Sunday, October 31, 2010

Manchin=Obama. Sarah Palin campaigns for John Raese in West Virginia Saturday.

  • "Manchin=Obama"
10/30, "Sarah Palin to Joe Manchin: Stay in West Virginia," Politico, by S. Toeplitz

"On a last-minute visit for Republican John Raese's Senate campaign, Sarah Palin said Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin is a "nice guy" who's better off sticking with his current gig.
  • "He's such a nice governor, I think that 'Manchin in the mansion' just kind of fits," Palin told the crowd at a rally for Raese, gesturing to the governor's official home just down the riverfront street.

It was the only time Palin uttered Manchin's name during her appearance. Instead, she told the crowd that she preferred to call him the

  • "would-be rubber stamp" for President Barack Obama.

Palin's visit was finalized at the last minute, less than 24 hours before she took the stage with Raese and rock guitarist Ted Nugent — and

  • three days before the bulk of voters will head to the polls.
But her eleventh-hour stopover in the sleepy capital underscores just how much Republicans want to win the West Virginia Senate seat — and how nationalized the race has become over the past four months. Within minutes of Palin's arrival, Manchin's campaign announced that former President Bill Clinton would make a second appearance in the state Monday to campaign for the governor.
  • The well-liked Manchin started off the Senate race with a solid lead, but Republicans' strategy to make the contest a referendum on the unpopular president has proved effective — as
evidenced by dozens of black-and-white yard signs lining the amphitheater that read
  • "Manchin = Obama."
Manchin boasts some of the best approval ratings in the country in his role as governor, but Obama has some of the lowest as president, hovering around 32 percent favorability in some polls.

That's why, despite being just blocks from Manchin's residence, Palin mostly steered clear of the governor in her only visit to the Mountain State this cycle. She said she has worked well with Manchin, adding that her preference for Raese over Manchin is "not personal; he's a nice guy."

The polished duo of Palin and Raese and the pony-tailed Nugent made for an odd trio at the Haddad Riverfront Park next to the quickly flowing Kanawha River.

  • While Nugent may be a rock musician — at one point, he picked up his animal-striped electric guitar to play "The Star-Spangled Banner" —

it was Palin who got the rock star's reception. Several young women, barely old enough to vote, showed up with handmade "Team Palin" T-shirts, and one pregnant woman cried when she saw Palin for the first time through the tinted windows of the van as the conservative firebrand pulled up into the driveway.

For Raese, who barely trails Manchin in the polls, a last-minute visit from the kingmaking Palin was quite a coup. Despite the short notice,

  • the former vice presidential candidate drew a crowd of 1,000, according to police estimates.
Raese's wife, Liz Raese, told POLITICO after the rally that she met Palin years ago through an organization she started, Conservative Women of West Virginia. The two have been in touch ever since — though sources say the visit was organized at the last minute Friday afternoon.
  • "I told [Liz Raese] that I had to get to West Virginia," Palin told the crowd, including female supporters she described as "mountain mamas."
Palin also told the Raese supporters that their home state and her native Alaska were not that different. Alaska battles for ownership of its oil resources, while West Virginia counts coal as one of its largest industries and similarly must fight to save it from government control, she said.
  • The mention of coal was met with cheers and hollering from the throng of supporters on the crisp autumn afternoon. Conversely,

the crowd jeered at mentions of the president and references to the cap-and-trade bill, which would stand to hurt the state's coal industry.

Raese told the crowd that just "next door" in Virginia, Obama was campaigning with a Democratic congressman to promote that very bill. Obama appeared with Rep. Tom Perriello Friday evening.

"They're campaigning about cap and trade,

and they're in favor of cap and trade," Raese said."...

via mention on John Batchelor show, re remarkably large crowd and cheers in reaction to Sarah Palin's comments on behalf of Raese


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