“The longest wet kiss in American history.”
That’s how Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour described the media’s coverage of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign yesterday on Fox News. About a year into the two year long presidential campaign it became apparent that one time media favorite, Hillary Clinton had lost her annointment with the press. The media had a new crush and the dropping of Hillary by the media became a slow motion divorce.
I remembered Barbour’s words late last night as I watched the pundits literally jumping with joy over Obama’s victory.
I’ve been going through the national and individual state vote data and have discovered something interesting. Contrary to what some are asserting, although John McCain lost almost seven million voters from 2004 he didn’t lose them in the southern states he won.
The remnant states of the Old South resisted Obama and the state of Arkansas grew redder in yesterday’s election.
John McCain beat Barack Obama 59% to 38% yesterday in Arkansas.
In 2004 President Bush defeated John Kerry 54% to 45%.
A record number of Arkansans voted in yesterday’s election, up some 22,585 from 2004.
Checking out the map of the counties in my own state of Arkansas was interesting. My own county, Sebastian, voted for McCain 66% to 31% for Obama. Just north of Sebastian County, Crawford County voted for McCain 72% to 25% for Obama.
Obama’s stronghold, if you can call it that, was in Pulaski County and it includes Little Rock where he beat John McCain 55% to 43%. Phillips County, which borders Mississippi in Southeastern, Arkansas brought Obama his highest percentage of the vote in all of Arkansas’s counties, 64% to 34%. Phillips County borders Tunica County, Mississippi on the East, home to casinos but Phillips County itself is one of the poorest counties in Arkansas.
Pulaski County, Arkansas, home to the state capital, Little Rock was virtually surrounded by counties that grew much redder in 2008 in comparison to the presidential election of 2004. Lonoke County, on the eastern border on Pulaski County went for McCain to the tune of, 73% to Obama’s 25%. White County, just north of Lonoke County voted for McCain 72% to Obama 24%.
Traditionally, the Northwest region of Arkansas has been a Republican stronghold. While McCain won all of the Northwest region with sixty percentage points or more, seventy percent or more of the vote went to John McCain in the central counties of Arkansas. This was a big rejection of Barack Obama. President Bush did not garner as much support in the central counties of Arkansas in 2004. As a result of the election yesterday, Arkansas is much redder.
Could race have been an influence in the vote? Possibly but more likely it was the result of the rejection of Hillary Clinton by Barack Obama. People have a collective memory here.
The citizens of Arkansas are a traditional, church going, flag saluting people and even the Democrats here are more conservative than many Northeastern Republicans, which explains why most people supported Mark Pryor’s re-election to the Senate. It’s sad to note that there are now no Republicans representing New England in the House of Representatives.
It’s difficult to discern what is wrong with the people of John Murtha’s district. He can insult them, call them racists, rednecks, ignoramuses, etc, and like battered women they will still vote him back into Congress.
They don’t seem to mind the insults as long as they keep getting the checks.
That’s just not the way things are done down here.
It seems that Haley Barbour got it right. The media throughout the presidential campaign did give Obama a big smacker and more. They turned their heads away every time news broke that didn’t paint Obama in a good light.
The Southern states, while more rural and with smaller state budgets, have already gone through a Civil War, and have a collective memory handed down from their ancestors of the carpetbaggers from the North promising forty acres and a mule to the freed slaves and then breaking that promise as the Reconstructionists forced their punitive government on the blacks and the whites.
We’ve been there and done that. We know damn yankees when we see em.
The story that is not being told in this election is of how the South made a stand last night, resisting Senator Government’s sweep through the country.
That Florida, North Carolina and Virginia wouldn’t stand with the the rest of the South is not surprising as the states’ demographics have become more East Coastal than southern.
The South still respects heroes and there can be no more authentic American hero than Senator John McCain.
Obama seems to be more of an invention of the media, a hollow man with a slogan.
We’ll see how he will govern but we don’t have much confidence that we will see an Obama administration that is centrist.
Or even left of center.
Or even left of left.
Or left of left of left.
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