Walter Kirn, a native Ohioan, argues brilliantly that it does not:
Human beings of vision and vitality will do almost anything to leave Ohio. This urge has benefited America’s space program. John Glenn got as far from Ohio as he could. Neil Armstrong, with better technology, got further...In fact, the only extraordinary individuals who rush toward Ohio, and not away from it, are presidential candidates...
...If Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have succeeded in making the state’s residents feel wise and important and special, like agents of fate, it cannot have been easy. The Ohioans I know (mostly uncles and cousins), understand as though born to such knowledge that their existences are bound by the mall, the municipal baseball field, the turnpike toll both, and the finished basement. Quite a few of them are smokers who can’t quit. Others are golfers who only use rented clubs. Few would count themselves worthy of selecting, with a little advice from their neighbors and the assistance of scattered TV ads glimpsed in sports bars, the leader of the free world.
But Ohioans like my relatives are the ones to whom we’ve given the job. Or at least they’re the ones we’ve passively left it to, which seems more accurate, since neither I nor anyone I know recalls explicitly assigning Ohio responsibility for creating the future. Indeed, I’m surprised that they’ve complied. It’s a burden a lot of them could do without, I bet. It cuts into their bass fishing, for one thing, and takes time away from hosing out their truck beds and packing up their Halloween decorations. Studying the issues—what a hassle. Especially when you’re late going online to order tickets for the Buckeyes-Wolverines game.
Read the whole thing.