The Politics Of Identity

This column was written by CBS News Early Show Co-Anchor Harry Smith.
So where do you live exactly?

Political campaigns are much about identity and projection. Whose vision of the country best matches our own?

Can you run the imaginary movie of candidate X or Y in the White House? Are there two different Americas?

John McCain's and Barack Obama's, or are they one and the same or at least part of the same whole.

Senator Obama's primetime infomercial was less about pitch (as in sales pitch), than it was about pitch or tone (as in trying to strike the right note).

As in, I hear where you're coming from.

In contrast, without the advantage of the money and primetime access, John McCain continued to echo a familiar refrain. He's angry. He's a fighter.

The raw nerve of betrayal so many Americans have felt since the Wall Street bailout plays right into McCain's theme of I'm not like those other Washington guys.

Whose America do you live in? Or can't you decide?
  • CBSNews

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