In Which a Democratic Candidate Turns Off the White House’s Lights

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
July 28 2014 9:55 AM

In Which a Democratic Candidate Turns Off the White House’s Lights

466827511-natalie-tennant-west-virginia-secretary-of-state
Not toeing the party line

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

West Virginia's Natalie Tennant, who's running a Senate race that the handicappers expect her to lose, arrives on the airwaves with an expert trolling of the White House. In her first general election commercial, Tennant tsk-tsks a White House that doesn't even know where its "power comes from," then turns off an ACME-ish switch, which diverts all coal power away from the job-killer-in-chief.

Tennant's long-term program, should she get to the Senate, is not actually Barack Obama. If successful, she'll only overlap with the incumbent for two years. The green movement that's successfully gotten EPA rules and strictures on coal burning isn't giving up or going away. And the fracking boom, which has cut right through the coal industry, could go on for decades. But just as West Virginia's Sen. Joe Manchin established himself by literally shooting a hole through a copy of "cap and trade" legislation, so too has Tennant introduced herself as a warrior against Obama and those elitist greens.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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