…I have been waiting to say that this whole primary season. We finally get our moment in the sun and, despite Bloomberg saying we "matter so little," the Mountain State is going to milk every last minute of it. Because, dammit, we are the only primary going today (except for those pesky Republicans in Nebraska who want some of the action). Boo yah!
According to just about every talking head out there, Sen. Clinton is likely to win in WV today. The question is by how much — and who gets what portion of WV’s 18 delegates.
Here’s my morning public service announcement: if you are an independent and want to vote in the Dem primary, request a Democratic party ballot. Polls close in WV at 7:30 pm ET — so get out there and vote. Now. It’s foggy here this morning, but the forecast is for lots of sunshine and 70 degree weather, which sounds just perfect.
We have been inundated with campaign calls for the last couple of weeks, with the Clinton calls outpacing the Obama ones three to one.
Mr. ReddHedd and I took The Peanut with us to vote this morning. She enjoyed the flags, and hanging out with the folks working the polls. It’s been a steady stream of voters today, according to the poll workers — there were a couple of folks voting as we went in, and a couple of folks getting ready to vote as we were leaving. And a lot of folks took advantage of early voting as well, I’m told. They’ll have some numbers by this evening.
Having attended a Clinton event recently, where Bill Clinton held forth in a front porch rally, you can see and feel that there is still a lot of nostalgia for the Clinton years among folks here.
And whatever your feeling on his policies, Bill Clinton can work a crowd better than any politician I have ever seen. He had all those folks in the palm of his hand by the end of the speech. Hillary, Bill and Chelsea Clinton have blanketed the state the last week or so — but it has felt in a lot of ways like a farewell tour, with a lot of nostalgia and old-time Democratic values woven into the speeches and appearances I’ve seen and talked with others about the last few days.
The move back to a party unity message is a welcome one, even among the Clinton supporters with whom I’ve spoken. And the "ladies of a certain age" in the local Democratic women’s group here just love her (and loved this Mother’s Day ad) — they truly reinforce the "women for Hillary" stereotype that the media keeps pushing. This is the best ad she’s run (YouTube) for the primary — it certainly has resonated with folks I’ve spoken with about it. But that doesn’t mean that Hillary has everyone in town.
One of the folks my neighborhood, for instance, has this lovely Obama sign in the yard. (You can see by the photo that it’s still a wee bit foggy here this morning.)
Barack Obama spoke in Charleston, WV, yesterday for a lovely speech to supporters. You can watch the bulk of the speech in the above YouTube, where I thought his tribute to families of service members was especially poignant and well done. A huge portion of WV’s population has served in our nation’s military, and winning those folks over is key to winning the state — talking about the costs of current wars is an excellent frame for addressing the problems that McCain brings to the electoral table. (Here’s a prior speech (YouTube), also given in Charleston to a veteran’s group that was excellent as well.)
Obama had previously done an event in Beckley, which was also very well received. (YouTube) And it looks like our state Dept. of Highways crunched the same numbers that the Obama folks did on the gas tax costs — and also found a tax holiday to be too costly for all of us over the long run. And I loved this human interest story about an Obama volunteer in Charleston who has been feeding the other folks at the campaign office. Welcome to good ole WV hospitality!
I’ve been reading reports from all over the state — from the Huntington area, from a Wheeling paper, from the AP via the Charleston Gazette, and elsewhere that voter registration is up, that participation of independents — which is allowed in the Democratic primary this year — is expected to be up, and that early voting was up as well state-wide. And that Democratic participation thus far has been kicking Republican ass. Boo yah, yet again.
And even better news (YouTube)? The Obama campaign has launched a 50 state "Vote for Change" voter registration drive for November. So we can hopefully keep adding to those already impressive voter participation numbers as we head into the fall.
Yup, just sitting here soaking in the Greatest Primary Event EVAH in WV. Waiting on the edge of my seat for what MSNBC is touting as "all day coverage" and our very own CNN primary theme song (recycled from prior primary theme songs) — and I’m just sure that Chris Matthews will be calling for my thoughts any minute. (HA!) Seriously, though, I’ll be keeping an eye on the local news all day — and will update as I get tidbits throughout the day.
The Peanut would like me to inform everyone that we’ll be having a picnic in our living room with assorted stuffed animals and doggies, and lots and lots of popcorn…