Matthew Yglesias has a little post on Joe Schmo American who isn't really following presidential politics with the rabid media-obsessed mania of the rest of us. (Notice how I neatly number myself among a majority that is largely a product of my imagination, or, perhaps of my local conditions.)
It reminds me of a conversation I recently had with my office-mate:
Me: I love General Wesley Clark.
Me: Oh, he's this former NATO commander who might run for pres. You might have seen him doing military analysis on CNN during the war.
Officemate: Um. Nope. I was watching 6 Feet Under then. I missed the war. So, he is a Republican?
Me: Oh, no Republicans are going to run against Bush!
Officemate: Wait, wait, wait. Bush gets to go again?
Me: Uh, yeah. He's only done one term. He'll run for re-election.
Officemate: Huh. Does anybody ever just, you know, not run again?
Me: Yeah, sometimes. LBJ didn't. But Bush is going to run. And there are something like 9 democratic hopefuls right now! Maybe more, I lose count.
Officemate: Woah! Nine?? That's going to be a huge ballot, right?
Me: ..... Well, look, only one of them is going to get the democratic nomination.
Officemate: Oh, so there will only be one of them going against Bush?
Me: Yeah. Dean is popular with the progressive left, but Kerry's got the edge of---
Officemate: [expression a mix of boredom/confusion]
Me: None of this--seriously--none of this is ringing a bell?
Officemate: I don't pay attention to all that crap.
Can you really blame her? Sometimes I think she's got it all figured out...