What a difference a year makes. It was only 11 months ago that residents of Ohio thought President Obama would never leave them alone. He was there, it seemed, almost every week, asking their deepest thoughts, sharing long bus rides, chatting at ice-cream socials, and even downing a few beers in a pub.
Twenty-two trips spanning 25 days, Obama was there — more than he was in any other state.
But now? A mere two visits in 2013 — quick in-and-out trips with a commencement speech and a visit to a steel mill. No overnight stays. No ice cream, no cheeseburgers, no Bud Light.
Ohioans, and residents of other election battleground states, have had these flings before. Every four years it is a different suitor, and 2013 was the collective morning after.
All nine of Campaign 2012's hotly contested states — Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin, Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, and New Hampshire — went from seeing Obama for 137 days in 2012 to only 19 days this year. Some of those states, including Iowa and New Hampshire, have scored not even one visit in 2013.
In fact, the whole country has seen less of the president. Last year, Obama spent 178 days outside Washington. This year, through Thanksgiving, he has spent only 94 days out of town.