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From the Political Writer's Notebook. . .A Campaign Week in Review

October 6, 2008 - Joselyn King
As Election Day draws closer, business picks up for the political writer.

Last week, I found myself scurrying to a number of campaign events and meeting with more political figures than usual. In addition to this, I also was reading through the answers to candidate questionaires submitted by many candidates for office in Ohio and West Virginia. (Expect to see resulting stories resulting from these questionaires in the coming days.)

Here's behind the scenes look at happenings as I look back on the week that was. . .

* On Monday, Gov. Joe Manchin made a number of stops in Wheeling -- at Wheeling Middle School, West Virginia Northern Community College -- and a WesBanco reception at Wilson Lodge on a day when the stock market dropped more than 700 points.

"For all of those in the financial community today ... God bless you," Manchin told the bankers. Earlier at WVNCC, Manchin had recounted how one of the school students at Wheeling Middle School had asked him what he liked best about Wheeling.

"'Eating,' I told him," Manchin said. "You have a lot of good restaurants in Wheeling."

His mind must have been on food.

Later at Wilson Lodge , a large spread of food was set up in the middle of the room as part of the WesBanco reception -- but no one was eating yet until after the governor's spoke.

Manchin enters the room, sees the shrimp on the corner of the table, and has to stop. He fills a small plate with them -- dunking each in sauce -- and carries it with him as he works the room.

He returned for more, but left immediately after speaking and didn't get to partake of anything else.

-- On Tuesday, had the opportunity to meet Tom Moe -- the former prisoner of war who was imprisoned in Hanoi at the same time as Republican presidential candidate John McCain. Moe was at the Belmont County Republican headquarters in Belmont.

He told those present -- about 40 turned out -- about how he bored a peep hole in the door to his cell that allowed him to watch outside and see McCain being taken in and out for beatings.

Among the most bone-chilling of Moe accounts -- how guards broke McCain's jaw. Afterwards, McCain set it himself. Awwwwwww!!

I don't think I'll ever look at McCain's face ever in the same way again. (I did a full interview with Moe, and be watching for this story.)

-- Wednesday began with a press conference by U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson, D-Ohio in Brookside. It regarded the financial meltdown and the legislation the House was then considering. (They later passed it.)

He said that in the beginning, as many as 80 percent of those contacting his office were opposed to the government bailing out Wall Street.

But Wilson said he thought the more people learned about the plan, the more they would be receptive to it. He guessed the calls coming in were about "50-50" for and against the bill at mid-week.

-- Ohio 18th Congressional District candidate Fred Dailey stopped in to see me Wednesday afternoon. Dailey served 12 years as Ohio's commissioner of agriculture, and he can tell you which end of the bull is which. In fact, he even trained as a rodeo rider and has ridden a few bulls.

Not that he doesn't wear a suit, too. He has served as chairman of the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corp. -- a more financially stable version of Freddie Mac and Fannie Fae geared toward rural housing.

-- Later on Wednesday afternoon, Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner visited the Belmont County Board of Elections. She was quick with a comeback when I asked her her thoughts on "an all mail election."

"I want females to vote, too," she said.

-- Getting back to the questionaires, West Virginia Secretary of State candidate Natalie Tennant called to tell me she would be a little late getting hers back to me.

She explained her husband, state Sen. Erik Wells, D-Kanawha, who is also a reservist, was being deployed to Afghanistan later in the week and she needed to get him squared him away.

Needless to say, I told her to take the extra time. The two have a six-year-old daughter, Delaney.

-- Incumbent West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw had the most notable quote contained within his questionaire when asked his thoughts on whether West Virginia should have the death penalty.

"No. Churches generally do not support the death penalty," he said. "I take my counsel from them."

 
 

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