One of the things that pleases me about the Huffington Post is that the over 300 contributors that Arianna has assembled don't all live in one or two cities. As someone who works in New York City and Washington but travels a fair bit around the country, I've found you can't understand American politics or culture without understanding and interacting with the more than 95% of our citizens who live outside the core of those two metropolitan areas.
In launching a discussion about the Democratic Party or foreign policy for this website it's useful that John Zogby is headquartered in his home town of Utica, N.Y, that Gary Hart lives in Colorado and that Norman Lear holds forth from Los Angeles. Let's hope less famous voices also pitch in and join the conversation.
All but of a few of the nation's major columnists and TV pundits live in the "Bos-Wash" corridor, the narrow, eight-state stretch of the Eastern Seaboard that runs from Boston to the nation's capital. It's an area of the country that gave Bill Clinton most of his 1996 eight-point victory margin and that sends 13 Democrats and only three Republicans to the Senate. In other words, in political terms it is largely out of sync with the rest of the country.
That's why so few of the pundits who live along this corridor -- I call them the Metroliner pundits -- sometimes understand why the rest of the country thinks the way it does. Perhaps the ongoing dialogue on this website can help close the gap in understanding and give everyone who reads this website -- regardless of where they live -- a better understanding of all our fellow Americans.