These are the variations on the theme collected at Wikiquote:
The first variant, with its specificity and its qualification of rural PA as "Alabama without the blacks" has the truest ring to it even though I wasn't familiar with that version. Alabama with its African-American population would, of course, give Obama an absolute landslide.
- Between Paoli (one of Philadelphia's westernmost suburbs) and Penn Hills (one of Pittsburgh's easternmost suburbs), Pennsylvania is Alabama without the blacks. They didn't film "The Deerhunter" there for nothing -- the state has the second-highest concentration of NRA members, behind Texas.
- Pennsylvania is Pittsburgh on one end, Philadelphia on the other, and Alabama in between. (Alternate)
- Pennsylvania is Pittsburgh and Philadelphia with Alabama stuffed between them. (Alternate)
- During the 1992 presidential campaign, Democratic political consultant James Carville described Pennsylvania as "Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, with Alabama in between."
- Pennsylvania is "two cities separated by Alabama."
I'm a native of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia is my birthplace and was my home for the first eight years of my life; before that, eight generations of my father's family lived toward that maligned center of the state (my unusual last name is almost common in the Lancaster, Gettysburg, and Harrisburg area). There's nothing I want more than to have the good people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania -- not just those in the Steel City and the City of Brotherly Love -- prove that the politics of racial division don't work anymore. I want my home state surprising the rest of the country with a resounding victory for Obama that effectively ends this primary campaign. If my bumper stickers ever arrive from the BarackObama.com store (the demand is very high), I'll slap them on the back of my car just to drive back and forth along the Pennsylvania Turnpike.