Some of the reasons for this are familiar, others are less familiar and more particular to this year. I am glad to see, however, that John McCain recognizes the importance of Ohio. What remains to be seen is whether he will master a capacity to speak to Ohioans.
One thing he should not do as he seeks to develop this capacity, is listen to media reports about Ohio and Ohioans. They are out in full force traipsing about the state with their cameras and their "gotcha" style interviews with regular folks. Every one of these things I’ve seen (from a 60 Minutes segment to newspaper accounts) paints a picture of Ohio and Ohioans that is foreign to this native. You would think the state is over-run with racist, sexist, hillbillies walking around with hay stuck in their teeth if you believed these accounts. The reporters sit smug with their "they can’t help how dumb they are" expressions as they try to explain the ignorance they uncover by pointing to economic troubles in the state. These, we are supposed to believe, are a direct result of Republican policies and corruption. Even these stupid prejudiced people are now going to vote for Obama or Hillary--if only they can get past their racism and sexism. I do hope the media keep trying to paint that picture and that the Dems keep listening and they all get to see how Ohioans like it when they’re treated like morons. But McCain should look elsewhere for a true understanding of Ohio politics and, like he said, park himself there.
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