The Barack Obameter

I felt this question could best be handled in a Q & A format...

What exactly is a caucus?

YourDictionary defines caucus as "a private meeting of leaders or a committee of a political party or faction to decide on policy, pick candidates, etc., esp. prior to a general, open meeting."

Okay, smarty-pants, what is the Iowa Caucus?

The Iowa Caucus is the night when registered Democrats and Republicans gather in each precinct to elect party delegates. Those delegates move on to the county convention. During the county conventions, delegates are elected to be sent to the state convention. (You see where this is going). During the state conventions, delegates are elected to be sent to the national conventions. During the national party conventions, delegates nominate their party's candidate for president.

Alright. Just to be clear, what does it mean when Obama wins the Iowa caucus?

It just means he's in the lead for securing the party's nomination. Delegates indicate which candidate they support. Although delegates are not obligated to continue to support their candidate they've indicated throughout the entire process, they usually do. Because Iowa holds their caucus night early, and both Republicans and Democrats hold their caucus on the same night, they have become known as "first in the nation," and often provide a good barometer for how the nomination process will continue to go. Thus, all the media attention.

I guess I just assumed that Iowa and New Hampshire get to decide for the nation. Doesn't Minnesota have a caucus?

Yes. The DFL, Republican and Independence parties will hold their 2008 precinct caucus on February 5, 2008 at 7 p.m.

If you had understood this process when you listened to Dan Savage's report on his bid to become the gay Republican delegate from his precinct in Seattle, would you have laughed any harder?

Possibly. But, it was one of the funniest episodes of "This American Life" I have ever heard in my life. Regardless of whether I understood the delegation process fully or not. (Dan Savage's part is toward the end of the hour).

Did you come up with the title of your post all by yourself?

Of course not. I'm not that creative!

Anything else?
The Democratic National Convention will be held in Denver on August 25-28. And, I seem to be the last one to know this...but the Republican National Convention will be in Saint Paul this year, from September 1 - 4. Yuck.

No comments: