Sunday, January 25, 2009

More on Obama as the first urban President

I have written about this topic here and here. Now a column by Nate Silver in Esquire magazine explores the issue. Here's a brief excerpt:
[Obama] is the only American president in recent history to seem unembarrassed about claiming a personal residence in a major American city. Instead, presidents have tended to hail from homes called ranches or groves or manors or plantations, in places called Kennebunkport or Santa Barbara or Oyster Bay or Northampton.
Silver notes that Obama's success was partly a response to Bush's failures, and since Bush was at least ostensibly rural, well . . . As Silver writes, Obama, in sharp contrast, "is unmistakably urban: pragmatic, superior, hip, stubborn, multicultural."

Silver goes on to document that the number of voters who self-identify as rural has fallen dramatically since Clinton was first elected President 16 years ago. As he notes, "if you are going to pit big cities against small towns, it is probably a mistake to end up on the rural side of the ledger."

The column is well worth a read.

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