A historian previews the election

October 8, 2008
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Jerry Handfield hasnâ??t lived in Indiana since 2001, when he moved to Washington to take a similar job overseeing that stateâ??s archives.

But Handfield still keeps tabs on Indiana. So much so that he checks the Weather Channel when tornadoes rip through the Midwest, hoping a storage site on Indianapolisâ?? east side isnâ??t hit. The former RCA record manufacturing plant near 30th Street and Shadeland Avenue, where copies of the state constitution and other critical documents are stored, is no match for a tornado, he fears.

As a student of Indiana, the historian predicts the state will tilt toward Barack Obama come election day.

Economic conditions are so bad, particularly for workers tied to Detroitâ??s auto industry, that voters will overlook their characteristically conservative patterns and go for the liberal-leaning Obama, Handfield says.

Come Nov. 5, the day after the election, â??The surprise theyâ??ll see is how many people actually voted for serious change in leadership,â?? he says.

Is Handfield a Democrat promoting Obama? No, he says.

Handfield, who serves at the pleasure of both Republicans and Democrats, has taken pains to avoid a party affiliation, and has voted for presidential candidates in each party, including the Republican currently occupying the office. He worked for Democratic candidate George McGovern because he knew him from school, but still considers Eisenhower a personal hero.

So, how do you feel? Polls show the race between Obama and John McCain is too close to call. Which direction will Hoosiers take?
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  • with Indiana being down the line, I am placing my money on black and not on red. Oh, this is not roulette, but is Politics? Well, I still stand by my bet placement even though I am a regestered as Independant.
  • I fear for this country no matter which one of these candidates wins.
  • I have never voted along party lines. Rather, I have always performed due diligence with the candidates by researching their backgrounds, beliefs, work history, etc. I have always looked for the candidate I honestly believed was the best person for the nation. And that is who got my vote. I dearly hope that Hoosiers take a long, strong look at this election's candidates and vote honestly for the one that will serve the nation the best. Unfortunately, I've run into some folks locally who are rabid party believers and will vote for that party's candidate, regardless of qualifications or ability to better serve the nation. Sad.
  • I am an independant myself and find it hard to believe that so many people could possibly vote against logic! In my modest 40-something-odd years, I have witnessed many sways in the direction of this country. I hate to point blame at anyone, but it seems to me the fiscal policies of the GOP to be out-moded and not really appropriate for this period in the history of the world.

    Admittedly, the Dems haven't truly done their jobs right all the time either, but looking at an economy like we have now, this Tricle-Down Economics thing just doesn't seem to work.

    I would put my faith in the candidate who would change the fundamentals of the economy on a whole... Let's get away from the rich getting richer / poor getting poorer tack and bridge the divide in wealth between Americans.

    I think the Mr. Handfield is probably correct in that people are going to vote for serious change from the current road we're on.
  • The big upset of the day will be Mitch losing out to Jill L-T.
  • Whoever pledges to recind the Patriot act and restore our personal freedoms that it took away.
  • McCain will win Indiana. It will be one of only 5 states he will win. Hoosiers are out of touch as usual. Pull the Republican lever I say. Do what you always do. Pull that lever and follow the cow bell.
  • Wow. McCain was just so freaking ANGRY up there tonight. I mean real angry. Obama got the best of him, just by keeping his cool, and looking into the camera, and acting respectful. McCain did none of that. Crap, I thought the guy was gonna explode he was so ANGRY.

    Nope, IN goes Obama. The GOTV will ensure that. Well, that and Rudy Clay. :lol:
  • That's McCain's message. He is going to fight for the middle class. By giving big tax breaks to business, then the business owners will give the middle class more jobs, better health care, better education, and better retirement. He's a smart guy. I trust my employer to take care of me. Doesn't everyone?
  • I am hoping Indiana will go blue this year. This state certainly owes it to Senator Obama considering he is the reason Indiana is getting some respect from the political world. If Indiana goes red, it is due to the lack of independent mindsets and a general complacency of the people in this state.
  • I'm a little troubled that people seem to think that what we have is a result of trickle down economics.

    I came of voting age when Reagan presented trickle down economics, and I can tell you that it DID work.

    There have been three presidents since then, and all have modified the original premise, and decimated the true trickle down effect. Yet all still claim that 'trickle down' is in effect today, when it is not !
  • 10% gap and mcain isn't bothering to visit indiana?
  • Just Me, please understand this simple concept. I too was raised in the Reagan era and remember him presenting trickle down economics I also remember several people saying it wouldn't work. Now keep in mind first, that it was INTRODUCED in the Reagan years, which meant that it would not reach the point of anyone knowing for sure if it worked until several years later.

    The Clinton administration did alot to enhance the concept, (after inheriting, once again, a national defecit) by placing safeguards and other checks and balances, basically morphing it into what I wouldn't exactly call the original trickle down concept.

    Then the current Bush administrtion revived it and removed the safeguards the Clinton Administration put on the system. Now we see that while maybe the concept works on paper, or quazi-worked 20 years ago, it doesn't work now or when you have greedy people in control of it. I can't for one moment think that the same people in the GOP now wouldn't continue to try to get away with what they've been doing to this economy for the last 7 years.

    So basically, yeah, we're in a train wreck and I certainly wouldn't want the engineer or anyone who works with him or for him to drive the next train home.

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  1. I think the poster was being sarcastic and only posting or making fun of what is usually posted on here about anything being built in BR or d'town for that matter.

  2. Great news IRL fans: TURBO the IMS sanctioned movie about slugs running the Indy 500 has caught the Securities and Exchange Commission because Dreamworks had to take a $132MILLION write down...because the movie was such a flop. See, the Indy/IMS magic soiled another pair of drawers. Bwahahahahahaha! How's CARTOWN doing? HAHAHAHA...Indy is for losers.

  3. So disappointed in WIBC. This is the last straw to lose a good local morning program. I used to be able to rely on WIBC to give me good local information, news, weather and traffic on my 45 minute commute.Two incidents when I needed local, accurate information regarding severe weather were the first signs I could not now rely on WIBC. I work weekend 12 hour nights for a downtown hospital. This past winter when we had the worst snowfall in my 50 years of life, I came home on a Sunday morning, went to sleep (because I was to go back in Sunday night for another 12 hour shift), and woke up around 1 p.m. to a house with no electricity. I keep an old battery powered radio around and turned on WIBC to see what was going on with the winter storm and the roads and the power outage. Sigh. Only policital stuff. Not even a break in to update on the winter storm warning. The second weather incident occurred when I was driving home during a severe thunderstorm a few months ago. I had already gotten a call from my husband that a tornado warning was just southwest of where I had been. I turned to WIBC to find out what direction the storm was headed so I could figure out a route home, only to find Rush on the air, and again, no breaking away from this stupidity to give me information. Thank God for my phone, which gave me the warning that I was driving in an area where a tornado was seen. Thanks for nothing WIBC. Good luck to you, Steve! We need more of you and not the politics of hatred that WIBC wants to shove at us. Good thing I have Satellite radio.

  4. I read the retail roundup article and tried Burritos and Beers tonight. I'm glad I did, for the food was great. Fresh authentic Mexican food. Great seasoning on the carne asada. A must try!!! Thanks for sharing.

  5. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...

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