The debate may never be settled: Missouree or Missouruh?
“In Missouri, a perennial swing state with a deeply divided electorate, it has long been one of the politically delicate calculations a candidate can make,” was the lede of New York Times reporter Sarah Wheaton’s front-page story today about the way to pronounce the name of the State of Missouri.
“The question is not what position to take on abortion, economic stimulus or health care, though those issues have all proved thorny enough. It is how to pronounce the state name: “Missouree” or “Missouruh.”’
Wheaton does a remarkable job noting how the battle over how to pronounce the state’s name continues today and will likely go on for future generations.
A few highlights from her story:
* Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat who is running for re-election, has endured accusations of flip-flopping for using both phrasings at a virtual one-to-one ratio, sometimes in the same sentences, a trait that prompted a former spokesman to call him “oratorically ambidextrous.”
* Sen. Claire McCaskill seems to go both ways as does her opponent Todd Akin.
* Mitt Romney says “Missouree” while President Obama says “Missouruh.”
* “Popular belief holds that the southern half of the state is “Missourah,” with Highway 70 serving as a sort of Mason-Dixon line, and still others contend that “Missouree” is city, “Missouruh” is country,” wrote Wheaton.
* Kansas City Democratic consultant Steve Glorioso is quoted in the story saying he tells candidates to switch depending on the audience; KC Republican consultant recommends, “Stay safe and say Missouruh.”