The McCain-Palin Ticket: America’s Last Anti-Urban Campaign?

inwood_flag.jpgWriting for Citiwire, Brookings fellow Robert Lang asks whether the 2008 presidential contest might be the last one to openly pit rural and exurban voters against cities, which are increasingly aligned politically with inner suburbs. Lang says it depends on whether Republicans will again feel confident running the type of campaign that mocks community organizers and sanctifies "small town values," a strategy he views as a dead-end:

Maybe John McCain can somehow pull out one more win for small town
America. But the odds look increasing long. More importantly, no future
Republican nominee is likely to try another full-on, rural-based run at
the White House. Or to repeat this autumn’s theme of rural places as "real" and "pro American," using coded language to imply that big
metropolitan areas are illegitimate and anti American. We are a metro nation and we do have a common stake in the success of all places — from largest cities to the smallest hamlets.

Back in August, Citiwire’s Neal Peirce noted that the convergence of city and suburban interests is already creating a more favorable environment for regional transit initiatives. It will be fascinating to see, following today’s election, how this transition shapes federal policy too.

Photo of the flag flying in Inwood: Brad Aaron

  • Moser

    This is a great piece and a theme worth beating into the heads of all U.S. politicians, especially Senators. It was very evident that Sarah Palin was not up on her demography when she went around talking up small towns as representing America these days.

  • will these be the last anti-intellectual campaign?
    i sure hope so
    i hate idiots

  • JF

    It looks like even if the Democrats win the State Senate they’ll chose an anti-urban leader. Yes, Jeff Klein would be a disaster for livable streets issues, but Malcolm Smith showed no leadership on congestion pricing. Being Black doesn’t make him pro-urban.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

On Election Eve, Reading the Transpo Tea Leaves

|
Though we found plenty of fodder this election season, transportation policy never emerged as a consistent talking point in the presidential race. This is more than a little surprising, considering the sad state of American infrastructure and the importance of same to this country’s economic and strategic well-being. Then again, what kind of dialogue can […]
STREETSBLOG USA

Livability: A Small Town Value

|
Davidson, North Carolina, population 7,100, isn’t the kind of global metropolis that is normally looked to as a cutting-edge example of sustainable transportation planning. By making new development walkable and bikeable, Davidson, North Carolina preserved its small town character as it grew. Photo: U.S. EPA But a new series from Transportation for America holds up […]

David Brooks: Still Rooting for Auto Dependence and Sprawl

|
David Brooks is dreaming of Denver, and in Denver they’re dreaming of transit-oriented, walkable neighborhoods. Photo of 16th Street Mall: ericrichardson/Flickr. Looks like there’s at least one bubble that has yet to burst: David Brooks’ unyielding enthusiasm for exurbs and car dependence. In today’s Times, the nation’s most famous sprawl apologist cites a recent Pew […]