can campaign on a platform suited to the state.  Being a Manchin disciple is not a bad thing electorally in WV....Manchin has won landslides in 2004, 2008, 2010 and 2012.  Note that those are all presidential years or the horrible GOP rout year of 2010.

      Goodwin has the "it" factor.  He is young, attractive, sharp, poised, well spoken.  Manchin saw that potential in him when he chose him for the interim job...it gave Goodwin a chance to get known and show his skill.

      Nothing against the other potential candidates (Tennant is good also) but Sen. Goodwin is the best candidate for them IMHO.

  •  Like To Think Manchin's Stance On Gun Control (0+ / 0-)

    Could help defuse that as a polarizing issue for Democratic candidates in the state. It is amazing though how so many GOP families in the south and West Virginia can go back to a time not so long ago when they were Democrats. I've talked with rabid conservatives from West Virginia that mention Jimmy Carter winning in 1976 by appealing to the fundamentalists in many ways. What a long strange trip it's been.

  •  No one mentioned Mike Oliviero (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lordpet8, pademocrat

    He unseated Rep. Allan Mollohan in 2010 primary (from the right) and came extremely close to beating David McKinley.  For a Democrat to beat an incumbent in a primary and get 49.6% of the vote in a R+10 district in 2010 is a pretty impressive feat.

    Here's his profile:  http://www.ourcampaigns.com/...

    I know some Democrats may not want to run a conservative Democrat but really the fact that he beat Allan Mollohan in a primary could be an asset for him - he's more of a Joe Manchin-type, not part of the Rockefeller/Rahall/Byrd/Mollohan/Obama clan whose politics have become too liberal for West Virginia.

  •  Interesting fact about West Virginia Senate Seats (0+ / 0-)

    Democrats have held both West Virginia Senate seats for longer than any other state.  Republicans have not had a seat there since Chapman Rivercomb (R) was defeated by Robert Byrd (D) in 1958.

    •  Yup (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      I looked it up earlier, and the only other state where the party controlling the current senate delegation has had that long of a streak is Kansas, where they haven't elected a Dem since 1939.

      Though I think it's worth pointing out that while WV has had only Democratic senators since 1959, they've also only had five senators in that time period, which is an extremely low number.

  •  Why not... (0+ / 0-)

    Darrell McGraw (D), who was just defeated for re-election as Attorney General, thanks to outside groups pouring money into that race to replace him with a Tea Party nutjob who wasn't even licensed to practice law in West Virginia?

    McGraw is no conservadem.

  •  In the coming Patriotic War (0+ / 0-)

    against Kenyanized Socialist Muslimistic Agression, West Virginia will follow its original path against Federalism and join with its fellow quasi-Sith by putting a Republican in the Senate.  As in the original Civil Uprising, they'll realize their mistake and "reverse secede" about 2 years later.

    Proponents of gun violence own guns. Opponents of gun violence do not own guns. What part of this do you not understand?

    by Liberal Panzer on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 11:14:58 AM PST

  •  We're doomed... (0+ / 0-)

    Politico says we have a thin bench in WV, and we know that Politico doesn't have their head up their asses!  Doomed, I say! Doooooomed!

    GODSPEED TO THE WISCONSIN FOURTEEN!

    by LordMike on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 11:25:02 AM PST

    •  Can we just rely on sexism pleeeese? (0+ / 0-)

      That's always a reliable force. There's a lot of good conservative voters who still have trouble voting for a woman, no matter who her daddy was.  (I really wish somebody would do a story about her dad's tenure sometime, because I just can't do it justice.)

      If the dems can put up a white-looking guy who has a home church and no big boo-boo's visible, they have a good chance to pull this one off. Not that it will easy to find one of those running loose, given that the dem strongholds in southern WV are still laying low after yet another round of convictions.  

      "I'm not a humanitarian. I'm a hell-raiser." Mother Jones

      by histopresto on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 11:32:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  no they won't..... (0+ / 0-)

        have a problem voting for Shelley.  The problem is Shelley is the least effective congressperson we have.  She does nothing and is pretty plastic.  Running on Daddy works here.

        You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

        by murrayewv on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 12:52:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Nick Rahall & Southern West Virginia (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wdrath, cap76

    Nick Rahall:
    Pro-Obamacare
    Pro-Pelosi
    Pro-Palestine
    Arab American
    Early supporter of Obama in 2008 Primaries

    His district was the most Pro-Romney, Pro-Hillary, and Pro-Keith Judd in WV.  So it's shocking he can win there, but I think it's only because the few registered Republicans who exist in southern WV are all stupid and don't know how to run a campaign.  If he were to run against Capito and the NSCC he'd have a harder time.

    •  we like Nick Joe..... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cap76, MichaelNY

      he brings home the bacon.  He is also very well connected to civic leaders, business etc.  I vote for him, although not crazy about coal.

