By Larry Kramer
On the night of the election, you could easily imagine the bumper stickers that would sprout -- "DON'T BLAME ME, I'M FROM D.C." Even if you close your eyes, you can still see that huge map of the United States behind Dan Rather. All of the states are lit up in blue except for Minnesota -- which doesn't really count -- and that little speck of light between Virginia and Maryland.
Yet as we today reaffirm the presidency of Ronald Reagan, there is something important that all of us from Washington should know.
We were not alone.
But for the quirks of our being a city-state, there would be an awful lot of people joining us in watching tomorrow's parade from the back row.
In fact, it's hard to find a core city in this country that didn't vote exactly the way we did. The only difference is that they were able to launder their votes through state totals.
It is a point that will likely be punctuated again and again during the current budget and tax restructuring debates.
Take Los Angeles, for example. Did the city that gave us Ronald Reagan vote for him? Not on your freeway: 503,393 Los Angeleans, or whatever they call themselves, voted for Walter Mondale. Only 404,232 pulled the lever for Ronald Reagan.
What about Middle America, you ask? While you are drinking the beer you brought with you instead of the champagne flowing at any of the hundreds of invitation-only balls and closed parties around town, stew on this: The home of Joe Six-Pack, Milwaukee, went for Mondale 179,733 to 101,371.
Then there are all those places with huge defense contractors, like the Seattle area. What with military spending back in vogue, they're just the kind of people who could put a dollar value on their vote for the GOP. But despite the fact that the executives for all those companies overcharging the Pentagon will be at all the right parties, those who voted for Reagan in the center city of Seattle were outnumbered by those who voted for Mondale 154,590 to 101,146.
There's always big business. Few regions in America have more corporate headquarters than Cleveland's. With the president's tax plan calling for big breaks to big business, you'd figure some of that would trickle down to the people of Cleveland. Wrong again, back bencher. Cleveland went for Mondale, 143,753 to 48,068.
Detroit. The auto industry has rebounded, for the moment at least, thanks, in part, to the tough trade policies of the Reagan administration. Yet Mondale won in the core city 322,394 to 76,291.
It's the same old story, center city after center city: CHICAGO Mondale 770,612 Reagan 409,114 CLEVELAND Mondale 143,753 Reagan 48,068 SEATTLE Mondale 154,590 Reagan 101,146 DENVER Mondale 110,200 Reagan 105,096 NEW ORLEANS Mondale 119,478 Reagan 86,316 WASHINGTON, D.C. Mondale 180,408 Reagan 29,009 MILWAUKEE Mondale 179,733 Reagan 101,371 DETROIT Mondale 322,394 Reagan 76,291 NEW YORK CITY Mondale 1,343,915 Reagan 852,317 BALTIMORE Mondale 186,000 Reagan 75,760 PHILADELPHIA Mondale 501,369 Reagan 267,178 LOS ANGELES Mondale 503,393 Reagan 404,232
They all went for Walter Mondale. But none had to watch their name flash on Dan Rather's wallmap.