Kerry won every Gore county in Ohio except Clark. He even increased Gore’s winning margin in 12 of the 16 counties. But nowhere among the Gore counties did more votes move from the blue to the red column than in Clark. Why might this be?
I have a pet theory that one reason so many Americans like Bush is just because he is so hated abroad. There’s nothing like some foreign criticism to get people defensive. People should know that Bush was hated by Europeans long before he took office. If Europeans were honest they would admit that it is not just about his policies, but also about their condescending attitude towards his (perceived) Cowboy-Yank-Redneck-Evangelical-ness. So I wouldn’t blame Americans for saying, “screw you”, to the rest of the world in the face of such a hostility. Which is what Clark County, Ohio might have said to the the British. The Guardian newspaper organised “Operation Clark County” inviting readers to send one-on-one letters to independent American voters. More than 11,000 signed up. Imagine getting a letter like this from some foreigner you have never met:
“Don’t be so ashamed of your president: the majority of you didn’t vote for him. If Bush is finally elected properly, that will be the time for Americans travelling abroad to simulate a Canadian accent. Please don’t let it come to that. Vote against Bin Laden’s dream candidate. Vote to send Bush packing.”
To reiterate: Clark was the only Gore county which Kerry didn’t win. Maybe the Guardian plan backfired. Horribly. As the director of Clark County’s board of elections said, “the American Revolution was fought for a reason.” Americans proved that they won’t be told by others what to do. Who can blame them?