In The Presidential Election of 1896, Stanley L. Jones opens his discussion of Republican presidential candidate William McKinley of Ohio with a description that I found both startling and amusing:
William McKinley had devoted his career to tariff protection with a singular concentration. It was literally true that he knew nothing else, that the issues of money and banking, foreign policy, and so on, were largely mysterious to him. His speeches, besides the repetitious discussion of tariff problems, were decorated with references to patriotism and Americanism, which he correlated with the tariff and the care of Civil War veterans. . . . His intellectual interests were narrow and provincial. He did not read books; he did not travel except when politics required it; he did not correspond with or make any special attempts to meet personally the intelligent or creative minds of his day. He was self consciously of the Middle West and did not like the East or its politicians.