Is anyone else getting a little sick of Republican and Democratic candidates wandering round the sticks trying to suck up to the hicks? Of course, this has been a staple of presidential contests ever since 1840, when Whig contender William Henry Harrison--a Virginia aristocrat who owned about 2000 acres of land-- grabbed the presidency by pretending to be a "log cabin and hard cider" candidate, a guy who hung out with the coonskin cap boys and ploughed the back forty with his own two begrimed hands.
And, actually, Harrison is not so much a stretch as a country boy as the likes of Mitt, Rudy and Hillary. Romney has been all over Iowa with his idiotic "three-legged stool" metaphor-- take one leg away and, jeez folks, it falls over! Last week in Iowa, Rudy told a group of would-be voters that New Yorkers experienced rural life by going to...Staten Island. And Hillary wandered gamely around various state fairs sucking down huge ice cream pops that Bill would have tackled and pinned her for, had he been there. (For my comments in an interview with CBS.com on her "Bill" problem-- and it will get way worse before it gets better-- click here.)
Fortunately for all concerned, our candidates are gradually leaving rural America as Labor Day approaches and we'll be spared, at least for a short while, their country pandering. And, who knows, they may be relieved as well. As John Kennedy muttered to an aide after one too many state fair appearances during the 1960 campaign: "Well, that's over. Fuck the farmers!"