For those die-hard bicoastal types who view much of America’s heartland as flyover territory, the phenomenon of “rural brain drain,” as The Chronicle of Higher Education calls the ongoing migration of younger generations from the country’s small towns, probably doesn’t seem terribly troubling—but the Chronicle makes the case for why this mass exodus may constitute a national crisis.
Sarah Palin commented on Thursday night in Greensboro, N.C., that the “real America” and the “best of America” can be found in the country’s small towns. It may not be surprising that, by Friday, her Democratic vice presidential rival, Joe Biden, had picked up on that remark.
John McCain joined Hillary Clinton in critiquing Barack Obama’s characterization of small-town Pennsylvania’s (and by extension, perhaps, America’s) “bitter” outlook, telling a crowd of magazine and newspaper editors on Monday that Obama’s description represented “a contradiction from what I believe America is all about.”
There are many opportunities, in every heated political campaign, for one candidate’s perceived slip-up to quickly provide the plot for another’s next TV spot. Here, Hillary Clinton’s camp has some Pennsylvania supporters weigh in on Barack Obama’s recent statements about their home state.
Barack Obama has apparently decided to stand by his observation, first delivered in San Francisco on April 6, that some Americans in small-town Pennsylvania are “bitter” about the lack of available jobs. After Hillary Clinton and John McCain criticized his views as elitist and condescending, Obama repeated, and elaborated upon, his original statement Friday. Updated