From the Washington Post:
DECATURVILLE, Tenn. — Ricky Mullins was sitting in his granddad’s living room, watching the World Series, when the station cut to commercial and his face popped up on the TV. There was a sign that said “Crafted with pride in U.S.A.,” and then there was Ricky, his head cocked, telling the camera, “That sign means nothing, really — not if the government’s going to take it away from you.”
It was 1992, and Mullins was a star of a campaign ad, cut by presidential candidate Bill Clinton, that lamented the closing of the textile mill where Mullins and hundreds of other residents of this rural Tennessee town had worked. Production from the factory had moved to El Salvador, the ad said, and President George H.W. Bush was to blame for the policies that let it happen. Clinton, the narrator concluded, was “ready to invest in America.”
Today, though, all traces of the Decaturville Sportswear plant, which once employed some 1,500 locals, have vanished, and nothing comparable has replaced it. The unemployment rate is higher in Decatur County now than it was when Clinton took office. One out of every four residents uses food stamps.
Now another Clinton is running for president, offering more promises to revitalize the country and lift downtrodden workers. Where her husband kindled hope, Hillary Rodham Clinton will find cynicism and skepticism — an abiding sense among many blue-collar workers that no one in Washington can or will do anything to soothe the economic struggles that came after Bill Clinton and sometimes were caused by his policies.
Read the rest of the story here.