The Presidential election is now almost one month away, so I thought I would take it upon myself to give both candidates, Senators Barack Obama and John McCain, a little piece of advice. Since it seems that Ohio will decide the next President of the United States of America, I thought I would let the candidates in on a little secret—Ohio is Buckeye country.
Red, blue, elephant, donkey...Ohio is none of those. It's scarlet, with a giant nut. All a candidate has to do to win Ohio would be come out and say something to the likes of "Go Bucks!" or "Screw Michigan," although that might be political suicide elsewhere.
Let's think about this for a second. Ninety percent of people in Ohio are Ohio State fans. To me, this makes perfect sense. If I am Obama or McCain and I am in Ohio campaigning then I am walking out to Hang On Sloopy and opening my speech with a big "O-H."
We saw what happened when Carson Palmer spoke poorly about our beloved Buckeyes. He practically alienated his entire fan base because he wanted to talk about his Trojans. Well, Carson, karma is making its way back around, and your elbow tendinitis will hopefully keep you sidelined all year. Serves you right!
I have studied in political science and I brought this up to a professor of mine, and while he laughed about it, as it was only partly a joke; the more I think about this, the more I realize that a stunt like this would almost guarantee added support from Ohioans.
Seriously! If John McCain stopped in Ohio and came out wearing a scarlet sweater vest with an American flag pinned to it, would you not automatically cheer? I would. If Barack Obama showed up in Ohio wearing an Ohio State pin and singing Hang On Sloopy, would you not cheer? I would!
Unfortunately, none of this will happen. The candidates will make their stops in Ohio and chat with us about the jobs that we are losing, and the $700 billion bailout that we will all spend lifetimes paying off, and off-shore drilling, and on and on. But all they would have to say is two letters to garner my vote.
If one of them were to come out and start with a roaring "O-H!" I dont care who it is or what my political affiliation is, I am voting for them. At least they get what this state is all about. It's blue collar, 9-5, punch the clock, three yards, and a cloud of dust. Not some big suits sitting at a conference table wondering why their bigtime corporation just went bankrupt and now turning to the government to bail them out.
The truth does not lie. The only time a President has been elected without winning Ohio was 1944 and 1960. If you are doing math, since 1904, 24 of the 26 Presidents took Ohio. That is a 92 percent clip we are picking winners at. Further evidence that McCain should heed my advice: No Republican has been elected President without carrying Ohio since honest Abe Lincoln in 1860!
So, Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama, it is simple, really. Swing through Ohio and show your Buckeye pride. Maybe end your speech with a "how firm thy friendship, O-HI-O!" and see where it gets you.
I would be willing to bet that you would definitely gain supporters, even if everything else you tell us will never happen.