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  • Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal

    Monday, September 06, 2004

    Ohioans say the darndest things 

    Remember the bit on the old Art Linkletter Show? It was called: ``Kids Say the Darndest Things.'' Linkletter would ask children a question and then stand back and wait for the fun. Well, Linkletter's kids have nothing on Ohioans this political season.

    Katharine Q. Seelye, The New York Times reporter, visited New Lexington, a small coal-mining town in Perry County, one of those that swing this Swing State. She did what any good reporter does when trying to get the hang of an unfamiliar place: She sat around in one of the town's favorite haunts, the County Seat Diner, asked a few questions but mostly just listened to people as they talked to one another.

    She found a strong vein of support for President George W. Bush, who took the county from Al Gore by 4 percentage points in 2000. New Lexington has about 5,000 residents. An auto parts plant closed last year. Other layoffs have been significant. Perry County's nearly 13 percent unemployment is more than twice the national average. Yet Seelye found people like Joe Altier, 56, who don't think presidents or their challengers can do much about local or state economies.

    ``The economy is in our hands,'' Altier told Seelye. ``If you want want work, you can find it.''

    So does that mean 13 percent of Perry Countians are lazy and want no part of work? That's not the Ohio with which Ohioblog is familiar.

    - Steve Love

    posted by Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal at 10:47 AM

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