For American voters, it’s all about change. In Barack Obama’s advertising, it sometimes seems as if every other word is “change.” Meanwhile, John McCain is playing catch-up, trying to persuade voters that he is the real candidate for change.

“Change… change… change…” The mantra is repeated so often that you would expect the candidates to become embarrassed at the absence of more nuanced ideas.

In state and local elections, there is less talk about change. Which is weird when you think about it. It’s not as if state voters are happy with how their business is being conducted. State and local governments are coming unstuck, and everyone knows it.

Here’s my Sunday column, written after listening to hometown candidates who seem content to pretend that everything is OK.