I recall President Bush visiting Indiana several times in the last eight or nine years for ‘his man Mitch,’ aka Gov. Mitch Daniels who has done his part to run this state into the ground just like his mentor did the country. But until last month no Democrat with presidential aspirations really bothered to pay us any attention. Not in my living memory.
I personally found a grain of truth in Obama’s much-maligned ‘bitterness’ remarks, but not for the reasons he mentioned. Middle Americans are bitter at being ignored until itâ€™s politically convenient to pay attention. These days, I feel mighty bitter when I hear liberal commentators exclaim that Indiana doesnâ€™t matter, whether because of the delegate counts or the stateâ€™s perceived conservatism or because itâ€™s only a primary. Maybe Indiana voters donâ€™t care about national Democratic politics because national Democratic politicians donâ€™t seem to care much about Indiana.
This primary season, Democrats ought to take note of what kind of response they get when they actively campaign in the states they usually abandon. Here in Indiana, I don’t know a soul who will pass up the chance to vote today, and none I know are voting Republican. You might be surprised at what happens when Democrats and the media spend some time in our state, rather than reduce us to uniformly conservative, marginal stereotypes because itâ€™s easier than respecting local culture and diversity of opinion.