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February 01, 2008

What About My Right to Choose?

What About My Right To Choose?

by Me, Margie

Okay, people, we all know TLC is not a political blog. So I'm not going to tell you who to vote for, even though I know the answer. Know why? Because unless you are one of the ONE PERCENT of citizens of these United States who happen to live in Iowa, New Hampshire or South Carolina, you are like me. That means WE DON'T GET TO CHOOSE.

That's right. I put it all in caps, because all caps means YELLING. And I am yelling. Because I am pissed off. And rightly so.

We spend an awful lot of time talking about protecting our right to choose. Yeah, I know that has to do with a different choice. But is there any choice more important than a vote in a democratic election? I didn't even major in Poli-Sci, but I am here to tell you that if we let the current system remain in place, we're all screwed, and not in a fun way, either.

Blog_presidential_debateLet's say for purposes of discussion that I am a democrat - as of today, I only get to choose from two candidates. What happened to everyone else? Biden? Dodd? Hell, where's crazy ol' Gravel? Or Richardson? I like him a lot.

And who doesn't love Dennis Kucinich? Everyone does. Not just because he's got that whole Frodo/Galadriel thing going with his knock-out wife. I mean, that doesn't hurt, but it's more than that. So - since it's no longer a live issue, be really, truly, honest with yourself - didn't you agree with most of what the guy said?

If you have crossed that line where you no longer believe that peace should be our first goal, you need to take a couple of big steps back and re-assess.

I'm not saying that peace is always the right approach, or that force is never necessary. Are you kidding me? My people will throw a punch and ask questions later, if it's called for. But in the big picture, if we're not shooting for peace, we need to re-sight our coordinates.

Okay, back to democratic choice. Today is the first of February, gang, and all my choices are gone except two. What the fuck? Yeah, I said fuck. I'd say worse if I thought I wouldn't get fired on the spot. I had a little incident with a broken table earlier in the week - I mean, you'd think those things would hold a couple of people, y'know? Any way, I'm sticking with fuck. I mean, as my baddest word. hah!

John Edwards was the last one out of the race. That was very troubling to me. It's only February! It's not even SuperDuper Tuesday or Terrific Tuesday, or whatever they're calling it these days.

Now, people will give you all kinds of intellectual explanations as to why this happened. Bullshit. It's about the money. These freaking elections cost so damn much money that if you don't have the right mojo, or momentum, or whatever, and you can't keep raising millions of dollars, you're out. That is well and truly corked. This is one messed up system, guys. If we're going to have a real democracy here, we need to stop making it about who has the most dough.

The same holds true on the Republican side. McCain, who is now the front-runner, was all but written off last summer. He's one of the few who chose to hang in there with no money. It's not as if he doesn't have a full-time job. The other front-runner? Romney, who is writing his own checks. He might have the potential to be the best President ever, but do we really want to limit our choices for POTUS to the richest guys who are willing to spend their own cash? I know I don't. A lot of rich people are total jagoffs.

By the by - I just have to say that I love the acronym 'POTUS' - learned it on The West Wing. But what about the poor Supremes? How would you like to be known as the SCOTUS? That is one unfortunate moniker. Okay, back to the topic.

The answer is obviously some kind of campaign finance reform. I don't know what the proposals are - trying to read that legislative crap is a total nightmare. No wonder no one reads the damn things. They're a mess. And it's not my job, so I'm not doing it. I have enough to take care of with this blog and this office and these authors - I mean, what I have to do around here... seriously, I don't know what they did before I got here, y'know?

So what do you think? Not that I think I'm wrong - because I'm not. But I do like to at least give the appearance that I care about other people's opinions. Not every day, but I am today. So go ahead - tell me what you think.

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Comments

Boy, your election system sounds complicated and confusing.i'm so glad that our election years aren't like yours i think my brain couldn't cope with that.
and i'm also glad that we don't have election year this year,watching your election keeps me busy...
i guess it's true what they say:evertyhing is bigger in America...

