August 16, 2008

The Presidential Candidates from Nowhere

Nature writers love to write about the uniqueness of "place." When teaching, I have assigned students to do the old CoEvolution Quarterly "Where You At" quiz as part of learning about their home environmental on an ecological level.

But as Peggy Noonan writes in the Wall Street Journal, what does it mean when neither presidential candidate is really "from" anywhere in particular?

Mr. Obama hails from Chicago, but no one would confuse him with Chicagoans like Richard Daley or Dan Rostenkowski, or Harold Washington. "There is something colorless and odorless about him," says a friend. "like an inert gas." And Mr. McCain, in his experience, history and genes, is definitely military, and could easily come from Indiana or South Carolina or California, and could easily speak of upholding the values of those places.

(Via Never Yet Melted.)


mjh said...

Noonan's essay is interesting, even clever. But I think she's quite wrong. Obama is quintessentially Hawaiian: Open, accepting, happy, mellow (yes, driven, too), a true uniter. McCain is the proverbial Arizona retiree. I think both are very strongly "of" their respective home states. peace, mjh

Beverly said...

Yeah, what mjh said.

And...has EVERYBODY forgotten about McCain's explosive anger; how he talks to his coworkers, and even his public? I tell ya, his demeanor is as if he's on some artificial 'attitude adjustment'. I wonder how long it will last. Is he the kind of guy we want dealing with world politics?

It squicks me when he calls me 'friend', too. How false, forced and condescending can a guy be? Yeah, lets have a nice race.

Anonymous said...

The two candidates aren't the only ones who lack "uniqueness of place" in our increasingly homogenized world. Take a look at how many Coloradans are from "someplace else". That includes candidates and incumbents right here in our own state. I'm not saying that's good or bad, but our culture has changed and there's no going back.