Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Ohio Primary Day

The Nation parachutes in a writer from New York, who sends back "Postcards from Ohio," which shows some evidence that despite her ethnic surname, she doesn't understand Ohio terribly well (it's Brookpark, not Brook Park). But on a deeper level, it misses the mark because it seems to assume that Ohio is only a manufacturing center. It is, but much more than that too. On the other hand, its perennial rival,The New Republic does a good dissection of Ohio, breaking down the polls, demographics and recent dynamics. The best line: Union-dominated Youngstown "still has the feel of New Deal-era America." Meanwhile, the National Journal's Ron Brownstein, a long-time fixture at the L.A. Times, and considered by many (including me) to be among the best thinkers and writers on politics, offers this smart take on how the Clinton-Obama shootout is fundamentally transforming the Democratic party. Finally, this pair of Congressional Quarterly correspondents offers a video postcard of their Ohio coverage tour.

Anyway, we thought all of these were must-reads/must-watches as Ohioans head to the polls today. Or at least those who haven't already voted absentee. I can't remember an election in which more people happened to mention that they had voted absentee than this one. I suppose it may have something to do with all the coverage of the poll complications. Meanwhile, the Ohio-based company that makes the infamous problematic voting machines, Diebold, just received an unsolicited takeover offer.


At 9:49 AM, Blogger tina said...

My mom, a 62-year resident of Cleveland, still refers to it as "Brookspark" in her cute little Greek accent.

At 10:36 AM, Anonymous Scott said...

Great links, John. Thanks for those. It's much easier for national media to look at a given region one-dimensionally than to do some background work and realize Ohio is more than just rundown steel mills and shrinking auto plants. The growing biotech industry here, for example, has largely escaped the notice of people outside of Northeast Ohio (and even many of those here aren't really aware of it).

And by the way, I hesitate to even point this out, but believe it or not it really IS "Brook Park" two words. Check out the city's website: http://www.cityofbrookpark.com/ I had always assumed it was one word, as well, until I worked in newspapers and would see AP stories come across the wire with the dateline "BROOK PARK, Ohio (AP)." And I would think, "Where the heck is Brook Park? I know Brookpark, but Brook Park?" I wonder if it was Brookpark at one point and then got switched, because a lot of people seem to be under the impression that it's spelled as one word.

At 10:47 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Tina, welcome back, and I loved that little sliver of your mom's life. Lovely!

Scott, I just noticed my error as well. In today's PD business section, there's a prominent headline in which Brook Park is also "misspelled," which first tipped me off to how I've gotten it wrong all this time. Just one more reminder about the true value of those indispesible "green eyeshade" folks, copy editors. I officially stand corrected.

At 4:09 PM, Anonymous Mr. Bluster said...

Speaking of "Brooks," your line: "The Nation parachutes in a writer from New York, who sends back 'Postcards from Ohio,' which shows some evidence that despite her ethnic surname, she doesn't understand Ohio terribly well..." reminds me of an entry about writer David Brooks in the Dickipedia:

"Brooks’ favorite point to make is that what he calls 'red staters' are somehow more authentic, honest, virtuous and American than so-called 'blue staters.' His 'shtick,' as Michael Kinsley once called it, is to go from his home in 'blue state' Maryland deep into 'red state' America, much like the Victorian explorers to Africa who would venture into Africa and report back to the Royal Geographic Society with their tales of the frightening, but noble savages."

At 4:16 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Oh, man, have you made me laugh today, long and hard enough to have at least a mild belly ache. I thought I knew about most of the essential things on the web, but somehow Dickipedia had escaped my attention. It's unbelievably funny and right on, and they've sure chosen the right folks to roast. Thanks for this priceless introduction to an essential resource. And for those readers whose tender sensibilities we've offended with this reference to a PG-13-bordering-on-R-rated name, you have my official heartfelt apology. But this one is just too juicy to ignore. So thanks again, Bluster.


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