Pennsylvanians are Midwesterners at heart thrown into the deep end of East coast’s masters of free market. Democrats in New York, New Jersey and Ohio have already cast their votes in favor of Hillary. But none of these states did so for the same reason. If Ohio by virtue of its reputation for being blue color state, split their votes along racial divides, Hillary locked in New York early in the game being a senator from the state. Since then the campaign has changed a lot.
This was supposed to be a walk in for anyone in the name of democratic candidate. Having fought among themselves ever so painfully and torn apart over the fear of terrorists and revulsion at the abomination that is Iraq war, even the republicans were waiting for a chance to redeem. Instead they were given an unsolicited choice of electing a woman or an African American. Suddenly the liberal party found themselves asking uncomfortable questions on race, gender and politics of expediency and attrition.
Black American’s true loyalty have been questioned, Whites belonging to specific class, gender and age have been categorized to stereotypes to fit the voting patterns and pre-election polls. Among other things Clintons’ political legacy have been laid out threadbare and the subsequent consternation among media and pundits to put their every political strategy in ‘anything goes’ context.
This is where Obama, an unlikely “serious” candidate (if you care to remember Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson), came in along with a new set of voters , young - black, white, yellow and red to challenge the status-quo and took on the age-old contradictions and conveniently covered truths about them. Although in this age, talking about hope and change is passé, Obama sounded believable for a lot of people and it showed.
However to keep oneself up over a year facing protracted and in most times tiresome and unrelenting campaign, one needs more than personal charisma and belief in one’s own vision. The way Obama took on race issues in Jeremiah Wright issue has won him plaudits across party lines. However the mood of voting public can never be gauged from political pundits words. Like Hillary upstaged everyone’s prediction in New Hampshire, this battle is far from over.
The mood in Pennsylvania right now is to find out who is talking more about sagging economy than how strong and old does MacCain appear to the leaders around the world. They would like to know when the troops can come home and when Osama will be nabbed. They would also like to know if the Health insurance can ever benefit the middle class who are getting poorer by day. And yes, they are mindful of their race! Thank you.