      You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

      by murrayewv on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 12:53:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I voted for him too. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        I wish HE was in charge of Middle East policy as most of his positions are sane.

        Also he helped get a big hunk of  one of my favorite backpacking places, Roaring Plains, wilderness designation. He also got a lot of Big Draft and Spice Run there in Greenbrier wilderness designation.

    •  Unknown north of Charleston (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      In Rahall vs. Capito: Weirton, Wheeling, Morgantown, Clarksburg, Fairmont, Martinsburg, and Parkersburg would all go for Capito.

      No one north of Charleston knows who Nicky Joe is.

  •  I can not blame Jay Rockefeller (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    spiderdem, wdrath, MichaelNY

    He was the strongest for me but, I understand in his case.

    Finding alternatives... I think E Tomblin and N Rahall can be the most interested politicians in this race.

    E Tomblin because he is term limited for 2016, and this is likely his last chance to prove it.

    N Rahall has not an easy way for kepping VW-03 and I can not blame him if he want to risk for higher level office. Also this is likely his last chance to prove it.

    The rest would have VW-Gov 2016, VW-02 2014, VW-03 2014 and VW-01 2016, likely all open. And also have a lot less risk for keeping their current offices.

    •  Jay (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      abgin, MichaelNY

      My dad was originally from Mingo county and when I was growing up (early 70's) nearly all of my relatives who were from there were sick of the destruction caused by strip mining.

      My grandad and dad had moved from Kermit in Mingo when he was young, so when Rockefeller ran for governor
      the first time my dad was a huge supporter and so was I even though I was young.

      That is because originally he was for the abolition of strip mining. He came and gave a speech at the Antique Car Show in Nitro and we went and I got my picture taken with him and still have it  framed.

      Later on he changed his stand on the mining and won. In 72, my parents and I were for McGovern and we went up to the airport in Charleston to see Sargent Shriver arrive, with Jay and Sharon. I was 12 then but those idealistic days and the whole Vietnam thing pretty much made me interested in politics my whole life.

      Anyway Jay was a good governor and a good senator and I have to say true to the ideals he had when he and I were both MUCH younger. I'll miss him because he was never flashy or self promotional.

      Not long ago he came to my wifes workplace and I had my wife wear the  "J" button I got all those years ago. He's a good man. His wife is too for those of us who love public broadcasting.

  •  Bob Wise has said he isn't running (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    Not that it's a shock to anyone

  •  As for the nominee (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades, betelgeux, MichaelNY

    I think they're better off running someone as completely unaffiliated with the national Democratic party as they can. Manchin and Tomblin couldn't be tied to Obama for obvious reasons.

    That's one of the primary reasons why Heitkamp won. She seemed like more of a North Dakotan and Berg seemed like a career politician. If we're going to keep winning these red states, that's the only way to do it.

  •  Such mundane ideas! (0+ / 0-)

    Let me 'splain something to you. Congress (traditional government) is less popular than cockroaches or colonoscopies. If the Democrats want to hold and expand their influence, they can't go to all those old folks who have paid their dues to the party.

    There's a real opportunity here, because a good number of the GOP old guard in the senate will be primaried from the right. They will either tilt right or get run out of town.

    If Progressives want to move, they have to be really creative. Isn't this George Clooney's state?

    •  No. But thanks for playing. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      murrayewv, MichaelNY

      And George Clooney would go over in West Virginia like a fart in church

      •  Now, see, that's what I'm talking about! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        prfb

        I'm in the midst of reading "Deer Hunting with Jesus" and thinking constantly about why poor folks vote against their own self-interest. (I'm from Northern Michigan and know the phenomenon well.)

        In a nutshell, the problem is education, desperation, the need to look down on someone...and the elitism (yes, I'm going to use the word) of progressives who think they don't have to splain to folks what's going on.

        Someone who really loves the population, who got a whole bunch of grass roots volunteers in the coffee shops and bars (ala Heidi Heidtcamp) and who respected their needs and fears could turn that state around...starting now.

        But it has to be someone totally different, someone not associated with the traditional Democratic party.

        Think totally out of the box, and we could have a Democratic senator from West Virginia.

        PS I have family there and worked there last year; I'm not just blowing smoke. Those folks need help. But someone from the old time Dem party will sink like a rock in an acid runoff lake.

        •  And that person is George Clooney? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          murrayewv, MichaelNY

          I agree with the general premise, but an actor from Hollywood is not the ideal candidate to be a grassroots populist.

          •  George Clooney's family were from Mayville KY (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            and not WV.  WV is very insular.  A home grown fresh face would go over better by far.

