Let's see now. Was this going to be the column where I introduce you to a handsome, smiling Republican convention delegate who in turn introduces you to a fellow convention delegate – also smiling – who 's going to be the next President of the United States?
No, this isn't that column and there's a good reason for it. That delegate does not exist; that presidential nominee does not exist. More accurately, they may exist but we don't know whether they do or, if they do, who they are. Are you following?
The Democrats don't have this problem, of course. They know that their ticket will be Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
Is this an advantage for them? Probably, but not certainly.
The country is at one of those funny points. Not awful – let's get rid of Obama – but not excellent – gotta keep him.
The economy is okay but not superlative. He's gotten us out of one war – though I keep reading about American deaths in Iraq – but certainly not out of both wars. The bodies come home from Afghanistan at a regular, sad rate.
I suppose we've had these periods before when things weren't absolutely awful but they weren't all that wonderful either. What you do then, I think, is say to yourself: This is a brand new race. Then you take a good hard look at the two candidates. (I don't know, do the Prohibitionists and the Vegetarians and the Nudists still run anyone?) Anyway, look at the two candidates and say of one of them: He's my guy.
It makes for an interesting election year for sure – sound argument both for and against the incumbent.
And a still nonexistent challenger.
I do hope you'll enjoy the job ahead of you. Good luck.
Morton is a retired political reporter who worked in Washington for CBS News from 1964-1993 and for CNN from 1993-2006. He attended his first political convention in 1960 and has been to most of them since then.