The crowd cheers for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on… (Reuters )
Basically every prognosticator agrees that Tuesday's presidential election will come down to who will win the 18 electoral votes from my home state of Ohio. Some rail at the silliness of this situation, but I love it. It makes an Ohioan feel like the Buckeye belle of the ball.
This weekend, first lady Michelle Obama was in my hometown of Gambier. The week before, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was in my grandparents' town of Kettering. And a few weeks before that, GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan visited my roommate's hometown of New Philadelphia. These people are basically just going up to every single person in the state, saying, "Uh, hey, will you vote for me? O-H!"
Since I am either related to or friends with nearly everyone in Ohio, I can offer the candidates some unique advice on how to win over the state and take the presidency.
For instance, President Obama, I recommend you take my uncle Andy and aunt Kim out for Graeter's ice cream (and no sorbets—I'm talking Signature Chip Flavors or better!). Romney, you can shell out some of that Bain money to take my uncle Dave for some Skyline Chili. Pair it with beer and Ohio State football.
Michelle Obama, you'll want to take my mom to Bob Evans for the biscuits and gravy, even though she'll protest at least three times before ordering and say she really shouldn't. Ann Romney, you should go see my cousins Kevin and Zach, who play baseball for Wittenberg University. I can't remember if they're still underage, but buy them a case of beer after the game anyway—they're growing boys.
Vice President Joe Biden, you'll want to head up north to Cleveland to see my friend Allison, who's getting married next week. This may be her last chance to fool around, and she's told me (in confidence!) that she thinks you're hot. And not even "old man hot," but just normal, she'd-make-out-in-a-bar-after-one-drink hot. (I know, this is a weird one, but a vote's a vote.)
Ryan, I highly recommend you go to Gahanna to debate my friend Dave about economics, religion and free will. If you win that one, you've got the election.
Now that I think about it, candidates, since this is only a fraction of my Ohio connections, maybe you just want to hire me as your all-purpose Ohio tour guide?
I could show you the drive-thru where my friend Ritesh and I used to buy Natty Light before we were 21 because he had an ID of a random Indian kid, and white people can't tell Indians apart.
Or I'll show you around Miami University, where my roommates and I devised a game called "We're Awesome" in which we drank beer and took turns throwing a cinder block over our heads. We did not measure how far the cinder block went or anything; the point was just to throw it and shout "I'm awesome!"
Or, if you want, we can head out on state Route 229 to the barn where I lost my virginity!
However, if you really want the secret to winning Ohio, here it is: Stop hurling invective at each other, and start spending your super PAC money running mudslinging ads about LeBron James—we're not even close to being over that.
RedEye special contributor Stephen Markley is the author of "The Great Dysmorphia" and "Publish This Book."
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