Newspaper Articles


Charleston Daily Mail
September 26, 1960

Arriving On Kennedy’s Heels, What Can Nixon Say To And For West Virginia?

Editorial

There is no doubt about it: Vice President Nixon come to West Virginia next Tuesday under a distinct handicap.

Sen. Kennedy was here first. His primary campaign of last spring is obviously paying dividends. He is, as he point out, the only presidential candidate who knows that Mullens is spelled with an “e.”) And in the Department of Promises and Things to Come, Sen. Kennedy has pretty well preempted the field.

To an attentive listener, Sen. Kennedy seemed especially wary of precise details on how he is going to reverse the degenerative processes which afflict the state’s economy. But his all-purpose promise to send the appropriate legislation to Congress within 60 days of his election will be hard to beat.

This is nicely calculated to raise the maximum of hope with the minimum of commitment, but even his severest critic would have to admit that Sen. Kennedy carried it off with all the boyish charm for which he is famous. If we can just hold for Nov. 8, plus 60 days, everything, as Danny Kaye would say, is going to be tickety-boo.

Except to shorten the time-table – say to 30 days) – Mr. Nixon can scarcely top this and must look elsewhere for his theme and inspiration. Where to put it bluntly, can he begin?

Well, he could, for one thing, begin with the facts, among them these:

Under a Republican administration, West Virginia has begun to receive some of the bounty which the federal government disburses for scientific research and development, the new radio telescopes at Green Bank and Sugar Grove being the conspicuous examples.

Under a Republican administration, West Virginia has fared well in the allocation of interstate highway mileage and construction underway.

Under a Republican administration (this at the state level) West Virginia has enjoyed the kind of orderly, honest administration of its affairs it had not seen for years.

Looking to the future, the Vice President might think along these lines:

A review and formulation of a national fuels policy which does not take the nation’s coal reserves for granted and accords them the same consideration it has shown for years toward petroleum, hydroelectric generation and atomic power.

A distressed areas program which displays for the displaced miner the same consideration in domestic affairs that the State Department lavishes upon the underprivileged Hindustani and the disgruntled Columbian. This is as sore a point with many miners as it is a sensitive one with most Republicans. The fact remains that the nation which is rich enough to contribute $100 million (as a start) to minimize the prospect of chaos in the Congo can just as easily afford a comparable investment to alleviate social decay and human obsolescence in the coal fields.

It is true, of course, that Mr. Nixon has pitched his campaign on international grounds to the theme that he is the best qualified by experience and “on-the-job” training to deal with the threats to peace. A great many West Virginians, who subscribe to this hope and confidence would be vastly reassured to hear that a Nixon administration would not become so preoccupied with foreign concerns that it could not spare an occasional concern for purely domestic problems.


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