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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 07:55 PM
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A Democratic Stronghold Loses a Big Pillar

Published: June 29, 2010

SOPHIA, W.Va. The dcor and the conversation in Larry Joness cluttered place on Main Street a former shop where retired miners now gather to sip coffee convey the split personality of West Virginia politics.

Jon C. Hancock for The New York Times

Larry Jones owns an old shop in Sophia, W.Va., where retired miners gather to talk, lately about politics after the death of Senator Robert C. Byrd.

A few things jump out from the fraying calendars and coal mine pictures Mr. Jones has collected: the life-size cardboard cutout of George W. Bush, wearing a Friends of Coal button; the photograph of Mr. Jones and his wife with Bill Clinton; and a McCain-Palin button pinned to the wall.

These are the ones I liked at the time, said Mr. Jones, a lifelong Democrat who felt kinship with Mr. Clinton but then voted for Mr. Bush twice, loves Sarah Palin and castigates President Obama for, he says, bailing out the wealthy bankers.

Worship of Senator Robert C. Byrd is a given in this small mountain town where he was raised and where, as throughout the state, flags have hung at half-staff since he died early Monday morning. Consistent with Mr. Byrds stature, the Democratic Party dominates West Virginia politics: it controls the State Legislature, both Senate seats and two of the three House seats. In 2008, Gov. Joe Manchin III, a Democrat, won re-election with 70 percent of the vote.

But in that same election, John McCain carried West Virginia with 56 percent of the vote. Here in Raleigh County, voters ignored the advice of their favorite son, Mr. Byrd, and gave the Republican presidential ticket 63 percent of the votes.

Tommy Lovell, 69, a mine union member who occupied one of the soft old chairs in this former shop, said he was among the minority here who had actually voted for Mr. Obama. Now he regrets it. Hes not for coal, the health care scares me, and hes spending too much money, Mr. Lovell said.

FULL story at link.

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tularetom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 08:25 PM
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1. Democratic stronghold my ass
Read the article. These people are not Democrats.

Voted for Bush twice. Doesn't like Obama. Go ahead guys keep voting republican.

Don't look at the Dems to bail your asses out when the mine owners bring in a bunch of illegals to do your job for half of what they pay you.
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Historic NY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 08:39 PM
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2. You just can't educate ignorant people with the facts...besides Obama isn't white.
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