Somewhere, over the rainbow, a blog is born. A blog for Kansas. A blog for America. A blog by a reporter with a difficult-to-pronounce last name. But most importantly, a blog that is AMERICA'S ONLY PLACE dedicated to the vital intersection of politics and Sunflowers. The Heartland gods nod in wise approval.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Introducing "The Cabbie Project"

Continuing the anthropological imperative of this Web space, coming in from the hotel this morning I engaged yet another  cab driver in political conversation. A previous conversation was reported here, and this one was no less fruitful. In this case, the subject -- a man who appeared to be in his mid-30s, with tendencies toward Classic Rock stations and random comments on the Boston Red Sox, said the only politicians he trusts are Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura. "I've been in Boston too long to like John Kerry," he said. "And Bush, he's lying to us."

Arnie and "The Body," on the other hand, are fonts of authenticity, according to this man. "I like the way Arnold got elected and started all that trouble in California," the cabbie said. "Jesse always told it like it is. I'd vote for either of those guys."

Unlike my previous cabbie conversation, I took notes this time, and after four days in Boston I'm coming to the conclusion that cab drivers may actually yield more insight into the American political mind than the Democratic National Convention. As a result, I'd like to launch a massive study into their insights between now and Election Day. Since this blog appears to have a national audience, I'm hereby asking all readers to e-mail me any and all political conversations they have with cab drivers across America in an effort to understand the heretofore-unexplored nuances of what could be one of our nation's most influential occupational groups. Insights gleaned from "The Cabbie Project" will be reported in this space, with credit given where appropriate.

Please, no Jack Kelley or Jayson Blair fabulations. Cab drivers may be the sleeper swing vote that sways the election, and we mustn't taint the data. I expect numerous talk-show invites and solicitations from both major political parties (Green and Constitution) as the result of this, but I won't let that lessen my commitment to the integrity of the political process. Thank you, and please join me -- together, we and the cabbies can help America fare better.