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July 19, 2004
Kerry Needs Coal Dust On His Face: Byrd

Someone let Senator Robert Byrd out of his cage yesterday just long enough to make another foolish statement, this time regarding his home state and how Kerry can win it. Speaking to "Meet The Press", Byrd urged Kerry to make it real in the coal mines:

John Kerry can win West Virginia's five electoral votes by going there and getting coal "dust on his hands and on his face," the state's senior senator said Sunday. ... "I'm the son of a coal miner. I married a coal miner's daughter. I know a lot about coal," said the 86-year-old Byrd, whose Senate career began in 1959, the year before John F. Kennedy's evocation of the plight of the West Virginia coal miner helped him win the presidency.

"I've talked with him. I've told him he should go to West Virginia. He should shake hands with the people. He should be at their level and get a little coal dust on his hands. Get some of that dirty dust on his hands and on his face and live in spirit with the working people of this country, the coal miners. And always, always remember that sovereignty rests, John Kerry, sovereignty rests with the people of this country."

The Kerry campaign reaffirmed the candidate's commitment to the state's miners and pointed out that he has proposed spending $10 billion to improve clean coal technology.

Kerry may have proposed spending $10 billion in improving coal technology, but anyone who thinks that Kerry's radical constituencies will sit still for expanded use of coal for energy is out of their mind. Environmental groups such as the Sierra Club and Kerry's Hollywood backers will organize against it, and the miners of West Virginia will pay the price. The notion that spreading some coal dust on the patrician face of John Kerry will camouflage his background and his environmental politics insults the intelligence of Byrd's constituency.

As for sovereignty, Byrd demonstrates his ability to use many words to convey little in intelligent and coherent thought. Since when was American sovereignty in any doubt? It seems that Byrd picks up words in the newspaper and, like someone who uses vocabulary-building exercises without comprehending them, injects them into conversations where they don't apply. Robert Byrd is a senior senator whose position has been secured by the vote several times over. He needs to explain what he meant by "sovereignty" and exactly how he thinks it has been endangered. Either that or the Senator's doctors need to give him a thorough medical examination.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 19, 2004 6:06 AM

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