50 States

From NY Times’ Guest Columnist Timothy Egan:

The furor over this week’s New Yorker cover — the satirical cartoon of Barack and Michelle Obama in Muslim and black-militant poses — boils down to this: We get it, but what will those folks in fly-over country think?

The answer is that they get it as well. Irony, it turns out, does cross the Hudson River. And if they don’t get it, if they see the cover as affirmation of the sludge they’ve heard on talk radio or certain cable outlets, they’re never going to vote for Barack Hussein Obama anyway.

People forget that part of the inspiration for the magazine cover is this year’s best media-division political laugher: the suggestion by Fox News that a triumphant knuckle bump between the Obamas, a gesture familiar to any third grader in Little League, could actually be “a terrorist fist jab.”

People in the middle of this country aren’t quite as stupid as some people might suggest.

What was really funny about Barack and Michelle’s fist bump was that the rubes on Fox News suggested that it was some kind of secret-African-American-thing that people in Indiana, Nebraska, or Montana might fear. They are THAT out of touch.


The second factor is the Democratic Party’s decision to field operations in all 50 states, a plan that was scorned when Howard Dean, the party chairman, first proposed it in 2006. Following that lead, Obama has fully staffed offices in five cities in Montana. He’s visited the state three times, and he’s on the air with television ads. Senator John McCain has no paid staff and has yet to set foot here.

“It’s not a head fake,” said Caleb Weaver, a spokesman for Obama in Montana. “We think we can win it.”

Ah, the 50 state strategy. Dean was mocked for proposing the very simple idea that to get people’s votes, you need to ask for them. I’m glad that Obama understands that idea and is pursuing it.

Obama is in the process of opening 20 offices in Indiana. And while I think his chances of winning the state are not great, it’s very possible that he might win Indiana. Lots of people are fed up with GOP policies, so it makes sense to go after those voters by asking for their votes through ads and outreach.

The biggest misperception of people in Montana, he said, is that everyone is a rube just off the hay truck. That’s not to say there aren’t militia wackos hiding in the hills, trading toxic nonsense about Obama’s secret Muslim past.

But for every nut, there’s a New Yorker reader — and then some.

That’s last sentence is so true in Montana, Indiana, Alabama, and all the formerly red states.

If Obama is able to pick up just one red state while holding on to the Kerry states, Obama will be our next president.

So why not ask for votes in all 50?


One response to “50 States

  1. This is very true, I think it might of been with an interview of Jim Webb or potential Harold Ford jr., who I first heard describe what the Appalachia voters are looking for, [paraphrased] “these people are just looking for someone that they can get to know, someone that makes themselves known and accessible and then they can decide.”

    a lot of these “low educated, tobacco chewing, backwoods types” are having their world as they have known it for 100s of years drastically changed from groundwater pollution from mountain top removal and “cleaning” the coal in clean coal technology and they are none to happy about their way of life being destroyed either. There was a good documentary on the sundance channel, (can’t remember the name but have it in a post somewhere) about how much damage coal mining is doing in that area.

    this can be extended out to rural America as well when it comes to farm bills being gutted, cheap electricity near gov’t facilities being deregulated to send it elsewhere for higher prices (happened in most of rural Washington & Oregon) from changes forced by Bush and even Utah with its progressive outspoken anti-war SLC mayor is very popular (maybe more so than Mitt), so there is room for lots of upsets if Obama is able to get out there to “shake hands and kiss babies” while letting people meet him.

    Lucky for McCain in his decrepit age they “limit” the number of supporters he has to meet and greet! 😉 poor guy would have a heart attack if he met as many people as Obama did.


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