Archive for October, 2011

Manchin Front Page of WSJ

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

WV Senator Joe Manchin takes front page of today’s Wall Street Journal.  The article entitled “Wayward Senate Democrats Keep Distance From Obama.”  Read the full story here.

Obama Challenger?

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Obama Challenger?

It is amazing to me that no one in the Democratic Party is challenging Obama.  There must be some capable folks out there who believe they could do a better job.  When Lyndon Johnson was on the ropes in 1968, Senator Eugene McCarthy took him on, won in New Hampshire and Bobby Kennedy stepped up.  Lyndon Johnson decided not to run and the mantel went to Hubert Humphrey.  Teddy Kennedy challenged Jimmy Carter when America was suffering from malaise.  But no one has made the move to take on this President, to give Democrats an alternative.

Here’s some ideas, there’s Erskine Bowles, former Clinton Chief of Staff and co-chair of the Obama Debt Commission, there’s two former Governors Joe Manchin and Mark Warner now United States Senators and there are a few more in the Senate with the intelligence and where-with-all to run, Max Baucus, Richard Blumenthal, Tom Harkin, Joseph Lieberman, Kent Conrad and Mark Udall, to name a few.  And then there’s current Governors who have the administrative experience to govern, such as Andrew Cuomo; or big city mayors who have the experience. And then there’s Hillary Clinton, who has the ability, experience and a darn good husband campaigner.

It seems to me that the media would obviously provide a lot of air-time or ink to cover such a challenger.  I am sure there is Democratic money looking for a person to invest in who believe there is an alternative.  And such a venture would provide a leg-up for 2016 if he or she did not gain the nomination. 

What’s the problem? Where’s the challenger?  Is there no one out there who can see the advantage and possibility of this challenge?  Are they all waiting for Obama’s statement that he will not run, as suggested in several news articles?  Are they hoping for a brokered convention?  Many Democrats disagree with the President’s programs, regulations and spending, but are they afraid of the cost, support or are they just content to watch on the side-lines.

Where’s the voice that will step up to say the only answer for the Democratic Party is not Barrack Obama?  I can’t understand the quiet.

Political Tidbits…10.11.11

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

POSTMORTEM – week later.  7 lessons from Tomblin’s victory featured in POLITICOS post election coverage…it is interesting…if you want to read click here…otherwise there have been a lot of thoughtful coverage in the State’s media.

Best post election line appeared in The DailyCaller…Keith Appell, a Republican consultant commenting on the Republican Governors Association TV strategy offered…”When will Republicans learn that in West Virginia TV ads can move poll numbers but turnout programs win election”.

CAMPAIGN 2012 hits Elkins last weekend…during the Mt. State Forest Festival…kicking off at the distinguished guest dinner…where Gayle Manchin carried the message for husband Joe…County Commission Pres Mike Taylor read a  resolution….he likely will seek re-election…greetings were delivered by Lynn Phillips [no relation] for Governor-elect Earl Ray Tomblin…and nearly 400 guests were introduced to Senators Walt Helmick and Clark BarnesDelegates Bill Hartman & Denise Campbell…you can bet there were other potential candidates among the 400 distinguished.

Lunch on Friday…but not in Elkins…found Dick Morris asking Republicans gaining on Democrats…don’t miss it…click now…speaking of 2012.

Headlining the political side of the Forest Festival on Friday was Governor [elect] Earl Ray Tomblin…who crowned his second Queen…festival goers were anxious…to meet the new Governor.

It did not stop there…Saturday nearly 60,000 West Virginian’s and their guests lined the streets to see flags, queens, princess, bands, TEA PARTY walkers, floats, veteran & religions organizations and of course elected officials looking toward 2012…Sen. Joe Manchin walked the nearly four mile route…as did AG Darrell McGrawJustice Robin Davis rode atop a convertible…and SOS Natalie Tenant sent her empty mobile office…no Secretary of State.

RUMORS FROM the colorful mountains…Lynn Phillips [no relation] may run for Randolph County Sheriff…is Walt Helmick thinking about heading the Senate…with Kessler already having one if not two opponents…has Tomblin already started a 2012 run…seen meeting with his Randolph County team…Clark Barnes eyeing that empty Secretary of State mobile office…can the Republicans find another rich businessman [or woman] to run against Manchin…and Tomblin.

The Morning After

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

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.