The Greek Festival on Chapline Street in Wheeling, next to OVMC, saw the political campaigners come out to greet the citizens. Both Mike Oliverio, and David McKinley–who are running against each other for a congressional seat in the 1st district–were there. Both candidates worked the crowd very well. It was interesting to see that Oliverio appeared to be by himself and really had no identifying symbols of his campaign with him. If you know Oliverio, and know what he looks like, you knew he was there. The McKinley campaign had an entourage of people with quite visible t-shirts “McKinley for Congress.” The most obvious observation a student of politics might make from these two different approaches is that McKinley does not have the name recognition Oliverio does. Therefore, McKinley had to show up with clear identifying markings of who he was so people would know.
As campaigns go, it is an uphill battle for the person seeking office when the voters do not know your name. McKinley seems to understand that he needs to get his name out more. Oliverio does not have to–he has served in the state legislature, and so has had his name in the press and news for years now.
One thing I overheard from some people in the audience–they like Oliverio but they cannot vote for him because, and only because, of Speaker Pelosi. This does not mean that Oliverio is going to lose. He is a clear front runner. But, it does make for a bit of political opportunity for the McKinley campaign. If Oliverio wins, he will caucus with the Democrats–and that means, Pelosi will be either Speaker, or minority leader. Pelosi and the Democrat run Congress is very unpopular, as is Obama. Oliverio can say that he is not them–but it will be very difficult for him to not vote with his party, after all, he is a Democrat (of course the same goes for the other side of the isle).
Also in attendance today was Governor Manchin. I missed his presence. The Festival continues for its last full day today–Saturday.
Below, the dancers: