Back now from Springfield, Ohio, and Covington, Kentucky, where I spoke at Wittenberg College and University of Northern Kentucky, respectively. The students and faculty at both places were great (thanks to Nate, Maureen, Casey, Alex and Josh) as were the community members who turned out to see the slide show and hear the talk.
I did not hear rabid expressions of allegiance to either party, interestingly. People are engaged by this election, but also somewhat puzzled and stunned, waiting, like the rest of us, to see what twist or turn it's going to take next. I was traveling in the midst of the bailout debate in Congress, with the ubiquitous newspaper of the road-weary, USA Today (free on motel check-in counters) blaring out 777 point market drops and Congressional cat-fighting. People I talked to were alarmed, but not yet panicked. Still, many (especially in Kentucky,surprisingly) told me they weren't sure just who they were going to vote for and might now decide until they walked into a polling booth.
A few miscellaneous items:
Karl Rove was coming to speak at Northern Kentucky after me--I offered to stay around and debate him, but they ushered me gently out.
Should anyone want a surreal road experience, please stay in the Drawbridge Inn in Covington, KY. it's a huge, sprawling place with a medieval theme--the Crossbow Inn, Friar Tuck Hall, etc. While I was there three different conventions were going on. There was a Church of God group, lots of kids wandering around in homespun, a reunion of crew members of a Vietnam-era aircraft carrier, and a dog show. God, war, and canines--can one ask for anything more?
Next week's schedule:
Monday: Middlesex College in Bedford, MA, for a lunch talk, then down the road to UMass Boston for an evening speech.
Wednesday: University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, Sarah Palin's alma mater
Friday: Auburn University, Montgomery, Alabama
See you there...