A really eye-popping report from Ben Smith:

"He is black" was the first thing Kenny Perdue, the state's AFL-CIO president, said. "The gentleman that's in the White House and John McCain they're white men. And I'm absolutely ashamed of what George W. Bush has done to this country."

The president of the United Mine Workers, Cecil Roberts, spoke after Perdue in a parking lot set in the flat plateau below the remains of a strip-mined mountain. "I'd rather have a black friend than a white enemy," he said.

State Democratic Party Chairman Nick Casey spoke too. Casey, 57, grew up Irish Catholic in Charleston, and he said the bus was following John F. Kennedy's bus route in the 1960 Democratic primary.

"There's a lot of people out there think you're a bunch of inbred, redneck racists," he told a couple dozen people wearing union hats and jackets. "They say you won't vote for a man who's black."

"The rest of the country thought when Kennedy ran we were a bunch of ignorant, inbred religious bigots," he said. "They were wrong, and we made Kennedy president."

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