Every state has regional differences and stereotypes. Some of them cruel. If anyone should be reticent about engaging in using regional stereotypes it should be someone running for office from West Virginia which is a state that is nearly a stereotype. (Full disclosure: I live in Western Maryland. We looked for houses in West Virginia but never found one to suit my wife. After leaving one house that I sorta liked and she was negative about I asked her why. She said that she couldn’t bear the thought of driving a car with WV plates. Case closed.)

After Don Blankenship was defeated in Tuesday’s GOP primary, Manchin was asked about some of Blankenship’s campaign ads that were called racist.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., offered a roundabout condemnation Wednesday when asked whether he thought defeated Republican West Virginia Senate candidate Don Blankenship’s campaign ads were racist.

“I don’t know. I’d like to think that wasn’t. The terms he used and how he used them, I would never take that course,” Manchin said in an interview with MSNBC.

But Manchin then added how Blankenship tried to explain the language he used in his ads attacking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and his wife Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in the context of his “upbringing, or basically the culture where he comes from.”

“It’s not how we talk where I come from in West Virginia, and Don’s on that Kentucky-West Virginia border. I don’t know, I can’t really say, I have not heard that before,” Manchin said.

I’m not sure that avoiding calling your opponent a racist or a bigot by saying he’s just a product of the part of the state he comes from is a great political strategy. Particularly when that area you just called a land of benighted sh**kickers was your electoral stronghold.

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