Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Super Tuesday Analysis: Obama and Middle America

So Clinton and Obama are neck-and-neck. At the NYT's latest count, Clinton had 892 delegates while Obama had 716.

I couldn't be happier. Yes, of course I wanted Obama to win every state and carry the day, but... I knew that wasn't going to happen.

What I am happy about has to do with the states Obama won. He won Middle America. Let Clinton have the state that elected the Governator; Obama won in states where people put gun racks on the back of their trucks. Obama won in whitebread country. Obama won in the vast central plains, where the majority of people live in small communities and often have little experience interacting with "hyphenated-Americans."

That's where the people want change. People who have seen jobs vanish and towns dry up; people tired of one-sided politics and politicians always preaching to the coastlines. Students at land-grant universities. Parents of children long at war. The continually belittled, mocked "Flyover Country." Of course we would rally behind "Yes, We Can."

And even when Obama doesn't "look like us," he looks like us. He's not part of a political dynasty; he doesn't separate himself from us; he doesn't condescend to us. He is like us but better; like we might hope to be. Straightforward, forthright, and eminently inspiring.

Middle America has spoken. We want Obama, to be sure; but more than anything else, we want change.

This is going to be a close race.

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