Super Tuesday what?

I'm trying really hard to follow, and care about, the American presidential nomination race. Every day there are acres of newsprint with the latest minor updates and potential scandals, and the papers are keen to point out how the new President will have a great influence over the whole world, affecting us all, yada yada.

My first problem however is that I don't really get how this campaign works. First there were a bunch of something called 'caucuses', which I initially confused with the term for dead meat, then 'primaries' (isn't that a type of school?) and now there are numbers of 'delegates' being floated around. What does it all mean, I ask thee?

Of course, I've started to pick up bits and pieces, but it's still all rather complicated. For a starters, I don't quite understand who's voting, and for what. Do people have to be members of either the Democrat or Republican parties to vote, or are these elections open to anyone? And what about other political parties? (I presume there are some, however marginal they may be.) The staging of these votes also seem odd - first you get one or two, then a whole flood of states voting at once. A 'Super Tuesday' no less. Why is this? It's all a bit hard to understand for us Brits, with our political party leaders decided by a relatively small proportion of the population, and then Prime Minister voted for indirectly through a general election of MPs every four or so years.

I'm trying really hard to have an opinion on who I want to become President of the USA, not that my view counts for anything. I'll take a Democrat over a Republican, obviously, as George Bush is a Republican and any party with him as a leader must be idiots. So with the Democrats, there seem to be two possibles - Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton - right? Now I've read bugger all about their policies, either because I'm reading the wrong things or because no newspaper is printing it, so I have to make a judgment based solely on appearances.

This is a little hard, because Hillary is a woman, and Barack is black, and all previous American Presidents have been white men. Whilst supporting someone just because they're not white and male is clearly a bit silly, it does kinda feel at least on some level that it'd make for an interesting change.

Thankfully, we don't have to play the game of picking which minority (in power terms) we like best - women or black people - because Hillary has a trump card. She is the wife of an ex-President, Bill Clinton. Now whilst President Clinton was apparently generally quite well liked (despite that affair, which is all I know about him), having a husband and wife both being President seems a little odd. I mean, spread the job around a little! There's already been a father and son who have both been President, and look where that got us... If the job of President was assigned purely on merit, then the chances of a husband and wife both getting the job would surely be millions to one against?

On this perhaps flaky conclusion, I'm going to go all out and pledge my support for that friendly looking Barack Obama guy. Go Barack, Go. Or whatever it is they say in America.

P.S I encourage other UK bloggers to come out and give their opinions on this 'race'. Whether they know and care about it or not.