McCain Defiant in Ohio
What is it with politicians and the poetics of town names? John McCain is launching his electoral last stand in a place called, seriously, Defiance, Ohio. The rough ‘n’ tumblin’, dissident, anti-status-quo Republican candidate for president is following in the footsteps of Barack Obama, who campaigned in Unity, N.H., with Hillary Clinton after a barbed primary.
Defiance, a picture postcard town in north-west Ohio, takes its name from a fort built here in 1794 by a General “Mad” Anthony Wayne. The general was so proud of his deep moat and the fort’s 2.5-metre-thick walls that he declared, according to local lore: “I defy the English, the Indians and all the devils in hell to take it.”
So it was easy to see why John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, found Defiance an irresistible place to launch his final battle for the White House yesterday [Thursday] with a two-day bus tour of Ohio.
Outgunned in the polls and on TV by his Democratic opponent, Barack Obama, and deserted by some of his fellow Republicans, McCain had little reassurance to offer his supporters … except his defiance — and a little lesson in his own history.