Monday, July 26, 2010

WV Politics: A Choo of a Different Color

With West Virginia politics, politicians, and aspiring politicos in the national spot light, reporters, bloggers, and political junkies from across the nation are writing articles and posts about the future of the Mountain State’s political arena. But they aren’t from West Virginia.

It’s strange to read an outsider’s opinion on the lay of the land, or should I say majestic mountainous terrain, when it comes to West Virginia’s political future. Recently, Aaron Blake (@FixAaron), Washington Post political blogger, posted “W.Va. lawmakers already jockeying to replace Manchin,” ( This is a detailed account with brief historical snipets perfectly fit for anyone who isn’t involved in West Virginia politics. Blake includes a laundry list of potential gubernatorial candidates, including Senate President Tomblin (@Senator_Tomblin), State Treasurer John Perdue, Senator Jeff Kessler (@JeffKessler4Gov, I never would have guessed what he was running for!), and Senator Brooks McCabe (@BrooksMcCabeWV). Other possibilities Blake mentions include Secretary of State Natalie Tennant (@NatalieTennant), as well as Democratic Party Chairman Larry Puccio and Senate appointee Carte Goodwin.

That was news two weeks ago. Note to non-West Virginia journalists: Dig deeper, find out who several of the political insiders are, and call them. That’s where the real story is!

I guess its archetypal to feel a closer, more personal connection with your state’s political lay of the land, both today and tomorrow. And I’m sure South Carolina politicos like Wesley Donehue and Phil Bailey feel how I feel about West Virginia when I read posts and articles about the political roller coaster their state is on right now.

But I can’t help but feel like we mountaineers are in a category all our own, a “Choo” of a different color. For example, our Governor (and projected soon-to-be United States Senator) took his staff with him during the UBB mine disaster. The staff sat with the families involved, listened, comforted, and practically became extended family members with these people. I’m pretty sure I recall Manchin saying during a TV interview, “We’re all family in West Virginia.” In New Orleans, is the Governor’s staff employing hands-on efforts with the oil spill disaster that Manchin’s staff did?

All I can say is that I’m happy to click my red, patent-leather Stuart Weitzman stilettos together and say to myself, “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home...”

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