To the point week of 04-17-08


I WAS SURFING THE WEB recently when I ventured through the Associated Press site. One of the “teaser” headlines on the main page attracted my attention: “Obama grabs lead in key state, polls says.”

Wondering which key state the AP was talking about, I clicked in – and to my surprise, the story was talking about Indiana, where the Illinois Senator was holding a five percentage point lead over New York Senator Hillary Clinton.

Now, before you begin to debate whether Obama or Clinton is the better candidate – either to defeat John McCain or to lose to him in November – I hope you stopped on the same word that I did.

The Associated Press called Indiana a “Key” state.




I never thought of us being “key” before. Up to now we’ve been the home state of just one President, Benjamin Harrison, who was mostly known for giving the shortest inaugural address in history.


Because his grandfather, William Henry Harrison, was also elected President, and he gave the longest inaugural speech in Presidential history. It was extremely cold on that inaugural day, but President Harrison refused to wear an overcoat and hat.

Because he refused to bundle up, he got pneumonia and died after just one month in office.

Benjamin was smart enough to keep it short and get in out of the cold.

Now, Indiana is again key, because the tight race among the two Democratic candidates means that every state is important. It means that every primary leads to more delegates. Each and every state is closely contested, and in Indiana, where political experts claim that demographics favor Hillary Clinton, polls showing Obama ahead could mean a shake up on the political landscape.

My question is: why would anyone answering a poll give an honest opinion?

I mean, they call in the middle of your supper and they want just five minutes of your time, but that turns into an hour as they drone on and one asking what seems to be the same question over and over again.

The fun part for you? Tell them the complete opposite of what you’re really thinking.

Tell them you’re in favor of global warming and you’re “bitter”, too. That should throw the political spectrum into disarray.

Wait….On second thought….if we mess with them, we may not be “key” anymore.

And we need to remain “key”.

After all, there may be a key position coming with our key state status.

As John McCain continues to look to the Republican convention, he is also looking for potential vice presidential candidates. One of those possibilities is Indiana Congressman Mike Pence.

If Hillary Clinton gets the Democratic nomination, one of the potential vice presidential candidates on her list is Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, who tried unsuccessfully to run for President, and now firmly supports the New York Senator.

If Barack Obama wins, we’re probably out of luck.

Now Mike Pence was a college fraternity brother of mine, and I firmly believe that he will be President some day. I’ve believed that since I was living down the hall from him for two years.

If Evan Bayh becomes Vice President, you would have to believe that he would have the opportunity to help shape international policy, having the experience of serving as Indiana Governor for eight years.

The next step after serving as Vice President would be to hold the top office, so maybe our state is four or eight years away from our next Benjamin Harrison.

That would certainly make us “key”.

But enough of futuristic dreams, for now I’ll simply bask in the limelight that is our upcoming primary election.

It’s “key”, after all.