Friday, August 22, 2008

Scranton

As I watched the prospect of Joe Biden as Obama's running mate get kicked around on cable the last few nights, I was struck by something I noticed during the endless death march that was the Pennsylvania primary. Namely, when did Pennsylvania, and Scranton in particular, become this magical land filled with "regular people"? I was a hardcore political junkie as a teenager -- to the extent that in 1990, my Sunday afternoons revolved around C-SPAN's weekly airing of campaign ads from around the country -- and don't ever recall hearing Scranton invoked as the heart and soul of "regular America." Was it after I left in 1992?

4 comments:

RAB said...

The explanation is simple: they're actually thinking of Wilkes-Barre. Easy mistake to make.

(More than once during the first Senate race by Hillary Clinton, I saw Elmira N.Y. described in similar terms and it evoked much the same reaction in me...)

Matter-Eater Lad said...

At least there's a famous political science book that studied the 1948 election through the eyes of voters in Elmira. The Scranton thing came from nowhere. Perhaps Chris Matthews is to blame?

Kate said...

It's the new Midwest. "Normal" people live there. Because it is Rust Belt.

Ragnell said...

Because Pennsylvania is a battleground state now, and the Pocono mountain area is a stronghold of conservatives.