“I really don’t know what to think, y’know,” said, the Columbian native, now a U.S. citizen, when asked her choice in the coming general election on Nov. 6, “This is my first election to vote in the U.S., and I’m having a hard time to decide.”
And she’s not alone
For one week, Examiner canvassed people on the main streets and side streets and cafes of downtown Tampa asking who they would vote for on the big day.
The majority of answers were, “I don’t know, yet.”
Maybe it’s too early, but with just under six weeks to go to the election, somebody needs to set a fire under undecided so called swing votes which make this state – and especially the Tampa Bay area -so critical to whichever candidate, President Barack Obama, or Mitt Romney pick up the keys to the White House come inauguration day early next year.
It’s not like both candidates aren’t really trying.
President Obama has been in and out of Florida and Tampa Bay, and he’s been bear-hugged and man-hugged, joshed around with a bunch of guys in a West Tampa sandwich shop, and treated to a lavish $20,000 fund-raising dinner at a private home in South Tampa.
Note to the President’s handlers: It probably was not a good idea that just days before that dinner, the hostess was prominently featured in a Tampa Bay Times feature story – standing in one of her closets, surrounded by the hundreds of pairs of designer shoes she owns.
And then there’s Mitt Romney, he of the 47% gaffe, and then skewered on the TV comedy shows mesmerizing reporters and the nation with his riveting story of how he couldn’t understand why, when smoke filled the cabin of his wife’s campaign plane, the pilot could not have just opened a window.
And then, not realizing he had stepped on his own tongue -again – went on and on about how they should figure out a way to make this happen in the future.
Hundreds of TV ads pummel the Tampa Bay media market every day and night, extolling the virtues of each candidate to the extant that you want to turn to ESPN, even if you’re not a sports fan.
Actually, President Obama has the edge on on unpaid TV appearances right now, what with the Bully Pulpit thing going on.
For instance, his handling of the Benghazi, Libya terrorist hit which claimed the lives of four Americans, including our U.S. Ambassador, Chris Stevents was masterful, and compelling.
And the President’s speech in the storied chambers of the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday was spot on the mark in the way he managed to explain U.S. desires to see the Arab Spring movement continue, with one strong caveat, that there be an absolute understanding on the part of the newly emerging Arab governments that respect for freedom of speech is essential to the success of their nascent governments in dealing with the the international community.
Ahem, all of you Arab Spring peoplewho think that rioting in the streets and attacking U.S. embassies is any way to respond to a bone headed 14 minute clip of a film on YouTube.
Tampa Bay, is still, as MSNBC talking head Chris Matthews, noted during a visit here in early this year, the “The epicenter of the political world for the next seven months.”
And there will be many more ads, and unpaid media and the debates coming up in October to jostle the minds and motives of our many undecided voters here in downtown Tampa.
And Examiner will take a run at many of the same people targeted in the first poll.
Which by the way, is in no way a scientific poll, and has an error rate of ten percent up or down.
And no bribes were taken, except for the free gelato at Eddie and Sam’s New York Pizza.