Sorry,my head isn't working this morning...of course i meant everything,not evertyhing...
meep,meep.

After being told that my vote was worthless because I vote independant, I kinda quit paying attention to the big front runners. Never did like them. I always look for the smaller guys. Did you know that there were about 20 people on the ballots in Florida running for POTUS that you never heard about because they didn't have the money for national campaigns? I have been trying to talk my husband into running. I figure the press would have a field day with our druggie brothers and abusive in-laws, and us living in a trailer like we do. :)

There is some method to the madness. People in Iowa and New Hampshire spend *years* with these candidates. The populations are so small as to allow truly retail campaigning at a relatively low cost. The theory is that voters in the small early states actually get to meet and speak with many of those running. So one might imagine their early decisions are based upon a depth of exposure you and I (with our very late primary) don't get. McCain is a good example. He managed to win New Hampshire despite a lack of money. Huckabee did it as well in Iowa. The alternative to the current system might be national/regional primaries, but those would favor big money candidates even more. So the system we have, while not perfect, does seem more democratic. The problem is really with the media. Someone like Edwards never got the coverage he deserved simply because Hilary and Obama sucked up all the oxygen in the room. I think it's kind of ironic that the one white man in the race didn't enjoy the usual privilege of his skin color and gender simply because the media enjoyed the prospect of a historical moment with HIlary or Obama.

I'm not sure how you solve it. Even public financing of primary campaigns begs the question -- who gets money? How much? Who decides? I like the idea of forcing candidates to spend months and months at pancake suppers and lodge meeting in Iowa and New Hampshire, talking to regular folks who happen to be very serious about their roles. Most of the country has been ignoring the process up until Super Tuesday and you know what? Most of the eligible voters in the country won't vote come November either. So until the public really demands better from its media and stops thinking American Idol is more important than the future of America, I doubt much will change.

My state holds its primaries after Super Tuesday, so I can identify with the frustration of feeling like my vote doesn't count. But I still go because I have a smidgen of hope and I know if I don't vote, I have no right to complain.

I'd like to see a true Super Tuesday -- a primary season that's held on the same damn day for all fifty states. It would be a nightmare to organize, just like the real election day, but it's the only true measure of how the country's citizens vote for the candidates.

What Susan said! I'm all for keeping the New Hampshire primary because it means I get to meet candidates and blog about them. I also completely agree with Margie that SCOTUS is a disgusting acronym. On the other hand, it's entirely appropriate for the current Supreme Court.

On a more serious note, folks, yes, Margie's right that the primary system is whacked and could use some fixing. So could the electoral college system! Who knows, we could end up with another close popular vote and we'll be right back with the hanging chads.

Call me cynical (ahem), but it looks that things have already been decided. News footage just showed a public embracing of Barrack as President and Hillary as VP... or Hillary as Pres and Barrack as VP.

I'm having sudden and intense fantasies of a houseboat moored exactly 100 yards off Key West, no phone, no cell, no internet, no news channels.

I live in NH, so I am undoubtedly biased, but Susan hit several important points.

Friends who live in other states are often amazed that in NH we can meet--not just see--every single candidate if we choose. They often remark that in their states, the parties so control who has access to the candidates that an ordinary person without money never gets the chance to meet even one candidate, never mind all of them.

It may not be fair that the handful of smaller states gets to winnow out candidates, but I can tell you that it is politics like it is meant to be--on the ground and in front of real people. A candidate has to slog through the mud and snow, eat bad meals and meet ordinary people to get votes.

John McCain hired a snowplow--riding in the front with the driver--last year to get him through a storm so he could get to an event. He won a few votes that day. His candidacy was virtually dead back then.

The country is so big that one primary would allow the media and the candidates so much more control over the facades that I wonder if we would ever know who we were really electing.

And really? NH rarely chooses the candidate--we have the tendency to vote for an underdog that the media has already written off. Bill Clinton in his first run is a perfect example!

