Do candidates understand us at all?
With only one debate down, presidential campaign fatigue has already set in.
In just a little more than a month, it will all be over — or should be, unless of course the whole thing winds up in a courtroom again.
Staying interested in the race is difficult for folks living in the Natchez-Adams County area. Our area’s vote, political experts say, is pretty much already set.
Almost certainly, Adams County will vote for the Democrat again. In this case, that means our area will support President Obama.
The county has been a blue county for years, and that probably won’t change anytime soon.
Beyond that, our small piece of the Mississippi electoral pie also doesn’t seem worthy of much note, the national political pundits say.
The nation’s focus — and the candidate’s attention and money — will pretty much only concentrate on the so-called swing states where high numbers of Electoral College votes are still up for grabs and the state’s voters have a high potential of being swayed one way or the other.
With each passing day each of the two men running for president seems a little less than ideal.
As much as the candidates try to relate to everyday Americans, neither man lives in a world even remotely close to the one average Americans call home.
Both President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are wealthy beyond what most Americans can fathom.
Imagine for a second what their lives would be like if they actually were just dropped into the Natchez area.
How would they fit in?
Would Obama be comfortable facing local doctors struggling with additional complications after Obama forced healthcare reform down the nation’s collective throat?
Could Romney relate to someone in line at the Malt Shop who has been unemployed for months and months?
It’s likely that both men would feel as much like a fish out of water as a rural Adams County farmer would at a White House state dinner.
But aside from a handful of third-party candidates who don’t have a remote chance of winning, one of these guys is going to be our nation’s leader.
What does Natchez-Adams County need from a president?
Lots of opinions certainly exist, but some things are pretty basic.
For our area to excel, we need less federal government regulation and uncertainty.
We need a national plan for energy independence. This may be the most important move to create jobs and get our economy kick-started again.
We need a leader who not only can put aside his personal political agenda to get some cooperation in Washington but also will actually do so. In recent years, the extreme partisan hatred has simply crippled our nation. It seems to be getting worse.
Finally, we need a president who can relate best to regular folks. Neither option appears to make high marks on that test — instead both men are the latest in a long line of national government leaders who have more in common with kings than the American citizens they supposedly represent.
Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or firstname.lastname@example.org.