Flipping between CNN and MSNBC last night to watch coverage of the West Virginia primary, it occurred to me that I was seeing nary a West Virginian, save for the ones surrounding Hillary Clinton during her victory speech. That probably does not bode well for Kentucky, which at one point was savoring the idea of mattering and being in the national spotlight for our primary, May 20.
Back in January and February, we were watching national media outlets -- particularly the cable news networks -- pulling up roots every week to broadcast from the newest battleground. There was CNN's Ali Velshi in Texas sporting a cowboy hat and MSNBC's Morning Joe broadcasting from some down-home restaurant in South Carolina. The remotes yielded one of my favorite moments in recent cable newsdom when sirens in Charleston, S.C., kept interrupting CNN's John King during a panel discussion on The Situation Room, leading Jack Cafferty to rant about the silliness of outdoor remotes.
Alas, we do have a beautiful outside in Kentucky they could show. But with our race all but a foregone conclusion in favor of the unlikely nominee, we'll probably have to be happy hearing our state named over and over again in interminable banter from panels of pundits. CNN did air a report questioning whether Barack Obama's strategy of blowing off the Appalachian state primaries in favor of a soft opening to his general election campaign may backfire on him in said general election, and MSNBC's Chris Matthews hinted that maybe Kentucky would be closer than people think, though he didn't offer any reason why. I also liked that at least NBC political director Chuck Todd said that while Obama's drubbing in West Virginia probably won't hurt his chances at securing the Democratic nomination, he still should answer for why he lost so badly in the Mountain State.
Another problem for the Bluegrass State in terms of getting attention is that we share our day with Oregon -- hey Stephen and Suzi -- which will be more likely to help Obama close in on the elusive magic number, somewhere between 2,025 and 2,209 depending on whether you're listening to Howard Wolfson or anyone else.
We'll probably get more out of watching KET's election coverage, particularly with a Senate primary in play. That actually may give the national pundits a few more minutes to mull over Kentucky and the possibilities of a challenge to Mitch McConnell in November. Last night, MSNBC in particular devoted some time to actual news out of Mississippi, that Democrat Travis Childers had taken yet another seat in the House of Representatives out of a reliably Republican district. In an otherwise uneventful night, it gave Tim Russert something to talk about.
But it was supposed to be West Virginia's night. And next week was supposed to be ours.
Maybe in 2012.