Plain talk or just plain out of touch?

The a thread on BlogCatalog about McCain's "that one" and numerous "attacks" on Palin about her folksy demure got me to thinking - how many people really relate to that type of speech? I know that Palin chided the East Coast as being bad...somehow - of course the West coast has it's fair share of metropolitan areas, as does middle America where "down home farm talk" just doesn't fit in.

Where I live is considered "rural" compared to the massive cities I am surrounded by. Even still, we aren't very "rural" and we don't speak in any discernible manner in the way that "country folk" do. (or, are apparently supposed to). Only in the more rural New England states does this happen.

So, I got to wondering, how many "Big city folk" are actually out there listening? I did a quick search of populations in 10 major cities in the US:

Boston MA has 600,000 residents.
New York NY has 8 million.
Brooklyn NY has 2.5 million.
Bronx NY comes in fourth in NY at 1.3 million residents.
Queens NY has 2.2 million.

Washington DC, which isn't even a city, per se even though it is is home to 575,000 residents.

Miami FL, that mecca of nightlife has 409,000 very tan residents.

LA is home to 3.8 million people, and
Sand Diego has 1.2 million.

Columbus OH has 711,000 residents.

Total residents for just ten metropolitan cities around the US comes in at 20,125,000.

That's over 20 million people, between ten cities that do not relate to "folksy straight talk". Never mind the surrounding suburban areas that are filled to capacity with people.

The largest population in such Midwest "farmtowns" as Fargo, ND is 90,000.

Really, how much of the US population relates to this rural farm talk? Is the "Straight talk express" complete with farm house colloquialisms just another nail in the McCain/Palin ticket?


Pentad said...

Houston ain't no 'small town'. There's nothing else to say other than the 'straight talk express' is utterly ridiculous. All we have to do is use a fact-checker. I'm so sick of it, and although the number of nails are increasing, I hope the last one is soon hammered in. The debate was a bore!

The cup is half full of something I don't like said...

They are trying for any gimmick they can to gain voters. Looking at the electoral map, there seems to be a correlation of population centers and the color blue.

They probably figure that they are unable to appear more intellectual than Obama/Biden, so they don't even try.

Anok said...

Thanks for the responses - Tamera, I hadn't even thought of Houston either - They were just the top ten cities that came to mind. Most, of course, on the East Coast, as the campaign has seemed to take a dislike for the East Coast, and that's where I reside :D .

I understand the benefit of speaking plainly - a lot of political speak is like legal-ease. But this goes beyond speaking in plain language, and is dumbing everything down, and focusing on the largest portion of the country (midwest), with the fewest people in the states that make it up :P

The Cup, I agree, it is gimmicky, and we all know how people react to gimmicky. I don't think either McCain or Palin are unintelligent people. Both are very intelligent. They are just not campaigning as if they were smart if you know what I mean.

Rob J said...

It seems like McCain's camp is staffed by sitcom writers and every time you see McCain or Palin in public, they're trying out the latest pilot episode - "will this gimmick resonate with audiences...no?...back to the drawing board". It's really sad when you think about it.

Renegade Eye said...

In Minnesota we have Jesse Ventura, who certainly is a populist. He can be whacky, but he is authentic. Palin is populist and a hack. Ventura is not a hack.

Fran said...

To answer your final question--- yes.
Also the economy is putting McCain's record in the burning hot light..... you can't bullshit your way out of 26 years of loving deregulation.
Palin is an absolute disaster.
Her trainwreck interviews (all 2 of them!), SNL used what she said verbatim..... did not even tweak what comes out of her mouth for comedy.

Dave Dubya said...

Heck, I was knee-high to a wildcat when I was a-totin' my shotgun an fishin' pole into the woods what surrounded the little ol' small town of less'an two thousand where I growed up near.

Come ta think of it, Wasilla's a dad-burned big city compared to where I'm from.

Shucks, we was simple folk back then, but we knowed better when some slick prom queen was a tryin' to take advantage of us with her winkin' and flashin' her slippery lipsticky smile at us.

Dagnabit, ya didn't need to be no brighter than daylight in the swamp to see through them bible thumpin' back-stabbin' fake christians.

I never even met a black person until I moved to the big city fer a job. 'Course I couldn't be a judgin them by their skin so much 'cause a bunch of my poor relatives livin' in the woods looked like Indians.

I never did get the hang of this racism stuff. Maybe that's why I'm a gonna vote fer Obama.

water filters said...

houston is not a small town

Mark said...

I've read that only 20% of Americans live in small-town rural America. The rest are in or tied to metropolitan areas. Clearly more than 20% of the country buys into this rhetoric, though. Way too much angst about the world.

I keep wondering what the McCain/Palin campaign is thinking when they diss all the civil servants and military people that live in northern Virginia. A lot of them are Republican.

Anok said...

Ha, I didn't realize I was still getting comments on this post. Thanks for the responses - Dave, you're killin' me :D

Water, you're right, it's not a small town - like I said above, I just threw out the top ten cities that came to mind.

Mark - I'll bet that percentage is right, give or take a little. But the folk talk express isn't the only thing the McCain/Palin ticket are using, so the jump in numbers makes sense, too. Smears do work to an extent, so long as the people who hear them don't bother to look anything up for themselves.