I came to this decision the night before last, after watching Obama's South Carolina victory speech on YouTube. (Thankfully it was before I read anything about Edwards dropping out—psychologically, I'm glad I made a choice among three and not between two, even though in practical terms the distinction is meaningless.)
...and I still haven't made up my mind. The other day I was reduced to telling someone that I had thought about voting for Edwards, but now I was leaning toward Obama. Or Clinton. Or Obama. Or Clinton. Or maybe Edwards.
I've never been undecided this close to election day before.
Then again, I've never been making a choice that felt this important before, either—nor, with the exception of my very first presidential election, in 1992 (before the Bill Clinton of the campaign became the Bill Clinton of "don't ask, don't tell" and "end[ing] welfare as we know it"), have I cast a vote without a) a sigh of resignation that I'd picked the lesser of the evils or b) a sigh of resignation that I was doomed to a protest vote yet again. (And since Kucinich just dropped out, I don't even have the protest vote option this time around.)
No, this time I've got to make an actual difficult and potentially meaningful decision. And each candidate actually has something really exciting to recommend hir: fiery populist rhetoric; seriously inspiring charisma; a raft of plans for healthcare, the environment, the war; or some combination of the above. I'm going to be (dare I say it) pretty happy to vote for whichever one ends up in the general election (though maybe that's just my seven-years-of-Bush hangover talking).
And yet, each one also disappoints in some pretty serious ways.
Kate Clinton has been called the lesbian Jon Stewart. Her fans, however, prefer to think of Stewart as the straight Kate Clinton. Her career as a political humorist spans several White House administrations, but the current regime has offered her, like most liberal comedians, endless material for both her onstage comic monologues and her monthly columns for the Progressive and the Advocate.
Once upon a time, politics was serious business. These days, however, presidential merit is measured as much by frat-house standards as by traditional approval ratings (apparently, American voters would rather have a beer with Bush than with Kerry), and a well-timed joke can sometimes sway public opinion more effectively than a reasoned argument.