*HIJACK*

James Reasoner, one of the kindest and most gentlemanly writers I've ever met, lost his entire home and studio to fire yesterday. Everything is gone; his books, his collections, his current novel, everything. He's fine, his wife and daughters were not home.

http://billcrider.blogspot.com/2008/01/james-reasoner-update.html

Sorry, Margie.

I think Pennsylvania's primary isn't until the end of April. Everything is pretty much decided by then.

I don't understand why all the primaries can't be held in the same week--or at the very least--in the same month. Then we might actually get a choice.

Great blog, Margie. You hit on 2 of 3 points that have frustrated me for months. 1. Here in PA, the choice has been made by the time our primary rolls around. 2. Only someone rich or connected can run. 3. The states set the primary dates, but the parties can choose to count or ignore the votes.

Abbe said, "I'd like to see a true Super Tuesday -- a primary season that's held on the same damn day for all fifty states." I agree. However, Susan does bring up a good point - regional elections would make it easier on the candidates (less crisscrossing the country, and condense the process to 4 or 5 nomination days) and give all states more of a voice.

There doesn't seem to be an easy solution to any part of this mess.

The idea of one big national primary has a lot of appeal, but it also has a down side. This ridiculous grueling process we go through ends up vetting the candidates pretty well before the big states award all the delegates. Remember how for a couple of weeks there Mike Huckabee had all the buzz and was the guy to beat for the Republicans? What if Super Tuesday had happened that week? Which isn't to say I favor keeping the current system, but I worry that one national primary day would get ruled by the passions of the moment.

I just saw Charlie Gibson's bit on Regis & Kelly - he suggests regional primaries that rotate in terms of timing every four years. I like that idea.

I used to be registered as an Independent, but in PA, that means you don't get to vote in the primaries at all, so I switched. Didn't like having to make that decision either. I think beyond the primary mess, the two-party system needs a complete overhaul.

I live in L.A. and we can shmooze with all the candidates we want, just like Iowa and New Hampshire -- as long as we have a few extra thousand dollars lying around that we can send in and be invited to someone's backyard barbecue (catered, valet-parking, undisclosed location in Bel Air) and either hear Barbara Streisand sing during the potato chip course, or have Charlton Heston autograph your semi-automatic weapon as you stand in the hot-dog line. I love L.A.

This is exactly why I am not willing to expend any energy reading about or discussing any political candidate or race until a week before our primary. (California's primary is next Tuesday, which is why I read this blog.) It's just too damn disappointing and depressing to be disenfranchised time and again and I can only handle it for one week every four years.

So, on Tuesday this week I looked around to see which candidate had been chosen and imagine my surprise, there is still more than one candidate in the race. That has NEVER happened to me before. I was so shocked, I looked it up, and the last time California actually got to vote in a meaningful primary -- 1972! I wasn't old enough to vote then, so this is pretty exciting for me. OK, it's only two or three choices, it would have been nice to have five or eight choices; but I'm very grateful to have a choice at all for once.

And I'm afraid I must disagree with those who claim that the small states are doing a good job at making decisions for the rest of us. Please ... just take a look at recent history. I don't think anybody in NH ought to be proud of the last few matchups we've had for the presidency.

Doggone, Harley, I always wanted The Mighty Chuck to sign one of my automatic weapons.

You movie stars have all the fun....

Excellent topic, and one I've been running around with my hair on fire about all week. So timely, too, from my standpoint.

In Ohio, our primary isn't until March 4th, so we don't get a choice. But that's better than it used to be, when our primary was in May. However, did you know (I heard this on NPR yesterday) that prior to 1968, fewer than a third of States even had primaries? Yep, Party candidates used to be chosen by Party bosses at their conventions, not by the people. So this IS better, although not by much.

Fortunately, my favorite candidate, the one I was hoping would become the next President, is still in the race. ;-)

USAToday has a primary/caucus calendar on their website, if you care to look and see how your State stacks up. They also show the candidates that have been chosen where primaries and caucuses have already been held:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/nomination-calendar.htm

Do you also have Tarts and Vicars parties, as in Bridget Jones' Diary?

