HEMPSTEAD, N.Y.—”I enter New York City the same as I would enter the D.M.Z. in Vietnam, with much trepidation and caution,” said Jim Wilson, a Vietnam veteran and Mitt Romney die-hard, who has logged hundreds of thousands of miles following his preferred candidate across the country.
“I do not understand that environment. I do not feel comfortable there, and yes, I do carry a knife. They throw vegetables at the truck.”
Wilson, in shorts and knee-high white socks, was smoking a pipe and already packing up his white Chevy Silverado for the next journey, even before Tuesday night’s presidential debate had officially begun. He said he had driven through Manhattan, but scoffed at the idea he might have stopped off on his way to Hempstead.
“Kiss my ass, I didn’t stop in that dump,” he said. “I thought one time when the traffic was backed up, which it always is, I saw an American there. Turns out he was Jamaican with a white mask on.”
Much was made of the presidential debates straying to a non-swing state, but the version of New York presented to the hundreds of visitors and press was a particular slice of Long Island, the hermetically sealed campus of Hofstra University, not at all the “dump” Wilson fears so much.