I just called my mother to remind her to vote in the Caucuses. I told her this was the biggest time for Iowa in the news and so she better not miss out. I told her that even though my parents are registered Republicans (my Mom is actually a split-ticket wild card who strongly dislikes Bush, and my Dad just registered as a Republican a few years so he could vote against some guy he had a personal grievance with in the Republican primary for some minor county-level office).
My mother asked: "So who're you for? I suppose you're for Bush." Such are the moments when I realize that family members I love beyond words actually do not know me at all.
"Mom, I'm a Democrat. I vote straight-ticket Democrat."
"Really? I thought you were a Republican."
"No, you always forget. I've always voted Democrat."*
Anyway, my mother gave me her opinion on the various Democratic candidates. Selected quotes, in order of her candidate preference, as accurately as I can remember them (really, none of my sometimes-quote-tweaking here):
Kerry: "I like him, and I think he has some military service."
Edwards: "I like that he had nothing to do with the war. He seems really smart. And honest."
Gephardt: "I think he's just run too many times." [how has even my Mom picked up this rap against Gephardt! He's only run once before!]
Dean: "He and his wife are both doctors, and it doesn't sound like he's done too much else. And I don't know why anyone would quit their job as a doctor for [I couldn't follow what she was saying here, but then:] There's just something about him, I'm a little leery of him."
Also-rans, again as best I can recall: "You know, they were going through all these people on the news and these other ones, I hadn't heard anything about them and thought they had dropped out. You know, that... Lieberman, and that bachelor with the funny name." "Kucinich." "There's that black man and black lady--now she did drop out and wants people to vote for Dean--and then there's that General what's-his-name... Clark. So they are running too, but I don't think they're getting anywhere... I think we got the big four ones here."
* Not actually true! I actually have voted for Republicans twice, although not in a presidential election. The second time was this woman I knew personally in Bloomington who was running for County Coroner, which seemed to me the elected position where one's party affiliation probably mattered least for what one actually did on the job. (Yes, coroner is really an elected position in Indiana.) The first time is a story perhaps for another day.