Greetings from snow-covered, travelers stranded, Chicago :o) I'm getting ready for LIM but thought I'd add a thought before I get into the conference mode.
I have to agree on John Edwards. The man didn't stand a chance going up against "the first woman" president or the "first African-American president". His take on the issues got sucked into the vortex of "history in the making". If whoever wins has any brains however, they will offer him a cabinet post...say health, education etc, areas in which he's stressed the need for change.
Illinois has a closed primary, so I have to declare...but no one says I have to mark the presidential choice. Yet. We were talking about this at work, and the age gap reared its head...the younger the person the more likely the vote for Obama; the older, the more undecided. I see positives and negatives about both, but it does seem that we are looking at the future ticket, no matter who places first and who second.
Campaign reform? Sure, but by whom? They ran news footage here last night of young women at an Obama rally...all almost swooning.All had helped raise some of his latest 32 million dollars...or so the news reported. Campaign reform might change that...but the truth is that to reach the far-flung American voters these days, the media is a necessity. The more exposure, the more dollars. Not fair, but it is what it is and I doubt it can change in the near future.
OK. I'm rambling, but I have a master class with Lee Child in about an hour and I'm slightly distracted...have a good weekend, and to those of you in the East, hunker down. This storm was an FBD!

You're missing it! What did Howard Dean show us? How has Ron Paul kept in the race? Why did Huckabee make that commercial about border security with Chuck Norris? To drive traffic to his website...and it worked. He got over a million hits from that stunt.

The internet is changing the game. How has Huckabee managed to keep up with Romney (18% to 21% in the national polls right now) with 1/10th the money? The internet. Web-communities. Free networking. His supporters are his phone banks (organized online). They're even buying their own campaign materials. Ohio said he couldn't get on the primary ballot because he started Dec 3 and the other candidates started in August. Volunteers did it in 30 days (never been done before) because they organized themselves with cell phones and Meet-up.com.

Ad execs have to be sweating bullets right now. The election cycle is like Christmas to them, and Huckabee isn't spending money with them, but he's getting noticable results. He's all over YouTube, MySpace, FaceBook, etc., all for free.

Even if you don't agree with him, look at how he's doing it, because that's how we are going to take back the political process.

Politics isn't a spectator sport anymore. The times, they are a-changin...

PS If you don't like Super Tuesday, you don't want to dismantle the electoral college...but that's another topic!

How cool to see new people chiming in. Welcome and keep coming back - we have fun here, even when we're not bitching about the political process.

Sometimes, we talk about sex. In fact, there is a rumor flying around that some people only come here for the sex. I wouldn't know. heh.

So. just in case Rita or Mary or Tom or anyone else needs some before the weekend, how about this?

Are any of the candidates sexy? I mean, I think Obama is totally hot, but then, I'm female and hetero. Not that there's anything wrong with being male or gay. Even if I were gay, Hillary doesn't seem very sexy.

McCain? uh-uh. Maybe he's too old or something. I'm not into that Freudian shit. Huckabee? Nope. I'm too RC to go anywhere near a preacher. Romney? Hmmm. Have to think about that one. He's got that distinguished look. That can be hot - kinda like Paul Newman, or Richard Gere, only younger.


Now I thought this election year was mega-boring, but if Margie gets her mitts on Mitt, that would be more than interesting.

Come on. Someone had to say it.

Since I can't stand the Patriots (Cheaters! Cheaters! Cheaters!) and I"m much more interested in this topic, I'm thinking of having a Super Tuesday party.

I also heard the idea of regional primaries. It makes so much more sense than the current system. Or would it yet further divide the red and the blue?

Harley, I wanna know if Barbra sings her usual repertoire or other stuff at the barbecues.

St. Louis columnist Bill McClellan quoted someone who characterized Clinton as our "first black president." He then remarked that with Hillary's campaign, he is line to also be the "first woman president." I'm not endorsing that train of thought -- but I think it's a good example of how bizarre this whole election really is.

