Candidates Lack 'Placeness': Noonan

Neither McCain or Obama has strong ties to any one location
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Aug 15, 2008 1:17 PM CDT
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., gets on the plane in Chicago Friday, Aug. 8, 2008, for a vacation to Hawaii.    (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – 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.”