Monday, June 9, 2008

Guess I'm a Redneck Rooster

Main stream media types like Andera Mitchell might think everybody in western Virginia is a "redneck." It is an unfortunate term that congers up images of uneducated, toothless, and racist folks in living in the hills and backwoods of Appalachia. It also has made Jeff Foxworthy rich!
I prefer the term "rural voter" which undoubtably includes those "rednecks" but also boasts a wide variety of people who prefer living in the majestic beauty of the Blue Ridge and Appalachian mountains far away from the heat and congestion of the cities and suburbs. Among them you'll find organic farmers, teachers, and doctors working out of love for the land and the people. You'll find small towns and suburbs much like those that you'll find around Richmond and on the fringes of NOVA. In other words Andrea, western Virginia and all of Appalachia is a cross section of America. Not just "redneck" as you suggest in your conversation with Chuck Todd:
Barack Obama kicked off his post-primary presidential campaign in Virginia, beginning in Bristol and ending that evening with a huge rally in northern Virginia. Like many states, Virginia is a complex mix of changing demographics. Just check the map - Bristol, on the Virginia/Tennessee border, is ground zero for Appalachia and has been voting more Republican. But, today's Appalachia is different from yesterday's and the Bush economy and gas prices are biting rural voters more sharply than any others.  Northern Virginia is suburban, upscale, and increasingly Democratic. Obama knows that winning the White House will mean bringing together all sorts of Americans. Evidence: Mark Warner's rural strategy was successful in his run for governor and won him about 49% of the vote in "redneck" CD6. He kicked butt in NOVA. Warner will do even better among rural voters in the district. I suspect Barack Obama will also reach out to rural voters not only in Virginia, but in Pennsylvania, Missouri, West Virginia, Ohio, and indeed across America.
OK Andrea and your establishment media buddies, welcome to Virginia . . . the part outside of Fairfax and Alexandria. CD6 and CD9 welcome you. Enjoy the beauty of your drive along I-81. Stop by some of our colleges and universities - Virginia Tech, James Madison, Bridgewater, UVA/Wise, and many others - perhaps more per capita than anywhere in the nation.
Ya'll come back now, ya hear.

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