Thanks Margie for throwing this bomb on the blog! What really pissed me off is how the media (and the folks in Iowa and NH (sorry Karin in NH)) talk about how "serious" the people in these states are about the election and how "serious" they take their voting...as though the rest of us don't give a shit and vote for the candidate with the best dressed spouse! I DO take it serious...it's just that MY VOTE DOESN'T COUNT! BY the time it gets to me, too much as already be decided.

And can we talk about caucuses versus primary? Granted, Arkansas doesn't caucus but when you have a minority and a woman in the race, it seems like too much pressure can be put on people to be for one of them or else "you're racial or sexist". What people say in public and what they do behind closed doors are many times not the same.

And the electoral college is long past its due date. It smells like soured milk.

Can you read the frustration in my post?

Nancy, you just need to vote with your thumb. Watch Puppy Bowl IV on Animal Planet. It's on four consecutive times from 3 p.m. through 3 a.m. I know that I'll be watching it. Go to their website for more information.

OMG, we are SO into Puppy Bowl in our house! We're having a Super Bowl party and the biggest concern was whether the Super Bowl conflicts with Puppy Bowl. (Answer: it doesn't, which is why we're having the party.) Speaking of -- tune in this Sunday here at TLC for the Girls' Guide to the Super Bowl.

Mitt Romney looks like a male underwear model from those circulars that come in the Sunday paper. Too plastic, and I bet the gray wings at his temples are phony. Barack is definitely hot. Nobody else in the race is remotely sexy. That's fine with me. I don't want sexy in a president, esp. not the first female president. Can you imagine?

Aaacck! Please don't tell me we have to vote for President on "sex appeal". Isn't that what got us into the fix we're in now, choosing someone you'd like to have a beer with?

As for the electoral college, there are good and bad aspects of it. I'm still on the fence as to whether or not we ought to ditch it. I honestly don't know why, though, we can't have a "free and fair" election, with every vote counting (I'm speaking to hanging chads, etc.). Other countries manage to have paper ballots and to count them, and to decide winners and losers within mere hours. Surely we could, too. Our entire electoral process is antediluvian, and tortured. You have to wonder why.

Oh yeah, and look where having a "sexy" president has gotten France.

Cool, I'll be here for the Girls' Guide to the Super Bowl, Michelle!

I'm a Granite Stater and I saw/met all the candidates of my party at least once, and several of them twice. Naturally I love having this opportunity and like Mihcelle would hate to surrender it. (I'm a political junkie and being a legislator hasn't yet cured me of it).

That said, even if NH weren't traditionally "first", it would inevitably, I suspect, remain a magnet for campaigns for relatively cost-effective message-testing and the whole retail politics thing.

And when we do make the "wrong" decision, there's always the demographically different SC to handle the "correction" (i.e. McCain v. Bush in 2000). If that's what it was.

I think a National Primary would be cool. And a nightmare, from a candidate's perspective. Just don't expect it to stop them from coming to NH.

I agree about the Puppy Bowl--totally awesome. Riveting. Even with the local team playing for the history books, I'll mostly be glued to the canines. Watching my dogs watch other dogs on tv is some of the best entertainment I know.

This came to me today and I found it interesting. Sorry for the long post
Cyndi

Where Have All the Leaders Gone?
By Lee Iacocca with CatherineWhitney
Simon & Schuster, April 2007

Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody
murder. We've got a gang of clueless bozos
steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane, much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, "Stay the course."

Stay the course? You've got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned Titanic. I'll give you a sound bite: Throw the bums out!

You might think I'm getting senile, that I've gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore. The President of the United States is given a free pass to ignore the Constitution, tap
our phones, and lead us to war on a pack of lies. Congress responds to record deficits by passing a huge tax cut for the wealthy (thanks, but I don't need it). The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs.
While we're fiddling in Iraq, the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving pom-poms instead of asking hard questions. That's not the promise of America my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I've had enough.

