Has Chris Christie tanked his presidential hopes with the bridge scandal? Will Hillary get in or not?

We're endlessly fascinated with a presidential election that's more than two years away, but it's a little scary how uninterested we can be in a Pennsylvania gubernatorial primary just four months away.

In our system of government, states are vested with enormous legal and financial powers, and the person in the governor's chair will affect our lives in countless ways. Just think: Medicare expansion, gas drilling policy, school funding, voter ID laws.

I won't be surprised if you can't name the eight Democratic candidates for governor, but given the stakes in the governor's race, it's worth getting to know them. (Gov. Corbett may or not be opposed in his party's primary.)

Last night I had a close-up look when I moderated a forum on sustainability at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel, co-sponsored by the Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance, the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, Conservation Pennsylvania, and Penn Environment.

Seeing them on their feet

In a couple of months, the candidates who can afford to will start introducing themselves in TV ads, but I think you can learn something from watching candidates unrehearsed in a setting where they have to think on their feet.

I have to say I was pretty impressed with this crew, including some who are little-known, such as Max Myers, a minister from Mechanicsburg in Cumberland County.

You can see the whole thing, complete with several interruptions from protesters and the candidates's answer to my question about whether there's anyone they won't accept money from, on the Pennsylvania Cable Network.

It airs tonight (Tuesday, Jan. 14) at 7 p.m. and Wednesday morning at 9 a.m.

There will be other candidate forums, including one we're hosting at WHYY along with the Philadelphia Business Journal on Feb. 4, on jobs and the economy. More on that later.