So, who was surprised by the outcome of the Iowa Caucus?
First, let me say this: I really have no understanding whatsoever of what the Iowa Caucus is or how it works. And, I haven't really made much of an effort to gain said understanding. I've heard explanations ranging from "it's just their priimary" to "everyone sits in a room until one person convinces everyone else." And as to why it's so important and news-worthy, well, those answers have included "because they're always right," but also, "just because they're first."
Last night at dinner, I decided it was time for me to do some research on the subject -- i.e., ask Todd. To my surprise, he couldn't tell me much. His confessed, "there have been some stories on NPR, but every time they come on I kind of tune out."
Anyway, the sum total of my knowledge about this is that Obama won, Edwards was second, and Clinton third. And now I have to consider, who the heck do I intend to vote for? For me, the short answer is this: whoever wins the Democratic primary gets my vote for President. It's that simple. If a Republican wins, I'm going to have to move to Canada, and it's going to be really hard for me to find a job there, so I'm voting for the Democrat.
But between these three candidates? Man, that's a tough one. None inspires the blind loyalty that I enjoyed giving to Clinton -- Bill, that is. None makes me as excited as Howard Dean did back in the day. I'm just beat down.
Interestingly enough, in the last presidential election, when I was all gung-ho Howard Dean, Todd was acting as the voice of reason, talking about how we need someone electable, how we shouldn't go for someone "on the fringe." Kerry wasn't his first choice, but he was a much stronger supporter for him than I was.
When John Yarmuth ran for Congress last year, I slapped a yard sign in front of our house lickety-split, while Todd smiled indulgently. You really couldn't get more "on the fringe" than Yarmuth.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the Northup victory party. Yarmuth won. He kicked her high-falutin' Republican ass. And suddenly, the "fringe" was heading to Washington.
I think in a way, this restored the faith of a lot of down-trodden Democrats who were trying to convince themselves that the Kerry types were all we could ever expect to win an election. There are still, however, some Democrats like me. Democrats who were happily hanging out on the fringe for years, ever-hopeful that the people of the United States would finally do the right thing. Democrats who were eternally disappointed when it didn't happen.
I want to be excited about this election. I WANT to throw myself into it, behind one of three great candidates. But I can't stop myself from that feeling. That feeling that I'm going to find myself in the same spot I was for the last Presidential election -- sitting on my couch with a bottle of vodka in front of me, drowning my sorrows and preparing for the morning-after with a stash of migraine pills. And I am SO not kidding about the Canada thing.
Oh, and there's always the fact that I live in a Red state, and as long as we have the outdated electoral college system, I could write in Buffy the Vampire Slayer for President, and it wouldn't matter beans.
Hey! There's someone I can get behind! Holy crap, yeah -- Buffy for freakin' President!