Thursday, March 06, 2008

Only one state has the blues

Andrew Sullivan cheers on an attempt by Barack Obama through a link to fellow Hillary-hater Mark Halperin, reproducing an Obama press release --

Today, the Obama campaign in Mississippi held a press conference calling on Senator Hillary Clinton to explain derogatory statements made about Mississippi.

In October, Senator Hillary Clinton told the Des Moines Register newspaper that “I was shocked when I learned Iowa and Mississippi have never elected a woman governor, senator or member of Congress. There has got to be something at work here…when you look at the numbers, how can Iowa be ranked with Mississippi? That’s not what I see. That’s not the quality. That’s not the communitarianism. That’s not the openness I see in Iowa.”

If this is "going on offense", God help Obama (and by extension, his boosters like Sully). Simple question: in which state, Iowa or Mississippi, would you rather live? Here's a table with median household income in every state in 2006. Mississippi is lowest. Iowa is respectable upper-middle. You could pull just about any economic or social outcome and the result would be the same.

There are multiple reasons for this. But one is the social ethos of Iowa, where there is a presumption that public services should be delivered for everybody. Mississippi spent most of its recent history excluding many people from those services. One might say that Iowa is "communitarian".

Perhaps Obama doesn't trust the economists who might have told him this, after the Goolsbee/NAFTA fiasco.

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