Friday, February 8, 2008

Why the youth vote doesn't matter

Obama Girl didn't vote.

On Tuesday night, City Room ran into Ms. Ettinger at an election-watching party in Greenwich Village and asked how things went at the polls.

“I didn’t get a chance to vote today because I’m not registered to vote in New York,” she said.

So where is Obama Girl registered to vote?

“New Jersey.”

Um, but didn’t New Jersey also hold a primary?

True. The problem, she explained, was that she was sick in New York City and was unable to get back across the Hudson River to the polls in Jersey City.

“I was in Arizona for the Super Bowl — every time I get in the airplane I get sick,” said Ms. Ettinger, who did manage to make it to the Svedka Fembot election returns party at Chinatown Brasserie. (The Fembot campaign for the White House, the Svedka marketing manager assured us, is not a commentary in any way on Hillary Rodham Clinton, who defeated Mr. Obama in both New York and New Jersey.)

Ms. Ettinger said she had dragged herself out Tuesday night under duress only because she was scheduled to perform at the Bowery Poetry Club. The previous day she had hit the streets of New York to interview voters, where a Daily News photographer snapped her picture on Park Avenue.

And how did she feel about missing the opportunity to cast her ballot for her one and only? “I’m a little upset but I really couldn’t help it today,” she said mournfully.

So that's it then.

Apparently, as long as you have good feelings and make an exciting, fulfilling video it's ok not to follow through with actions that really matter. So long as you have a good excuse.

Is it any wonder pundits laugh off the youth vote? Look, do whatever you like to support your candidate, but remember that it's vote totals that matter in the end. If you don't vote, don't expect your candidate to win. And no, it doesn't matter how you feel about that.

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