My lawd! Peter Boyer On Point.
I haven't read the article yet, and I'm not sure I need to now, though I definitely want to. Boyer did his nuanced reading of regional, rhetorical and ideological election politics in the US well, in this forum.
He did what a smart talk show guest should do, but rarely does - bypass the host and ask questions directly of other guests. In this case, he asked Dr. Richard Land (President of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission) whether Southern voters saw Fred Thompson as a viable candidate and why.
He also did Tom Ashbrook one better, and when Ashbrook ignored one of his nuttier callers (he often does this) Boyer went out of his way to place her comments in a meaningful contexts - she was going on about US "sovereignty" and NAFTA and Boyer explained that she was a right-wing isolationist and gave a little perspective on that.
The callers were an interesting mix of New Yorkers, ex-New Yorkers and South Carolinians. These On Points become podcasts, right? You should listen.
The oddest part, though, was all the herding tomcats, making hay, fleas off a dead dog, neck of the woods folksy-ness. Each and every one of these phrases was used, and re-used in the first half hour, I swear. You could hear Boyer's accent, too, in phrases like "all that," "stuff" and "this is the guy."
At the beginning of the second half hour Tom Ashbrook identified Boyer as a "native of Mississippi."
The consensus on Boyer's article: there is none. Somewhere between "TMI," says newyorkette, and "Old Hat," says The Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine's blog. Hm.