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Political Geography 101

An Elkhart Primer

By Garance Franke-Ruta

Population: 53,000 people in 16,000 residential units.

Unemployment rate: The unemployment rate in Elkhart County has more than tripled over the past year -- from 4.7 percent in December 2007 to 15.3 percent this past December, according to figures provided by the White House. The rate in the city of Elkhart is closer to 18 percent, according to the town's mayor.

"Everyone knows that with an 18 percent unemployment rate in the city of Elkhart, we need this stimulus package," Mayor Dick Moore told Bloomberg.

2008 presidential vote: Elkhart County cast the majority of its votes with Obama rival John McCain, who won 39,396 to 31,398, according to the Elkhart County Election Board. The city's mayor, Moore, is a Democrat, and Obama's performance represented a considerable improvement over that of the previous Democratic contender. In 2004, the Bush-Cheney ticket got 42,967 votes in Elkhart, to 17,966 for Kerry-Edwards.

Past Obama travel: Obama first visited Elkhart in May 2008 (read Post writer Shailagh Murray's pool report here) -- the first time a presidential candidate had swung through since Bobby Kennedy 40 years earlier -- then revisited it in August 2008 to give a speech.

Local industry: Known as the RV Capital of the World, Elkhart is heavily reliant on a manufacturing sector now in steep decline. The recreational vehicle and mobile home industry has been hit especially hard, thanks to high gas prices, the credit crunch, and declining disposable income over the past year. Companies sited in the City of Elkhart include: Bennington Marine, the Damon Corporation, Four Winds, Hy-Line, Keystone, Monaco, Skyline, Sun Valley, and Travel Supreme.

In October, The New York Times called the city "the white-hot center of the meltdown of the American economy" in the story, "As Industries Dry Up, Frustration and Despair."

Posted at 1:05 PM ET on Feb 9, 2009  | Category:  Political Geography 101
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Ironic that one of Elkhart's major industries, the RV industry, was hurt by the recent high gas prices. If 0bama and his ilk have their way, those high energy prices would be back to stay, further damaging the industry.

Posted by: NObama | February 9, 2009 3:04 PM

For the record, no modern-day President takes a VACATION (away from work) and we are in the worst catastrophe in American history! Off a cliff. Dark, darker, darkest. Mortal danger of absolute collapse. Armageddon.

Time to cut back on EVERYTHING!

Posted by: JakeD | February 9, 2009 1:56 PM

JakeD wrote: "How much did it cost to fly Obama, et al., to Indiana and back?"

Given the distance, probably about as much as it cost to fly GWB to Crawford each time he took one of his unprecedented number of vacations.

Posted by: nodebris | February 9, 2009 1:53 PM

ELKHART IS ALSO HOME TO SELMER BAND INSTRUMENTS...

...OR, AS THE ORIGINAL "MUSIC MAN" ONCE FAMOUSLY SAID:

"YA GOT TROUBLE, MY FRIENDS..."

********************************************

WHILE TEAM OBAMA IS PURPOSELY DISTRACTED
BY THE 'GENERATED' ECONOMIC CRISIS...

...IS HIS PRESIDENCY -- AND YOUR LIBERTY -- BEING COVERTLY STOLEN?

********************************************

EYES ONLY. TO: President Obama; MICHELLE OBAMA; VP Biden; R. Emanuel; D. Axelrod; D. Blair; J. Brennan; J. Jones; E. Holder; J. Napolitano; R. Gates; L. Panetta; H. Clinton; T. Geithner; R. Mueller; H. Reid; N. Pelosi; D. Feinstein; S. Reyes


RE: Credible reports of HUMAN/CIVIL RIGHTS ABUSES by the ongoing Bush-Cheney EXTRAJUDICIAL PUNISHMENT NETWORK...

...comprised of security/intel agents, local police nationwide, and citizen vigilantes fronted by government-funded community policing and anti-terrorism programs.


IT IS DAY 21 OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION.

DO YOU *REALLY* KNOW WHAT YOUR "MULTI-AGENCY ACTION CENTER" IS UP TO?

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-targets-terrorizes-u-s-citizens

http://my.nowpublic.com/world/domestic-torture-radiation-weaponry-americas-horrific-shame

OR (IF LINKS ARE CORRUPTED/DISABLED):

http://My.NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | February 9, 2009 1:27 PM

How much did it cost to fly Obama, et al., to Indiana and back?

Posted by: JakeD | February 9, 2009 1:17 PM

And Elkhart is in which state?

Posted by: itsdrew89 | February 9, 2009 1:13 PM

Posted by: JakeD | February 9, 2009 1:11 PM

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