Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What's To Be 'Undecided' About?

I was just saying to someone the other day, "How can anyone be undecided at this point? The election is two weeks away!" Fortunately, David Sedaris put it much more eloquently (and humorously) in the New Yorker:

I don’t know that it was always this way, but, for as long as I can remember, just as we move into the final weeks of the Presidential campaign the focus shifts to the undecided voters. “Who are they?” the news anchors ask. “And how might they determine the outcome of this election?”

Then you’ll see this man or woman— someone, I always think, who looks very happy to be on TV. “Well, Charlie,” they say, “I’ve gone back and forth on the issues and whatnot, but I just can’t seem to make up my mind!” Some insist that there’s very little difference between candidate A and candidate B. Others claim that they’re with A on defense and health care but are leaning toward B when it comes to the economy.


To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”

Look, I can understand being conflicted (even if I think the choice is high-definition clear). I don't know who to root for in the World Series between the Phillies and Rays. So you have two more weeks to figure it out.

But do the undecideds just want attention, like "Joe the Plumber"? (Okay, that's probably a bad example.) Or does that "undecided" really mean something else when it comes to Barack Obama? (I hate being that cynical.)