How about you?
I'll go a step further. You can't call yourself a patriot if you're not outraged. This is a fight I'm ready and willing to have. My friends tell me to calm down. They say, "Lee, you're eighty-two years old. Leave the rage to the young people." I'd love to - as soon as I can pry them away from their iPods for five seconds and get
them to pay attention. I'm going to speak up
because it's my patriotic duty. I think people will listen to me. They say I have a reputation as a straight shooter. So I'll tell you how I see it, and it's not pretty, but at least it's real. I'm hoping to strike a nerve in those young folks who say they don't vote because they don't trust
politicians to represent their interests. Hey, America, wake up. These guys work for us.

Who Are These Guys, Anyway?
Why are we in this mess? How did we end up with this crowd in Washington? Well, we voted for them - or at least some of us did. But I'll tell you what we didn't do. We didn't agree to suspend the Constitution. We didn't agree to stop asking questions or demanding answers. Some of us are sick and tired of people who call free speech treason. Where I come from that's a dictatorship, not a democracy. And don't tell me it's all the fault of right-wing Republicans or liberal Democrats. That's an intellectually lazy argument, and it's part of the reason we're in this stew. We're not just a nation of factions. We're a people. We share common principles and ideals. And we rise and fall together.

Where are the voices of leaders who can inspire us to action and make us stand taller? What happened to the strong and resolute party of Lincoln? What happened to the courageous, populist party of FDR and Truman? There was a time in this country when the voices of great leaders lifted us up and made us want to do better. Where have all the leaders gone?

The Test of a Leader
I've never been Commander in Chief, but I've been a CEO. I understand a few things about leadership at the top. I've figured out nine points - not ten (I don't want people accusing me of thinking I'm Moses). I call them the "Nine Cs of Leadership." They're not fancy or complicated. Just clear, obvious qualities that every true leader should have. We should look at how the
current administration stacksup. Like it or not, this crew is going to be around until January 2009. Maybe we can learn something before we go to the polls in 2008. Then let's be sure we use the leadership test to screen the candidates who say they want to run the country. It's up to us to choose wisely.

So, here's my C list:
CURIOSITY
CREATIVE
COMMUNICATE
CHARACTER
COURAGE
CONVICTION
CHARISMA
COMPETENT
COMMON SENSE
The Biggest C is Crisis

Leaders are made, not born. Leadership is forged in times of crisis. It's easy to sit there with your feet up on the desk and talk theory. Or send someone else's kids off to war when you've never seen a battlefield yourself. It's another thing to lead when your world comes tumbling down. On September 11, 2001, we needed a strong leader more than any other time in our
history. We needed a steady hand to guide us out of the ashes. Where was George Bush? He was reading a story about a pet goat to kids in Florida when he heard about the attacks. He kept sitting there for twenty minutes with a baffled look on his face. It's all on tape. You can see it for yourself. Then, instead of taking the
quickest route back to Washington and immediately going on the air to reassure the panicked people of this country, he decided it wasn't safe to return to the White House. He basically went into hiding for the day—and he told Vice President Dick Cheney to stay put in his bunker.

We were all frozen in front of our TVs, scared out of our wits, waiting for our leaders to tell us that we were going to be okay, and there was nobody home. It took Bush a couple of days to get his bearings and devise the right photo op at Ground Zero. That was George Bush's moment of
truth, and he was paralyzed. And what did he do when he'd regained his composure? He led us down the road to Iraq—a road his own father had considered disastrous when he was President. But Bush didn't listen to Daddy. He listened to a higher father. He prides himself on being faith based, not reality based. If that doesn't scare the crap out of you, I don't know what will.

