For better or worse, Stark County, Ohio is where I live.
Unfortunately for us, Stark county, is also one of the biggest focuses for both presidential candidates. It will be nice to watch TV and see a commercial - ANY commercial - other than a campaign ad. Campaign ads here are insane - back-to-back-to-back. Radio, television, billboards, campaigns, yard signs, make it go away!
Anyway, following is a collection of quotes from around the world about my humble home.
After reading them, I asked myself (not that I don't every day anyway) why I live here. I grew up here. I was fortunate enough to get away. I came back. Although, I lived in Allentown, PA for a couple of years - that wasn't much better.
Stark County is 576 square miles of rolling farmland, dingy brick smokestacks and mills, and suburbs dotted with Starbucks and Pier 1 Imports.
-- Adam Smith, St. Petersburg Times
The towering red brick chimney at the heart of this town casts a shadow so long it reaches all the way to the White House.
-- Roland Watson, Times of London
Stark County came by its status honestly. Its 576 square miles span cornfields, steel plants, suburbs and slums.
It couldn't be anywhere in America -- its plains are too plain to be anywhere other than the Midwest -- but with the exception of Latinos, it has a proportionate piece of everything and everybody.
-- Guardian Unlimited
My sense here, for what it's worth in Stark County, Ohio -- it's a "God, guts and country" kind of place.
-- Bill Steigerwald, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
As practiced in Washington, politics has devolved into an us vs. them battle of Red and Blue. But Stark County remains Full Purple: a place where party labels do not count for much, and where voters -- many of them independents -- chose leaders based on their character.
-- Howard Fineman, Newsweek
I spent time in Stark County recently, and here is what I can tell you about the people I met and interviewed there. They are not ideological, they are practical. They are always hopeful, but not starry-eyed. They are religious, without being showy about it. They love high-school football, hard tackling -- and winning. But they love the game more for what it says about them -- that they are a proud community -- and what it reveals about the inner character of the people who play it. They aren't resentful by nature, or jealous of other people's wealth. They merely want what is rightfully theirs.
-- Howard Fineman, MSNBC
Atop the clock tower of Stark County's courthouse, four gilded angels look across the rolling landscape south of Cleveland. Come Nov. 2, whether they'll be blaring forth in procedural triumph or civic alarm remains to be seen.
-- Cragg Hines, Houston Chronicle
In Canton, a city of strip malls and caved-in porch roofs, where thrift shops thrive and people live in houses that cluster together over neglected lawns, voters appear to be split almost evenly.
-- Anna Badkhen, San Francisco Chronicle
This steel city reverberated with the spirit of fight-back against corporate abuse and the politicians who front for them, on March 15. One hundred fifty steelworkers, families and friends rallied in front of Canton City Council for jobs and to save their pensions. Chants of "Bush Must Go!" echoed through the streets.
-- People's Weekly World newspaper
There's a distinct feeling in the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame that the global economy's playing field has become decidedly uneven.
-- John McCormick, Chicago Tribune
Stark County, about an hour's drive south of Cleveland in eastern Ohio, covers 1,500 square kilometres of rolling farmland, industrial blight and sprawling suburbs of newly built homes and strip malls. It is also socially conservative, deeply religious and hooked on football.
-- Barrie McKenna, Toronto Globe and Mail
Americans unlucky enough to live in Canton, Ohio, will be seeing a lot of President Bush and John Kerry in the next eight weeks.
-- Gerard Baker, Times Online UK