Commentary: Citizens ready to choose a president

This editorial appeared in The Fresno Bee.

By the end of the day, it'll all be over except the counting - unless, of course, we have a repeat of Florida in 2000. The months of speeches, rallies, fundraising, voter registration drives, polling and enough punditry to fill the Library of Congress will come to an end - well, the punditry will go on, as the talking heads tell us all what it is we just did to ourselves and the nation.

One thing is certain: What we do today will be historic. We may elect the first African-American president in our history. We may put the oldest president ever into office. We could elect the first woman to serve as vice-president. We may see a huge shift in the political balance of power in Congress.

In California, we'll decide the most controversial ballot measure in memory, Proposition 8 - though the outcome, either way, is unlikely to settle the issues at stake. The losing side will be back to fight again some day soon.

There are other crucial issues on the ballot: a mayor's race in Fresno, redistricting reform in Sacramento, high-speed rail for California.

There will be much to remember after this campaign season: Joe the Plumber and Tina Fey's impression of Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live are already classic campaign moments. We were treated to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears in campaign ads. We were taught to be anxious about who will answer that "3 a.m. phone call."

To read the complete editorial, visit The Fresno Bee.