As of 2019, West Virginia ranks 47th among all the states for education; healthcare-wise, they are 45th; in terms of the economy and infrastructure, West Virginia is literally dead last. To be fair, they are doing pretty well as far as crime is concerned, coming in at 21. However, these rankings are not something I learned from Todd Drezner’s dry documentary, The Campaign Of Miner Bo. Chiefly, because these metrics never enter into Bo Copley’s way of thinking, and seemingly, do not inform any of the policies, he’d enact if he wins.
While campaigning for president, Hilary Clinton said, “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” Now, that statement was about how renewable energy is coming to stay, and she goes on to clarify that she does not want nor wish to leave any such worker behind. But, partially due to the media’s abysmal reporting on the matter, ignorant people looking for any reason to attack someone they disagree with, latched onto the statement (again, without understanding it or looking for full context) and began an attack.
“…made Copley something of a hometown hero, and he felt compelled by the Holy Spirit to run for Senate.”
Bo Copley, who at the time was an unemployed coal worker, took umbrage with the statement and got the chance to discuss it with Clinton directly. That conversation made Copley something of a hometown hero, and he felt compelled by the Holy Spirit to run for Senate. So, Bo Copley, along with his wife, Lauren, start a campaign and get in on several debates.
While it is history, I will not reveal if he won. But, what I can say is that he was a remarkably uninformed candidate, and the movie follows suit. At one point, someone offers to pay for he and Copley’s dinner. The devout man running for office is flattered by the gesture, before stating that he is unsure of the rules of these things and turns down the offer for fear of impropriety. When running for public office, why wouldn’t you familiarize yourself with the regulations to avoid potential conflicts of interest? I know there are many rules and regulations, and I do not mean to imply he should know them all by heart the day he decided to run. But, some issues will crop up more often than others, such as being courted or taken out to dinner by lobbyists or some such. How to handle that is something that any candidate for public office should know a week or two into their campaign.
On that same note, The Campaign Of Miner Bo, both the movie and the actual campaign, can hardly be bothered to discuss any idea beyond how it relates to coal. Copley’s stance on education funding is never once brought up. Does he approve of legalizing weed? I don’t know, and I am relatively certain the director does not either. See, Drezner does not push the envelope, ask questions, or even contextualize anything that happens (the Clinton statement that inspires Copley to run is never properly scrutinized, so viewers of the documentary will leave as [un]informed as they were when the movie began).
"…seeing a small scale campaign's inner workings, from a non-politician, proves more fascinating than anything else in the movie."