The special election for Governor is in the history books.
Let’s be clear this was not a victory for President Obama or Obamacare. “Stay the course” was the winner.
As we look back Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin chose the right course when he became acting Governor. The Manchin policies and approach to government had the stage set. Turning government in a new direction takes time – and the time was short.
When it all started no one expected such a close race. What happen?
First, the Tomblin political apparatus had to be put in place. After the primary victory it appeared the campaign went on auto pilot. Campaigns must be 24/7. Secondly, the campaign did not take seriously the impact Obama’s health care reform would have as the election came to a close.
You cannot take anything away from the effort Bill Maloney put into his campaign. He just ran the wrong campaign. The Gazette’s columnist Phil Kabler put his finger on it Sunday. He pointed out Maloney should have run a Caperton style campaign. No one with political experience will disagree that negative plays an important role in winning. However, negative in moderation should have been the Maloney course.
Thinking about the future. Governor Tomblin needs to put his stamp on his administration. He needs to recruit new thinkers, develop new policy ideas and embrace a new vision for the State. Times are changing. When President George H. W. Bush took the reins of government he did not make significant changes in those managing government on a daily basis. Fresh managers are important. Governor Tomblin should not make this mistake.
If Bill Maloney is thinking about a new career in politics he needs to change course. He must throw out the negative, create a new positive image and develop a program to advance the State. He needs to take a page from the campaign planning Karl Rove did for the Governor George W. Bush. Maloney needs to bring knowledgeable policy types to his “front porch” and be tutored. From a political perspective the trends from the Manchin/Raese race and the one just over need careful study.
It is only 96 days until filing starts the next campaign. From my point of view it started last night.