Had Enough?
Hey, I'm not trying to be the voice of gloom and doom here. I'm trying to light a fire. I'm speaking out because I have hope. I believe in America. In my lifetime I've had the privilege of living through some of America's greatest moments. I've also experienced some of our worst crises - the Great Depression, World War II, the
Korean War, the Kennedy assassination, the
Vietnam War, the 1970s oil crisis, and the
struggles of recent years culminating with 9/11.
If I've learned one thing, it's this: You don't get anywhere by standing on the sidelines waiting for somebody else to take action. Whether it's building a better car or building a better future for our children, we all have a role to play. That's the challenge I'm raising in this book. It's a call to action for people who, like
me, believe in America. It's not too late, but it's getting pretty close.

I heard Mitt Romney say that the ideal presidential candidate would be black, female and Mormon. In other words---Gladys Knight!

I know I'd vote for her.

Sign me up for the Puppy Bowl party.

I still don't know how they appt the number of delegates won per state for the primaries. Very weird.

As for the super bowl? I don't have any desire to watch this year, so am eagerly looking forward to Puppy Bowl IV!!! (I have all the prior years dvd's!)

Funny thing...I asked the boyfriend if we had any plans for the game, and he was clueless as to when it was!!! LOL!!!

It seems you all are assuming that those electronic voting machines are really working and collecting your vote!

Super Tuesday is Rita Mae Brown at Mystery Lovers! By the time you get home from her wonderful talk benefiting Animal Friends, they'll just be starting "the counts".

My father, no great political theorist, said several times he thought Lido Iacocca could be President if he wanted the job.

Thanks, ACyndi.

Ummm...I don't think I implied other people other places aren't serious about politics. Nope, not me. In fact, that thought never occurred to me.

And, in fact, even commenting on politics is drastically out of character. I am a nice New England girl--raised not to talk about sex, money, politics, or religion. Which is why I maintain we talk about the weather all the darn time!

Like today--sleet, freezing rain, a little snow. See? Much, much safer.

OH NO Karin in NH. You DIDN'T say that! I'm so sorry if it sounded like I was pointing a finger at you!

What I was trying to say (and obviously I didn't do it well!) is that's how the media portray the voters in NH...and the people they interview and put on the tube always reflect this opinion. It wasn't until I watched the news while I was in Europe that I realized how much our media tells a story one way when they might be another side.

Ok - put me on a yacht anchored offshore. Scoot your yacht over William. I'm packing it in too! LOL

Delegates are a political party creation. They allocate them by population.

This year, some states moved their primaries earlier to get more play (I assume) so the Dems and GOP punished them by taking away the number of delegates that would be chosen by voters. Florida: for Democrats, all their delegates will be chosen by the state political party members and none will be chosen by voters. GOP let voters choose half with the other half chosen by state party leaders. Whole idea sucks, but the primaries belong to the political parties, not to the voters.

Local politics is where it starts. State politicians are more accessible than federal. Wander into the statehouse and visit your representatives...at least the architecture is interesting! Bring the kids and they'll even pose for pictures.

Margie, if you did It with Mitt, would you be required to . . . marry him?

Great Blog and comments, Margie.

Here at TLC HQ we've been listening to Sarah mutter and scream behind her office door. For weeks, we've allowed her to sleep under her desk, undisturbed, between manic bouts of re-writing. But her book is due TODAY. I wonder...? Is she finished?

Margie, would you please check the fridge for champagne? I smell a celebration in the air.

Unless that's the perfume Steve bought for you.

"For weeks, we've allowed her to sleep under her desk, undisturbed . . ."

Hope that wasn't the desk Steve and Margie . . . uh . . . broke.

What really ticked me off - and what we should be howling over - is how the allegedly liberal news media (HAH! What a 1975 trope!) tells us who the Serious Contenders may be. Did anyone ever get to hear Frodo speak his piece? I didn't.

"Frodo and Galadriel" . . . yer a freakin' poet, You, Margie.

Margie, sex with a politician gives me the creepy shivers and makes me want to take a long hot shower! yuck!

I agree with Margie. I also think of all the good those millions of dollars they spend on their campaigns could do for Americans. Homeless shelters, uninsured families, food banks, victim groups, the list is endless.

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