Back in May (or whenever the primaries were), when Oliverio ran a pretty sleazy campaign to oust the admittedly flawed Mollohan in the Democratic primary, and did so by running to the RIGHT of Mollohan, I figured that was pretty much it for that House seat. McKinley, the Republican, was able to beat back a bunch of teabagging nutters, and by contrast, seemed pretty moderate.
It is hard to count the ways in which the Oliverio campaign was flawed and awful, but we might as well start at the top. Oliverio was wooden and phony, a bore who came across as a dullard, and who had the captivating television presence of a snail. Here’s an official campaign commercial:
Can’t you just feel the enthusiasm? Aren’t you just swept off your feet? I haven’t been this excited since Sen. Paul Simon spoke about hur902hurf74wh4f7i h…. Sorry, I dozed off.
On the issues, there was absolutely no reason to get excited- he ran to the right of Mollohan on most every issue, and so you all understand what that means, Mollohan was one of the Stupak abortion holdout jackasses for HCR. Oliverio would have been completely beholden to the coal and emerging gas industries, he was another “deficit hawk” who would always be moralizing about every bit of spending except for tax cuts (on his website he has the national debt clock so that you can be moved by the “stunning visual,”), he explicitly endorsed never-ending nation-building, and talked at length about the “cuts” to Medicare- a complete GOP talking point from the HCR debate.
The only reason to vote for Oliverio was to vote for Pelosi and a Democratic run house, and then Oliverio decided to open his mouth and threw that advantage away:
Another party operative said Democrats remain concerned over comments Oliverio made to a local paper earlier this month where he said he hoped to support someone other than Pelosi for Speaker of the House. “We’re still trying to get to know him,” the official said. “He will need to clarify his remarks.”
By October 17th, he was finally singing another tune, stating he might vote for her but didn’t want to, but by then it was too late. Like I said, there was really no reason, issue-wise, to support Oliverio other than he would keep the Democrats in charge, and he seemed eager to piss that away. To be honest, I have no idea why he is even a Democrat.
And as bad as all that was, the ground game appeared to be even worse. It took me an ENTIRE day to track down some yard signs to give out to my friends and neighbors. I received not one piece of literature. Not one phone call. Not one piece of mail. No one knocked on my door. No one asked me for support to go door to door- hell, I tried to figure out how to help and never heard from anyone. Carnacki at WVBlue had the same experience- begging to help and hearing nothing in return.
And even with all that, I still voted for the guy, but you almost have to wonder if WV is better off with McKinley. At least he seems to care about winning.
And one last thing- I hope it is repeatedly and loudly pointed out the next couple of months that it was the blue dogs who were wiped out. The corporate sell-outs who made sure NOTHING was done to help the economy or the people who put them in office, because they were too concerned about tax cuts for the rich or the bond vigilantes. For House Leadership, it had to feel like Jerry Maguire dealing with Rod Tidwell- “Help me help you. We’re begging. Shut up about the deficit and get your voters back to work.”
Don’t let the door hit you in the ass, blue dogs.