Thursday, January 17, 2008
The Face Behind the Name
-- Joe Johns, 360 Correspondent

I used to work in the Carolinas -- Charlotte actually -- which is close enough to the South Carolina state line that I made it down to Columbia, Charleston, and the low country fairly often.

Strom Thurmond was the first Carolina Senator I ever interviewed. I remember meeting him in Florence or somesuch on a hot summer day with gnats flying around our heads, trying to figure out what I thought about him. Back then I don't remember all the excitement about presidential politics.

Now though, Sen. Thurmond is gone and this presidential primary has become a national rite of passage on the road to the White House.

So much gets made of the dirty politics here. But the 30,000 foot view for me is that people here are straight talking, no nonsense. They want to hear the real deal about their politicians.

That may be why things can get so rough here. They don't always buy the blow-dried focus group tested images of politicians that get exported from Washington. Maybe folks in the Carolinas want to know the real person behind the name on ballot.

Reporter's hunch.

Editor's note: WATCH Joe Johns talks to Sen. John McCain about dirty politics
Posted By CNN: 10:47 PM ET
  2 Comments
You're right Joe. Folks in the South, especially in rural areas want plain talk. Not that plain talk can't be sophisticated and deep. But they don't like double talk and that's all we seem to be getting from washington lately.
Posted By Anonymous Adam S, Brentwood, Tn. : 11:55 PM ET
Joe,
I think all people want to get to know the real person behind the persona that these candidates put out. The trick is actually getting them to show it!

Cynthia, Covington, Ga.
Posted By Blogger Cindy : 9:56 AM ET
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