March 11, 2005


Capito weighs Byrd challenge in '06 (Peter Savodnik, 3/08/05, The Hill)

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, the lone Republican in West Virginia’s congressional delegation, is mobilizing for a possible challenge next year to Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) — getting a head start on fundraising and making top-level personnel changes. [...]

Tom Gavin, a spokesman for Byrd, declined to comment on Capito except to say that “she has been in office for not even two and a half terms.”

Indications are that the 87-year-old senator, in his eighth term, has not decided whether to run again.

Advanced age is a winning issue.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 11, 2005 4:14 PM

Bunning won.

Posted by: AC at March 11, 2005 5:11 PM

Would be nice to see the old Kleagle have to work to earn the privilege of inflicting himself on the rest of the country for another six years. But it must be hard to run against a guy where everything except the state itself is named after him.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at March 11, 2005 5:27 PM


Only because Democrats realized too late that they had him and W had coattails.

Posted by: oj at March 11, 2005 5:34 PM

94 years and a (cough) late-in-life change of heart on racial issues didn't slow Strom Thurmond down much.

Posted by: Random Lawyer at March 11, 2005 7:07 PM


No one had the stones to make age an issue. You could have beat him in the 94 year old race by doing so.

Posted by: oj at March 11, 2005 7:11 PM

It remains to be seen that Capito has the stones to make age an issue in this race. She might fear alienating the geezer vote.

Posted by: pj at March 11, 2005 8:29 PM

All she has to do is charm them. What can Byrd do about that?

Get Paul O'Neill to campaign against Byrd. He held his own when testifying before him.

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 11, 2005 8:38 PM

He's beatable. Hes a semi-senile old racist thug whose record is a mass of internal contradictions. Make his Klan membership an issue (it should have disqualified him years ago) and nationalize the race like they did Daschle vs Thune.

Posted by: Mike Morley at March 11, 2005 10:09 PM

Lautenberg won, and he's half senile. If Capito challenges Byrd on age and mental state (ahem), will the WV media hound him the way the Kentucky media hounded Bunning?

Posted by: AC at March 11, 2005 11:01 PM

The national will. It'll be a story.

Posted by: oj at March 11, 2005 11:40 PM


In a state like West Virginia, where animal husbandry is a lifestyle choice and not merely a subject in ag school, Byrd's Klan past will gain him votes. The main reason that West Virginia has a small Black population (about 4%) even today is that the Klan and other civic-minded types would post signs outside of towns there saying 'N*****, don't let the sun set on you here.'

Senility, in a state with perhaps the largest percentage of impecunious elderly of any in the union, will be another electoral advantage.

The only mystery about West Virginia politics is how it elects anyone but a senile Klansman.

Posted by: Bart at March 12, 2005 10:51 AM

A southerners are racist agrument from Bart. Man, I would never have seen that one coming.

Posted by: Bob at March 12, 2005 12:31 PM

Funny, in my history books, West Virginia was a member of the Union, making it by definition a Northern or Border State.

Posted by: Bart at March 12, 2005 1:13 PM


as a regular commenter on this site with 2 graduate degrees and as a 9th generation multiracial West Virginian I think your comments are reprehensible and reveal you to be no gentleman.

I have lived here all my life. The reason WV has a small black population is that human chattel slavery was an impossible practice in a land of hills with no workable farms. Vermont and NH had less slaves than Mass. and CT did during those times when slavery in those regions was legal. Most of the black populace of WV is made up of people whose families came up in the late 1800s to work in the mines.

WV elected blacks to seats in its Legislature during the 1910s and 1920s; any other Jim Crow states do that Bart? I don't think so. Wv also desegregated peacefully, no riots no resistance, no problems. If there's so much bigotry here, how could that happen?

Ask Ken Hechler if racism was a winning issue. Ken was the only Congressman in the country to have the guts to march with Dr. King across the Edmund Pettus Bridge and he kept getting elected time after time; his "liberal" views on race never hurt him. BUT, in 2004 when he ran for Secreatry of State as a 90 year old, his age finally did, and he lost to a Republican woman.

Oh, but I thought all the senile old coots would vote for the old man? gee.....

Posted by: cornetofhorse at March 14, 2005 12:19 PM