            You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

            by murrayewv on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 12:56:30 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Wrong state but right idea (0+ / 0-)

            I'm just suggesting that someone from the old guard and old Democratic party won't work. Wrong state on Clooney, but WV folks aren't insular...they are poor, poor, poor. Someone has to talk to them, one-on-one, not television ads.

            Find a name folks know, who understands the coal industry (coal isn't going away, it needs to be A LOT CLEANER. That can happen.)

            None of the names you suggest meet that test.

            What popular person can talk to those good folks (including my cousins)?

        •  While I agree with every word you write... (0+ / 0-)

          I'm also aware that we have just enough of a Democratic Power Establishment (aka: Goodol' Boys Club) here in WV to put paid to any anti-establishment candidate.

          Anyone who questions their death-grip on politics in this state is a Threat... much more so than some mere GOP drone.

          If the Goodolboys don't like you, they (and all of their voter networks) just vanish. Or work for your opposition.

          It's happened before.

          •  Then that explains it (0+ / 0-)

            When they tried it in Florida they lost bigtime...and they still try.

            The general public are really as fed up with the Goodole GOPers as the Goodole Democrats and it will take new faces to get Dems out of places like West Virginia. When the establishment machine realizes that, they might come around.

  •  west Va is gone for the democrats for now (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pademocrat

    I have some property there and they just hate Obama and relate all democrats to being against coal. They are just flat out racists and any democrat has Obama hung around their neck.
    I think after Obama leaves office they state may swing more democratic. I could even envision Hillary being competitive if she was the nominee.

  •  West Virginia Enjoys (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    betelgeux, MichaelNY

    the highest Federal reimbursement rate of any state per capita, including Alaska. And yet it is a hotbed of anti-Obama, anti-government sentiment. Stupid, mooching yokels.

  •  tough luck (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    murrayewv

    Dems have been absent the electoral battlefield for a long time in WV (at the federal level). You told yourself it was because WV was not a good electoral college investment. You now find yourself without much of a bench.  boo hoo.

    For the umpteenth time, your best case scenario relies on the increasingly unlikely possibility of another failed vanity campaign by the WV-GOP's  John Raese.

    Failing that you need Capito to be taken out by a self-inflicted "Buck Wild"-esque  train wreck in the GOP primary.

    Even if either of those scenarios is gifted to you.  You'll likely have some third party MTR candidate materialize yo syphon off votes.  It really won't matter if the third party challenge comes from sincere opponents of mountain top removal or from some front group propped up with coal money.

    If you really want to start to reclaim a stake in WV, you need to wake up.  Someone at the national level needs to communicate directly to West Virginians a vision of America that not only acknowledges the State's existence (neither Romney, Obama nor their surrogates bothered),  but lays out a win/win scenario for WV workers and WV land in the new energy economy.  There are chinks in the armor of "red" WV.  There is tension between Big Coal & Big Gas,  but I don't see any candidates above who are ready to make a bold play,  they all just want to dip a toe in while clinging to what they've got...that's understandable, but it will fail.

    •  I like your analysis (0+ / 0-)

      When I went to see Obama at the University of Charleston when he was running I was sort of shocked he sort of mention some town in WV, or some little story to show some sort of personal connection with the state.

      There is this segment in the old 70's Documentary "If Elected" where Warren McGraw is ruminating about  getting votes and Darrel, his brother and campaign manager says "Get in the godamn car and drive down to Sophia and shake some hands"  Personal connection is really big on politicing here I totally agree.

      I also totally agree with your statements about the economic vision. At one time Dems stood strong for gov't programs and many WV'ians worked directly or indirectly due to programs, or could see things being built in their communities with federal dollars.

      Also when unions were strong and the Democratic party was pro union then that drew voters to them.

      Since the dem party has sort of embraced a lot of cuts to the budget and sort of courted Wall Street and the business community while sort of putting unions on the back burner I see more people vote on issues like guns and gov't reguations. Sort of "if you are't going to help me just totally leave me alone.

      Now like a LOT of people who vote republican a huge amount of WVians are on gov't checks but they sort of see that continuing no matter who gets in.

      I think a moment of truth for WVians are if the GOP does make cuts that affect their checks and daily lives. Problem is if that happens it will be "bipartisan" and hurt dems too.

    •  Wrong, there's a very good Democratic bench (0+ / 0-)

      Capito might be the only strong Republican candidate in WV, and she very well might win if she wins her party's primary, but it won't be for the lack of a Democratic bench.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 12:36:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  PA-Gov, Good to hear, let Kane do her job, if her (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    betelgeux

    probe of Corbett and Penn State is very successful, she'll be the queen of PA Dems.  Save her for a Senate run in 2016.  In the mean time, Allyson Schwartz and Joe Sestak are the two big names we need to get in the game.

    Funny Stuff at http://www.funnyordie.com/oresmas

    by poopdogcomedy on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 02:19:07 PM PST

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