I am what some people might term a "political junkie."
I love, love, love politics. I once remarked to a friend of mine that no matter what the outcome, the morning of a presidential election always feels like Christmas. The anticipation! The excitement! The feeling like anything could happen!
Now, personally, I am no fan of the primary process. It always struck me as unfair that states like Iowa and New Hampshire were crowned king-makers and were showered with attention and visits by all the presidential candidates. I always thought that there should just be a national primary day where every state votes at the same time.
It was not until this year, that I realized the benefit of our long, convoluted and protracted primary system. It makes a better story.
Instead of having one day feel like Christmas, you get weekly excitement. There's the popular vote count, the delegate count, and of course, who could forget, the super-delegate vote count! You even have a race where two people claim victory.
And then there are the possible endgame scenarios. Endgame 1: It all ends Super Tuesday (not looking likely.) Endgame 2: It ends around March or April (possible.) Endgame 3: John Edwards gets to play king-maker. Endgame 4: The super delegates get to play king-maker.
And the Republican side is even more convoluted. What they lack in super-delegate drama they make up for by having no clear front-runner to the nomination. John McCain is leading in the polls, but he doesn't have the money or the infrastructure for Super Tuesday. Giuliani bet the farm on his Florida strategy which seems to be backfiring. Romney has the money, and so far the most delegates, but he hasn't been able to hit his stride.
In all my years of political junkitude (and I've probably been a political junkie since 13) there has never been a race as exciting as this. And to top it all off, this is the first time that I will ever have my vote matter in a national election.
So maybe I don't want a national primary. Maybe I'll keep our crazy, arcane, undemocratic system, super-delegates and all. Because who am I to resist a story like this?
I just wish that Hunter S Thompson was still around. What I wouldn't give to read Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail of '08.
3 weeks ago