East Palestine’s political show 2023

Politicians continue to travel to East Palestine to point fingers.

Why it matters: Political wrangling has eclipsed the concerns of communities that continue to face relocation and health problems.

Yesterday, Senator J.D. Vance visited East Palestine to speak with citizens and officials who are still struggling with the consequences of the Norfolk Southern disaster on February 3.

  • Vance has charged the Biden administration of disregarding East Palestine inhabitants “because they did not vote for him in sufficient numbers.”

Why it matters: Political wrangling has eclipsed the concerns of communities who continue to face relocation and health problems.

Former President Trump visited East Palestine on February 22, at which time he accused President Biden of “indifference and treachery” for not visiting the region.

  • Trump won the 2020 presidential election in Columbiana County, where East Palestine is situated, with roughly 72% of the vote.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who has been criticised for not reacting quickly enough, travelled to East Palestine a day after President Trump to seek bipartisan collaboration for stricter train safety rules.

Senator Sherrod Brown, former congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, who pledged to “hold the federal government’s feet to the fire,” have also visited East Palestine.
Despite the fact that many East Palestinians have embraced Trump and other leaders, some feel exploited.

“They’re utilising East Palestine as China, Russia, and the United States are using Ukraine,” East Palestine businessman Joe Botinovich told Politico. It is a proxy conflict.
The mystery: despite rising condemnation from both sides, Biden has not visited.

Christopher Devine, associate professor of political science at the University of Dayton, tells Axios that Vice President Biden ought to visit East Palestine.

“It reminds the people on the ground that their struggle is crucial and at the top of the national agenda,” adds Devine. Many people interpret the president’s absence from an event as an indication that he has greater things to do and other places to be.
On the other hand, a Biden visit and the reaction to it would likely eclipse bipartisan legislative efforts and the situation of East Palestine people.

The White House declined to comment on the plans of Vice President Biden.

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