by Ron Gregory
While opponents of President-elect Donald Trump do all they can to show their lack of patriotism by failing to respect America’s electoral process, he calmly goes forward putting an administration together.
Suffice it to say I would not have been pleased if Hillary Clinton had been elected President November 8. But let me assure you that I would not have been coming up with every off-the-wall allegation I could find to make about her. Wild-eyed leftists are convinced that Trump has already failed to keep his campaign promises — though they didn’t support any of them and Trump is still more than two months removed from becoming President.
One Mingo County friend is already harping that Trump failed to produce the coal mining jobs he promised. Uh … he isn’t in office yet.
Clinton buried herself in West Virginia and Kentucky with her remarks about the dying coal industry. “A lot of coal miners will be losing their jobs ….” still resounds in many ears. I was, frankly, shocked when she said it. I was even more amazed when she traveled to West Virginia days later in the company of U.S. Senator Joe Manchin to basically say it some more.
We can all speculate on exactly what strategy Clinton was employing when she talked of coal as she did. A sudden move to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth hardly seems likely in light of other comments she made about other subjects. if Clinton was simply trying to say coal is washed up and she wants to diversify the economy, she did it in about as clumsy a fashion as one could.
From the moment Clinton said those words, her fate was sealed in Kentucky and West Virginia. I’m not sure how she got 20 percent of the vote in the Mountain State.
But I will say that Trump’s overwhelming in contributed to many race results November 8. Republican strategists who are slapping themselves on the back for retaining the House of Delegates and State Senate owe a debt of gratitude to Trump. Although Republicans foolishly abolished straight-ticket voting, from which they would have benefited even more, the “Trump Effect” is obvious in nearly all races.
Does anyone think Patrick Morrisey would have beaten Doug Reynolds as badly if there was no Trump on the ballot? Only Jim Justice, as a newcomer with an unlimited amount of money, could overcome the Trump Train. Ann Urling gave State Treasurer John Perdue perhaps the toughest race of his career (except when he lost for Governor) and most of it is attributable to Trump. If nothing else, he caused thousands of like-minded conservatives to turn out on November 8.
Without Trump, Mingo Delegate Phyllis White would never have lost her seat to a Republican. The Trump effect killed Delegate Stephen Skinner in his Senate bid in the Eastern Panhandle. Mac Warner can thank Trump for beating Natalie Tennant for Secretary of State. The margin by which J.B. McCuskey defeated Mary Ann Claytor could never have been achieved without the Trump landslide (and the fact that Claytor contributed to it by keeping a Bernie Sanders “war” going with the state Democrat party into the fall).
Now, the few, the proud, the ignorant … that is, the leftist looney bin wants to cry and wallow in self-pity that Trump won. Counseling classes for students who thought Clinton would win only to be disappointed by the voters are absurd. Counseling? Because YOUR candidate lost? For Gawd’s sake.
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Speaking of Morrisey, the rumor mill is hot with word that he is being considered by Trump to be the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). What a switch that would be. It is Morrisey who, as much as anybody has gained a reputation for battling the EPA when it comes to coal. He has led attorneys general nationwide in fighting what he refers to as “over-regulation” by the EPA.
The EPA has been controversial since its inception in 1970. Then Republican President Richard Nixon proposed the agency and created it by executive order in December, 36 years ago. It was then ratified by the House and Senate.
Several Republican candidates have railed against the agency and President Ronald Reagan was hardly a fan. But many think current President Barack Obama has taken the EPA to new regulatory heights that have resulted in job losses across the country.
It is safe to say Morrisey would surely change the EPA’s direction. One wag said, “well, after he’s there six months, we’ll see the Kanawha River on fire again.”
Frankly, I don’t know what Morrisey would do as EPA chief. I am, on the other hand, that rare Republican environmentalist who believes the planet should be protected from human destruction. I suspect a neutral director from Trump would be more practical.
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If Morrisey becomes EPA Director, the question is what does that do to his planned U.S. Senate campaign in 2018. Speaking of conservative ideas, I’d say that baby would be aborted. It wouldn’t make sense for Morrisey to be EPA Director for just two years and then launch a Senate campaign against incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin.
Up until now, at least, the logic was supposed to be that Senate President Bill Cole had won a free ride in the Republican gubernatorial primary by promising Morrisey that GOP leadership would be for the AG against Manchin. Otherwise, it was speculated, Morrisey would have run for governor himself this time.
if Morrisey exits the capitol, stage-right, that would throw the Republican Senatorial primary into disarray. Many speculate that all three Republican Congressmen would run for the six-year job, vacating their House seat. That would pit the First District’s David McKinley against the Second District’s Alex Mooney and the Third’s Evan Jenkins. Some speculate that, given Mooney’s overwhelming base of support in the growing Eastern Panhandle, he would become Manchin’s eventual opponent. Others guess that Jenkins would use his surprising strength in the normally Democrat Southern coalfields to win the GOP nod.
In any event, Manchin may well be in for a formidable battle in 2018. His alliance with Clinton cannot help him much in the Mountain State.
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The Democrat bloodbath is amazing in light of how that party dominated West Virginia for more than eight decades. Even at county courthouses across the state, Republicans now stand some chance of winning when certain defeat faced them just ten years ago.
Lincoln County is a prime example where Republican Gary “Butch” Linville ran past incumbent Democrat Ken Farley to win the Sheriff’s job. Four years ago, Farley was elected Sheriff among a large number of candidates but Linville defeated him, 56-44 percent, this time.
Again, the Trump Train was overwhelming in Lincoln, where Trump topped Clinton, 74 to 20 percent. Those kinds of results are just difficult to overcome further down the ballot.
When a Republican can be elected Sheriff of Lincoln County there may be nothing that is impossible.
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There is no certainty as to who the next State Senate President will be. Cole vacates the post by virtue of his Governor run. Before the November 8 election, the real money would have been on Senator Mitch Carmichael of Jackson County to succeed Cole. That may no longer be true, with Republicans increasing their numbers in the upper chamber in January. Rumors are rampant that Kanawha Senator Ed Gaunch may have the votes to beat Carmichael.
Carmichael squeaked through a tough primary and general election cycle and may be viewed as damaged goods by some Republicans, especially the newer members. Gaunch appears rumor and scandal free and might appear to be the better choice by some in the GOP.
There’s little doubt, meanwhile, that House Speaker Tim Armstead will be re-elected.
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Your comments, story ideas, rumors and examples of Trump breaking campaign promises even without taking office are always welcome. Use my email listed or call my cell, 304-533-5185.