My friends in Florida tell me they’re getting dozens of love letters from Romney and Obama. They can have coffee or attend rallies with their political paramours at their leisure. Being smothered with affection by competing suitors makes them feel: Special. Needed. Adored.
But in recent years, Missourians are among the jilted when it comes to presidential politics. Why? Could it be because we are predictable, aloof, and electorally dull, while states like Florida, Ohio and Virginia are alluring and flirtatious? Wily voters in those swing states know how to sport that ‘come-hither’ look that attracts candidates to spend millions to court their favor.
Did you read in the Washington Post about the little town of Lineville, Missouri, that’s split geographically down the middle, half in Missouri and half in Iowa? One side of the town has its mailboxes filled with political love notes and their front porches overrun with smiley-faced, solicitous youth; the other side is spurned like an abandoned mistress.
Yes, in Missouri we’re missing out on the action and it’s not just a lovelorn issue, it’s an economic one. Millions of dollars are being spent elsewhere during national elections, but because we are so predictably red, the GOP takes our ten electoral votes for granted.
Missouri needs to be more wooable. Karl Rove and the Koch brothers are lavishing their affection on other states, but counting on their conservative charm to keep Missouri voters in tow. Obama, too, is putting his campaign dollars to work in more promising venues.
Like a cheap date; Missouri is just too easy. We need to play a little harder to get—yet available. At least, wink at the pollsters to let them know we’re open to political sweet talk. Like Mae West, Missouri should insist that her suitors “come up and see me sometime.”