Politics

Fear and trembling in West Virginia

Fear and trembling in West Virginia
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.)

In a year when the Obama administration’s “war on coal” could signify a Republican victory of landslide proportions in West Virginia, three of the state’s top Democrats recently announced they would not attend their party’s national convention that will renominate the president on Labor Day weekend.

Rep. Nick Joe Rahall, Sen. Joe Manchin, and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin—all of whom who faced stiff re-election challenges in their last races and now face strong Republican opponents this fall—have said they want to spend Labor Day weekend campaigning in or working for West Virginia rather than attend their party’s convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

This is problematic for that state’s Democratic Party, whose state convention recently enacted a resolution calling on all Democrats running for office to support all elected Democrats—particularly the president. Rahall has endorsed the president for re-election, but Tomblin and Manchin, who made a strong speech hailing Obama at the 2008 Democratic convention, have not. All three are super delegates to the convention this year.

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