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The Final Hours

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By Kathleen Parker
Friday, October 31, 2008

It is hard to imagine that "undecideds," like restless phantoms with unfinished business, still haunt these final hours.

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What can they be waiting for? An epiphany? Some final bit of information to tip the scale? A hidden corpse, an illegitimate child, a beloved aunt living in public housing?

Aha! As October surprises go, the very late-breaking (alleged) discovery that Barack Obama's aunt lives in public housing in South Boston is weak tea. According to the Times of London, one Zeituni Onyango -- a woman whose walls are plastered with Obama photos -- is "Auntie Zeituni" in Obama's book "Dreams From My Father."

Whether the story is true is still unknown, but it didn't take long for the right-wing blogosphere to embrace it. How delicious for them, if true, that her accommodations are not up to the standards to which her nephew has become accustomed. There's also an errant "Uncle Omar" around some place, though details are murky.

What tangled webs entwine America's family tree.

Companion to this news is a "red diaper baby" story in American Thinker about Obama's early training as a communist at his mother's knee.

Both are being circulated as post-narratives to Obama's chosen one, but neither is likely to change many minds. Too many Woodstock boomers grew up to become conservatives for the diaper story to gain traction. And few can profess to having bought condos for their less-well-off extended family members.

Moving on. What else don't we know, and how much does it matter to the undecideds, who represent about 8 percent of the voting public? If they tuned in to Obama's Wednesday night infomercial, they were greeted by a man more Reaganesque than Reagan. Calm, soothing and reassuring, he presented real-people stories and real-people solutions with the voice and demeanor of Mr. Rogers. One kept expecting him to trade his shoes and jacket for sneakers and a dye-free sweater.

It was Gee Whiz meets Cheez Whiz. But it was also probably effective. In the midst of Halloween season, there was nothing scary about That One.

So what are these zombies of the voting booth really waiting for? Something they won't find: the perfect choice. It doesn't exist. The clear path is dappled with doubt. The telling clue is buried in the hearts of Col. Mustard, who worries about Iraq and taxes under Obama, and Miss Scarlet, who can't get past McCain's age and the winking wonderwoman of Wasilla.

A friend's late-night call cast light on the undecided's milieu. She was filling out her ballot at home and had made every choice but one. The presidential ticket.

"I just can't quite bring myself to do it. I hate Sarah Palin. Help me out here."


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