EDITORIAL: Betty Ireland and the Age of Micro-issues

EDITORIAL:  Betty Ireland and the Age of Micro-issues

When Betty Ireland was letting everyone know all over again that she was interested in running for Governor, she had an interesting interview with the Wheeling News-Intelligencer which was published on New Year's Day of this year.

As usual, Ireland offered only the most general and trite of explanations for her run, saying that her current job with a technical center has taught her a lot about energy and the environment.  That's it, no further explanation as to the relevance of her work to the job of being Governor.

Either Ireland is trying to be a stealth candidate, not giving any details of her positions or background for the voters' inspections, or there just isn't much to tell.  We honestly can't tell from her quotes which it is.

On one hand, Ireland seems to be an articulate, if vague public speaker.  But on the other hand, it seems difficult to connect the dots between Ireland's rationale for running and the state's current economic crisis in the middle of a recession.

That would be challenging enough for the voters, but then comes the end of Ireland's interview with the Wheeling paper.  Instead of laying out any kind of plan for job creation in West Virginia, Ireland insults the intelligence

of the average West Virginia voter by offering this "jewel":

"If I were elected governor, I'd pull down that party tent," Ireland said, referring to the white tent place outside the Governor's Mansion.  "It defaces the dignity of the Capitol grounds. We can just as easily hold parties and receptions in the state Cultural Center."

Now actually, we happen to agree with Ireland on this taste issue involving the Capitol grounds.  But is this all she's got?  Thousands of West Virginia families are looking at lean times with no paychecks, and all Charleston Betty can come up with to justify her run is...tearing down a party tent at the Governor's Mansion?

Governor Manchin's party tent has been a source of ridicule among those inside the Charleston beltway for several months now.  Referring to this silly micro-issue to justify her candidacy for Governor shows that Ireland is too much of a Charleston insider.  Given the chance to show a real plan for West Virginia's next few years, Ireland demonstrated that she simply hasn't given it much thought.

We suggest a field trip for Charleston Betty, starting in Webster Springs, then heading south to Williamson, way up to Chester, and then finishing up in Franklin.  Maybe then she'll understand that politics and governance is about people and their challenges, not worrying first and foremost about the aesthetics of the Capitol grounds.

Where do we get these political characters?  Out of central casting?


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