The Minnesota Caucus starts in just about 3 hours and I'm still vacillating between Obama and Clinton (That's Rocco Bama to you, CoryQ). I'm frantically listening to debates and reading interviews and researching online looking for the perspective that is going to be the tipping point one way or another for me. Regardless, one of them will be getting my vote for President come November.
UPDATE (02/05/08 9:20 pm): I settled on a candidate and attended my caucus. I stayed for the elections of the Senate delagates and resolution proposals to the MN DFL party issues. It was inspiring to go to the caucus tonight. It was packed! Standing room only in the elementary school cafeteria. It was great to look around at my neighbors and see the great turnout. I've never participated in a caucus before, coming from a state (MI) that has primaries. Of course, Michigan democrats didn't really get a primary this year, but that's a whole other issue.
I called my parents to tell them about it. They knew I'd been wavering on who to cast my vote for. At one point, my dad said, "You don't have to tell us who you voted for if you don't want to, it's private." When I was little, my mom always took me with her when she voted and let me come into the booth with her. This was in the days where the booths had curtains and levers, which I loved. I know some places still use the old booths with the cloth drapery and manual levers, but I've never used one. I've always had the cardboard booth and the scantron ballot. I remember once accompanying my grandfather when he went to vote. When I tried to follow him into the cloaked booth, he scolded me harshly, telling me that his vote was private. He died when I was in second grade, and it is one of my strongest memories of him.
The caucus process can turn that whole idea of the private vote on it's head. It feels like democracy at its purest. The straw pull for the presidental race was private, like a primary. Had we had more nominees for senate delagates than we had allotted slots, we would've gone through the more traditional process of declaring what candidate you support and defending and debating that position to determine the number of delegates. We still had several debates and open votes on resolutions and precinct chair nominations. There were also several motions for changing the process itself to suit the needs of the precinct members in attendance. The whole idea had made me a little nervous going in, but it was also exciting. But I'm still not telling you who I voted for! At least not right now on the blog.
I live in Minneapolis Ward 6, Precinct 2. I am recounting these numbers from memory, so they may be a bit off. What I can tell you for certain is that just over 900 people voted, Obama's votes were in the 700s, Clintons in the 100s. The numbers for Kucinich, Edwards and Uncommitted are exact.