West Virginia's Democratic leaders on Saturday embarked on a winding, eight-county bus tour through the south of the state, and in one small mining town after another, they sold Barack Obama to small crowds of Democrats with remarkable directness.
"He is black" was the first thing Kenny Perdue, the state's AFL-CIO president, said. "The gentleman that's in the White House and John McCain -- they're white men. And I'm absolutely ashamed of what George W. Bush has done to this country." ...
West Virginia represents a cross-section of the voters who have been hardest for Obama to reach. It's among the oldest, whitest and least-educated states in America. It was the place where reporters found white Democrats who freely use the N-word and swore they'd never vote for Obama.
But maybe the campaigns and the press misread the depth of prejudice in West Virginia. Or maybe, since the May primary, something has changed here.