Last night, it struck me - quite forcefully: I have to actually decide which candidate will get my vote in May.
I've been following the election, obviously, but it's been largely with the slightly detached and disinterested eye of someone who will have to teach it one of these days. Oh, I would go to the polls in May and squint at the silly electronic screens, but I would do it simply because I can rather than because it would have any meaning in the long term vis a vis the selection of a candidate. Surely by May the race would be down to one person for each ticket...
Apparently Indiana is going to be a big battleground state for Obama and Clinton. Indiana? Who would have thought it??! I am stunned. Chelsea Clinton did a big university speaking tour here and Bill has been spotted all over the place. Meanwhile I saw the first ad I think I have EVER seen in all of my years living in Indiana for a presidential candidate during primary season (Obama.)
In all honesty, I am not wild about either of my options - Obama and Clinton both bring odd bits of baggage and their own myopic views and weaknesses. Both seem to be quite passionate about public service and to truly believe that change is actually possible. Whichever way I vote, it will be a historic vote as cast by moi. I am only one citizen but damnit, that's the point.
(No, McCain isn't an option. His embrace of GWB creates serious problems in my mind, not to mention that we disagree on some issues that are of vital importance to me as a voter. I might have voted for him in 2000, but not in 2008.)
So anyway, I am slowly shifting from detached cynicism to trying to make a decision. I'm trying to weed out the "I landed upder sniper fire" and "he's a Muslim" stories and actually pare down to their ideas, their ability to connect with others and their overall enthusiasm.
If nothing else, "Hillary" "Barack" and "John" all pass my "Prayers of the People" test.