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Election 2008

Did Last Night End Urban v. Rural Campaigns?

9:45 AM PST on November 5, 2008

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:

MaybeJohn McCain can somehow pull out one more win for small townAmerica. But the odds look increasing long. More importantly, no futureRepublican nominee is likely to try another full-on, rural-based run atthe White House. Or to repeat this autumn's theme of rural places as"real" and "pro American," using coded language to imply that bigmetropolitan 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

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