This year's presidential campaign gives no sense of the candidates' roots, writes Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal. Clinton was clearly a Southerner, and JFK unmistakably an Irish Catholic from Massachusetts, but “Obama and McCain are not from a place, but from an experience”--Obama from “the town of Smooth in the state of Well-Educated” and McCain from the military.
As a country, “we are national now,” not local, Noonan writes. “Americans move,” as Navy brat McCain and the multicultural, multicontinental Obama did. "The lack of placeness with both candidates contributes to a sense of their disjointedness, their floatingness," Noonan laments. “I miss the old geographical vividness.”