I've done a couple of stories on Barack Obama and the '08 election, but I figured I'd hold off a while on doing any more, since we're still a while out from the election. To put it in terms that the kind of people who read this site are likely to understand, there's still one Super Bowl, two NBA Finals and two World Series between now and then.

But the thing about '08 is that it's a lot more wide open at this point than previous elections have been. Not that I'm that old or anything, but this might be the first time in my life that there isn't an incumbent president or vice president in the race. In fact, the real story this time around could be the race for the nomination, which is just now beginning to heat up.

Just this past week, the first debates were held between the candidates of the two major parties, and already this week there's been the announcement of at least two major endorsements: Oprah Winfrey is throwing her considerable weight (get it?) behind Barack Obama, while Russell Simmons has decided to endorse the relatively obscure Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich.

Hmm...

Here's the thing: I seriously doubt any of the major candidates were trying to court the coveted Russell Simmons endorsement, especially with the amount of flak hip-hop has been catching as of late. In the same Times Magazine interview in which Rush called Barack Obama a mouse(?!), he mentioned having once did yoga with John Edwards, but I wasn't sure what to make of that.

On the other hand, the Oprah endorsement is obviously a big deal, especially given the facts that, a) we're still so far out from the election, b) so many women in this country will buy or do whatever she says, and c) she normally prefers to take the Bono approach to electoral politics - not siding with one party over the other, lest she run afoul of whoever ends up winning.

Which brings up an interesting point: Is the hip-hop community really planning on endorsing the same candidate as Oprah Winfrey: negro woman from the South enemy of hip-hop? Interestingly enough, Barack Obama has taken a few shots of his own against hip-hop, which is what caused Russell Simmons to call him a mouse.

Based on the past few stories I've done here on the '08 election, I would assume that most of you d-bags are planning on voting for Barack Obama. In the last story I did, on the utter futility of tempting to court the young black/hip-hop community by posing for a picture with Beyonce, there was quite a bit of uproar that I even dared to criticize the first viable black candidate evar.

As if.

Like I said, we're still a while out from the election; for all we know, there could be even more people entering and exiting the race between now and then. But it'll interesting to see who the majority of the hip-hop community decides to support and how they arrive at that decision. My guess is that whatever they (we?) do, it's not going to involve a whole lot of thought, but you guys know I'm a hater like that.