G-Comm™: Hoppy’s Commentary - Manchin, Tomblin, Rahall pass on Carolina
Normally, West Virginians love to go to the Carolinas.
Myrtle Beach? The West Virginia Caribbean. Charlotte? Our southern capital.
If Country Roads take us home, I-77 takes many West Virginians where they want to be.
Yet, Senator Joe Manchin, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and Congressman Nick Rahall are all passing on a trip to Charlotte in September for the Democratic National Convention.
Thanks, but no thanks. Sorry, too busy. Dentist appointment on the schedule. Getting my oil changed.
Charlotte in September will be the site of a four-day long pep rally for President Barack Obama, which means Manchin, Tomblin and Rahall want to be literally, and figuratively, as far away as they can.
The GOP has been putting on the squeeze, particularly on Tomblin and Manchin. Republicans cited the West Virginia Democratic Party’s own rules suggesting that unpledged delegates (that includes Tomblin, Manchin and Rahall) had to make known by Tuesday who they support for President.
In staying home, the three Democrats can argue that since they are not delegates to the convention, they don’t have to declare their allegiance for any candidate.
Rahall has already said he supports the President, even though he has major policy disagreements with him. Evidently, he still doesn’t want to be labeled an “Obama delegate.”
Tomblin has said that he has “serious problems” with both Mitt Romney and President Obama and won’t commit to either.
Manchin has tacked in a couple different directions. His statement Monday said simply that he would “spend this fall focused on the people of West Virginia.”
The GOP will not let up.
The 41% vote for an unknown jail-bound oddball in last month’s Primary Election confirmed the level of dissatisfaction this state has with President Obama. Republicans hope the anti-Obama vote will trickle down ticket to other races in November.
Manchin and Tomblin are evidently going to try to tough it out. The strategy is to remain uncommitted on Obama through the campaign, no matter how many times the press asks or how many news releases their Republican opponents send out.
I supposed Manchin and Tomblin could wear down. The press could get tired of asking about it. Voters may grow weary of hearing out it. There’s a long, hot summer ahead and the high profile campaigns in the state are already intensifying.
At some point, these candidates may need to take a break. For Manchin, Tomblin and Rahall we know that will not include a trip down Tobacco Road, or for that matter, anyplace else President Obama happens to be between now and November.
(Hoppy’s note: Republican U.S. Senate candidate John Raese owns Metronews and I have contributed to his campaign. HK)