One of Senator Barack Obama's successes in the election year thus far is the way he's altered the electoral map, extending the favorable field for the Democrats and cutting from 2004's Red State swath a new clutch of battleground states. Naturally, competing doesn't necessarily mean winning. Still: what is up in Nebraska? Could the Cornhusker State, which, like Maine, splits its electoral votes, yield a point for Obama's column? I wouldn't necessarily bet the remnants of your ravaged portfolio on the possibility. Even so, this recent "Omaha Dispatch" on Mother Jones' MoJoBlog raises eyebrows, if only for how deeply Obama's substantive talking points have penetrated:
My mom went out to take my toddler nephew for a stroller ride around the neighborhood, and I tagged along. We aimed for the playground and plopped him into the baby swing. Nearby, a group of elementary school kids was busy burying one of their own in the sand, and as I eavesdropped, the topic of politics somehow came up. An older boy with an American flag T-shirt seemed to issue a challenge to the younger kids, asking, "Aren't you for McCain?" A chorus of "no's" rose up. "McCain, yuck," one of them shouted, "Obama says he won't raise taxes on anybody making more than 250 million dollars!" "250 thousand," the older kid corrected. "Well, we don't make that much anyway," the younger one responded, "so it doesn't matter."