Sunday, May 4, 2008


Here's another one you can add to that list of things you didn't think you'd see in your lifetime. You know the list, right? You never thought you'd witness a president actually impeached by Congress, or an election so close that the Electoral College overturned the will of the voters, or a Vice President become the most powerful man in the world. This is not a list of good things, you understand. It's simply an accounting of occurrences that everyone assumed would only happen (or happen again) after the Cubs won the World Series, the fifty-first state was added to the union, and we all drove around in our personal hovercrafts.

Well, here's the latest one: never in your wildest dreams would you have envisioned a scenario in which anyone on our side of the International Date Line cared how the people of Guam voted in a presidential primary. If you're like most Americans, you probably had no idea that Guamians (Guamanians? Guamsters?) actually participated in the presidential selection process. Actually, if you're like most Americans you probably don't know anything about Guam other than the fact that it's a Pacific island.

But that's how close the current Democratic race for president is this morning. In a jurisdiction far closer to Manila than Miami, a couple thousand people caucused while the rest of us slept. Four—count 'em—four delegates were at stake. And CNN actually interrupted the Saturday re-run of the Lou Dobbs Hour of Hate to tell us that Barack Obama had been projected the winner in a place so far away that (according to a friend who was once stationed there), the locals watch Tuesday Morning Football. Is this unbelievably cool or what?

But it gets better. Evidently, Obama beat Clinton in Guam by exactly seven votes. In one sense, of course, it doesn't matter. The candidates will each pick up two of the four delegates. But wait! It turns out that Obama's seven-vote margin may gain him an additional Super Delegate, since Pilar Lujan, who was concurrently elected the island's Democratic Party Chair, has said that she will support whichever candidate receives the majority of the caucus vote. Can you say "recount"?

I know there's a lot at stake here, but it's still fun to take a step back every now and then and reflect on how amazing this primary season has been. If Indiana and North Carolina don't settle things on Tuesday, the final result may come down to yet another island that rarely receives political attention on the mainland. Puerto Rico votes on June 7.

Stay tuned.

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