Thursday, October 16, 2008

Putting our fingers on the pulse of the heartland


The New Yorker has ventured to the exotic lands of western Columbus, and returned with a story on the verge of saying something.

Both McCain and Obama have been said to be presenting themselves as though they're "above" politics. Talk about being above politics - Midwesterners rather are. They're not especially affected by the president until it begins to change their everyday lives (which hardly anyone can in just four years). This is, in a way, freedom from the messy political world - there are no corporations to please when you endorse a candidate, and your vote has the potential to be free from personal greed. I wish this made people vote for ideals, but I doubt it will. We are seeing a public servant here, a representative of the country in an abstract way and in a very real and powerful way.

Inadvertently, the debate last night helped The Little Guy: apparently Joe the Plumber of Amarillo, Texas has received something like "500 phone calls" since last night. Way to go, Joe.

[The Times has just posted that last night's debate hurt the little guy: Joe Wurtzelbacher feels "kind of like Britney Spears" in the wake of all this media attention.]

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