Dowd to Obama: Don't Blow Off W. Va. Loss

Gotta fight for these voters before bias is 'set in concrete'
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2008 12:41 PM CDT
Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama may have the nomination all but wrapped up, but that doesn’t mean his electoral problems are over, Maureen Dowd writes in the New York Times—and feigning indifference that the Mountain State gave him a raspberry last night isn't a winning strategy. If Obama wants to capture these West Virginians in November, he’ll have to fight for them,  the way JFK did "despite raging anti-Catholicism."

Obama needs imagination and a “tremendous effort” to dispel bias in West Virginia, and quickly, “because once it’s set in concrete, you’ll have a hell of a time,” Charlie Peters, who ran Kennedy's campaign in one West Virginia county, tells Dowd. "The point of West Virginia in 1960 is that you can change attitudes,” says Peters, an Obama supporter, “But if you don’t act to change them, he could lose West Virginia and I think he could lose the country."