I'm not sure about you, but I was more passionate about following news of Hurricane Sandy than I have ever been about this election.

This will be the first presidential election in which I can vote, and I am still a little unsure about whether it will be worth it to wake up early next Tuesday.

It's almost a cliche to say it at this point, but the magic surrounding Barack Obama has faded. "Yes we can" has been buried quietly under the White House lawn along with a myriad other inspirational promises and slogans. Even the original "Obama Girl," a model who made a music video saying she had a "crush" on Obama during the last election, has stated her ambivalence about him this time around. To me, it seems as if national politics doesn't matter as much anymore.

While I find foreign policy interesting, I barely understand it. Both candidates have pledged to continue ending our wars in the Middle East, both have pledged to continue protecting Israel, and both have pledged to be tough on China. Seems like we'll be okay on that end.

As for social policy, I have come to realize the extremely limited role national government can have in dictating our lives. Sure, it's great that Obama finally decided to man up and support marriage equality, but he can't do anything about it directly. Romney wants to loosen gun control laws, but he, too, has little power in that area.

Contrast this with the events of this past winter, when passion evinced during the General Assembly session. It seemed that women were dragged from the Capitol steps in handcuffs daily in front of TV cameras.

The Republicans, having gained control of both houses, set about to add their social agenda to the books. Capitol Square became a battlefield Monday through Friday as, inside, legislators passed laws allowing one to buy any number of guns per month and mandating invasive ultrasounds before abortions.

The arguments down the road have become a lot more real and interesting to me than the ones in D.C. Lately, I've begun following analyses of next year's gubernatorial election instead of any more presidential polls or debate dissections.

It won't become legal for my good friends, who happen to be gay, to marry in Washington, D.C. It will be here in Richmond, whenever this state's government decides to enter the 21st century. When that happens, I'll be watching.

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