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Now Boston know all about ‘us folks’

Well, we made it into the Boston Globe.

There it was, in the newspaper’s Saturday edition, a political piece datelined “Macclenny, Fla.”

When was the last time anyone in Boston saw that?

Globe reporter Michael Levenson spent some time last week roaming downtown collecting sentiments on this Tuesday’s GOP primary election.

His conclusion? Newt’s the man — at least in Baker County.


Mitt Romney won it last go-around, but Mr. Levenson wrote that things could change in 2012, what with Mr. Gingrich being from neighboring Georgia and taking a more “populist” line coming out of South Carolina.

Yours truly spoke with Mr. Levenson — nice guy. Like others who visit North Florida along the I-10 belt, he was intrigued to learn that we are, in truth, more “South Georgia” than Florida.

His article made the perfunctory code word references for his Bean Town audience, to wit: bass fishing, dirt-track auto racing, mounted head of a deer, Baptist and Pentecostal. And — this is a clincher — he noted that the television at Travis Barton’s barber shop was tuned to Fox News.

Yep, that’s us.

Mr. Levenson made reference to Mr. Romney’s Mormonism as a factor that may be driving Baker County Republicans to Newt’s camp — or for that matter toward Ron Paul or Rick Santorum, who were not mentioned in the article.

Maybe it is, but maybe we’ve also moved away from permitting a candidate’s religion to get in the way of other, more rational, considerations. After all,  Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Santorum are — gasp — Roman Catholics. There was a time that would have excluded them from many people’s ballots, and perhaps it still does.

The national media is so obsessed with this week’s Florida primary — not because they actually like any of the candidates — but because this state is so unique.

A guest on Fox News on primary eve (yes, I watch it faithfully and not just in barber shops) pointed out that Florida decides the nominee regardless of other factors like remaining contests. In the general election, both parties covet Florida like they do free dinners at posh Washington restaurants paid for by lobbyists.

The guest noted that North Florida reflects the political sentiments of the Deep South, while South Florida reflects those of the Deep North. The famed I-4 corridor from Daytona to Orlando and Tampa Bay is the true battleground.

And have you noticed that all candidates, state and national, eventually find their way to that mecca of the fancy golf carts —The Villages? The way to get a crowd there? Hand out free Viagra with those little American flags.

Of course, the national media nor anyone else believes we all feel the same way based on where we live in Florida. But the demographic as depicted in Mr. Levenson’s flash frame of Baker County is essentially on target.

From Jacksonville to the Alabama line, with the exception of Tallahassee and Gainesville, we’re pretty much the Cracker Belt.

Now the news is out, all over Boston.

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