2007-12-28 / On Second Thought

Thirty-something speaks

Noo grits in the White House
Mike Maddock

No grits in theWhite House

I'm excited about the arrival of 2008, but I'm not looking forward to the upcoming primaries and presidential election. It seems there is a minimum of Southern drawls and a smorgasbord of Yankee twangs in this election cycle.

Where did the good Southern presidential candidates go? Did we lose all credibility with Jimmy Carter? Are we still trying to shake that legacy? If we can dominate American Idol, is it so hard to imagine a presidential candidate from below the Mason- Dixon line? I know George Bush is a Texan, but I'm afraid I can't count any state that doesn't have a team in the Southeastern Conference. Don't bother reminding me Bill Clinton was from Arkansas. That was a southwestern conference school years ago, and I hear the Razorbacks are looking for an excuse to rejoin their buds from the SWC in the Big 12 anyway. And, yes, that rules out Mike Huckabee, too.

Fred Thompson is from Tennessee, but so is Al Gore. Does anybody really believe that guy is Southern? Besides, ol' Fred has spent too much time in Hollywood to be considered one of us anymore. I bet he doesn't even remember what a pork rind tastes like, much less a boiled peanut. He's been surrounded by so much tofu and sushi he couldn't tell grits from red- eye gravy. Hollywood can have that kind of effect on people.

I didn't forget about John Edwards. He was born in the Upstate of South Carolina and went to N.C. State and U.N.C. It doesn't get much more Southern than that, but the guy pays $400 a pop for a haircut. No self- respecting Southern man would pay that kind of money for any amount of grooming unless it came with a pair of Sugar Bowl tickets. So Edwards is disqualified.

So what does that leave us?

Barack Obama? I guess if he can get us to believe he's qualified to be president, then qualifying him as Southern- ish shouldn't be too big of a stretch. I don't know though. The last time we had a state legislator from Illinois in the White House it didn't work out too well for us down South.

Rudy Guiliani? Rudy really connected with us after 911, but he's still more New York than bagels and pin stripes.

Hillary Clinton? The only thing going south on her is her poll numbers. Plus, she gets an extra negative vote for trying to speak like us. I hadn't heard that bad of a fake Southern accent since Jessica Simpson donned a pair of cut- offs and pretended to be Daisy Duke.

John McCain? Anybody who spent that much time in a prisoner of war camp gets to be from anywhere he wants. If he says he's from the South, then I'm good with it. Still, I'm pretty sure his home state of Arizona is considered a part of Mexico now.

Mitt Romney? With a name like Mitt, he's got to have some Southerner in him...right? Wrong! This guy would stick out down South more than a Republican in Massachusetts.


So it's slim pickins for the Deep South in 2008. Looks like the White House is headed north next winter, or worse, back to Arkansas, and there's not much we can do about it. I just hope the South rises again in 2012.

Return to top