Caucuses really are a pretty loopy way to choose a Presidential candidate. At least, caucuses run the way they are across the USA are. On the other hand, that permits entertaining pieces such as this one by Paul Campos, who reports for The New Republic on his experience in Colorado:
February 1: I email Barack Obama'sColorado campaign site, asking for information on which caucus I should attend. Although I write a syndicated column that often deals with presidential politics, I've never been to a caucus, or for that matter participated in a political campaign. And my lifetime financial contributions to politicians consist of writing a $50 check to John Kerry in the summer of 2004.But I've taken a liking to Obama, and have decided I should overcome my natural inertia and at least go to the caucus. I originally supported John Edwards, and my enthusiasm for Obama is still rather tepid. I also find the demonization of Hillary Clinton extremely annoying, to the point where I'm sometimes almost tempted to support her instead. Still, Obama's early opposition to the war tips the scales in his favor. It's true the prospect of spending a couple of hours in an elementary school gym--possibly being forced to listen to various lunatics ranting about the 9/11 conspiracy or how we should vote for Ralph Nader--fills me with dread. But I'm willing to take that chance.
February 4: I receive a package from Obama For America. I assume it's just campaign literature so I don't open it until the next morning.February 5, 8 a.m.: "Dear Paul Campos: As a Precinct Captain you will be playing a crucial role at tonight's caucus. Your training has prepared you for the most common issues that you are likely to encounter, but you can call this number if you run into any unexpected problems." This would seem to merit a phone call. I leave a voice message. Precinct Captain? That sounds like it requires knowing something about what's supposed to happen tonight. Obviously there's been a serious mistake. Please call back.