The New York Times has a story about festering dissent against the President in the “states that Obama forgot,” and not surprisingly North Dakota is one of them (I wonder if the Times ever described liberal angst over President Bush as “festering”?).
That shouldn’t surprise us. North Dakota doesn’t get a lot of visits from Presidents in general, and North Dakota definitely does not fit Obama’s demographics. We’re old. And white. And Republican. And there just aren’t a lot of us. The state has participated in 31 presidential elections, and went for the Republican in 25 of them including in ever single election since LBJ in 1964.
But as the article notes, Obama has been absent, or near to absent, from roughly 25% of US states, and there seems to be a common theme uniting them:
So Mr. Obama has not given North Dakota his time. It is one of six states he has not visited as president, along with South Dakota, Arkansas, Idaho, South Carolina and Utah. He has gone just once to Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Tennessee and Wyoming.
Mr. Obama’s near-complete absence from more than 25 percent of the states, from which he is politically estranged, is no surprise, in that it reflects routine cost-benefit calculations of the modern presidency. But in a country splintered by partisanship and race, it may also have consequences.
It is a cop out to say that Obama is simply adhering to the “cost-benefit calculations of the modern presidency,” as the article suggests. Obama, after all, is the originator of the 50 state strategy. I don’ think it’s political calculation that is keeping President Obama away from states like North Dakota. It’s because states like North Dakota undermine his political philosophy.
North Dakota, Wyoming and Montana are proof-positive of what fossil fuel energy development can do for an economy. South Dakota is in a perpetual state of economic good health because it is home to some of the lowest taxes, and lightest regulations, in the country.
I could on down the list, but you get my point. If you’re a national leader who wants to try and exemplify the wisdom of high-tax, big-government policies (not to mention so-called “green energy”) then the states listed above are exactly where you don’t want to go.