Few election thoughts on this historic day.
As I woke Princess Gabby up this morning (as always, her Disney princess light comes on first, as I softly beseech the princess to awake), a thought popped in mine head. Neither Gabby or Big G will know of a world in which a black man wasn’t president. Political debates aside, that’s a monumental moment. If they grow up to see blacks in positions of great power alongside whites, we will indeed have a different America within the next decade.
Now, taking into account the political debates, this was no landslide. At first glance, 2008’s total votes cast are about in line with 2004’s, and may fall short. That’s not change. Of the 435 seats up in the U.S. House, only about 20 flipped from one party to the other. That’s not change. In the Senate, of 35 seats on the ballot, no more than five or six flipped. That’s not change either.
One change we will have is an Obama administration under the world’s largest microscope. He’s very much still an enigma. No one knows exactly how he’ll govern, nor what challenges he’ll unexpectedly be forced to take on. Bush had a record. So did McCain. Obama does not …. for now.
Until the honeymoon is over, there is history to celebrate. A black man is leader of the free world. Only in America.
I admit up front, I am a nerd. Election day excites me more than kickoff. That said, here’s my personal diary for ELECTION 2008 BABY! Woo-hoo!
For the record, I voted Palin. Sure, it will count for McCain, but that’s beyond my control. If Obama/Biden wins, I have no qualms. I ain’t a hater, I just love the game.
9:19 – And Fox again calls Ohio for the Big O. Again, congrats president-elect Obama. And I am out.
9:16 – Big Mac still needs to run the table – NC, VA, Indiana, and Ohio. He loses one, he’s done.
9:14 – Whoa. Fox News took Ohio back. Them teases!
9:03 – Like watching a football game after the fact, when you know who won, all the drama is gone. And thus, good night.
9:02 – And Fox calls Ohio for Obama. It’s over. Congratulations, president-elect Obama!
Memo to all NBC and MSNBC news staffers from NBC headquarters
Subject: Reporting the news as it really is
As you all well know, NBC News recently took a brave step by adopting as our official editorial policy that the conflict in Iraq is a Civil War. We now deem that as fact, though our own government questions such a characterization. We took this move not in an effort to boost cable ratings or morale, but to be as honest and straightforward as we can with our news consumers.
In the past few days, we have had further deep thoughts and debate. For too long, many issues have beset this great nation with muddled or unsought answers. NBC News will now begin reporting those answers.
Effective immediately, NBC News and MSNBC will hold as effective editorial policy that:
– Miller Lite is less filling. It does not taste great.
– The egg came first. We base this on the definition of egg, which is “a body produced by a domestic bird.” We find that a domestic bird of some type laid an egg, and the offspring inside mutated into a chicken prior to hatching. Thus, a chicken was born. To argue otherwise simply ignores the definable facts.
– Picard is better than Kirk.
– Pluto is neither a planet or dwarf planet, but dead space rock. (“Cold” dead space rock is also acceptable.)
As of 10:41 a.m., here are results posted on the web. Note the reported gains by party. None say the exact same.
I ramble as results come in:
– 11:02: With the threat of domestic violence, I take my leave. Good job, Dems. See you in ’08.
– 11:00: More polls close. FOX – Another Dem House pickup in Az. Another in Fla. Another in here in NC with Heath Shuler winning. Dems need two more to take House.
– 10:58: CNN, King – “There will be a very different President Bush waking up in the White House tomorrow.” ME: What, will he be shorter? Blond? Shaved bald? What?
Talk about timing. I was voter No. 668 at my precinct. One minute earlier and I would have been demon spawn.
There were no electronic voting machines. Instead, we had paper ballots (to the delight, I’m sure, of Instaman). After signing in – which I really don’t remember having to do before – I received instruction on how to fill out the ballot. It’s been years since I was told to fill in a bubble – or, in this case, an oval.
I went to one of the many tall, skinny desks with walls and went to bubbling. As usual, I split my ticket. I vote for people, not parties. Both have a few too many nuts for me to fully embrace one (I’m looking at you Pat Robertson, and you Paul Krugman).
I also only vote the races in which I know the candidates. Most of the time I’ve met them. If I don’t know ’em, I ignore ’em. So no judical candidate votes from me.
All in all, no choking, no blackouts, and no harrassment. Good times.
Random thoughts as I suffer through one of my favorite days.
– 5:05: I’m off to do my duty! Polls here close at 7:30 p.m., so I have plenty of time to battle any Rove-commanded ninja squadrons ordered to disenfranchise me, or any Deaniacs waving laptops if I even dare whisper the name “Fo–.” (You’ll get this if you’re local). I may be online again tonight, if the wife can withstand my obsessive-compulsive channel-clicking disorder.
– 5:03: More maybe, could-it-be news!:
The DSCC… [Rich Lowry]
I hear they are confident about Webb, cautiously confident about McCaskill and giddy about Santorum. Fwiw…
– 5:00: It had to happen. Election rage!:
Twas the day before Election Day, when all through my mind, visions of confetti and exit polls, mixed with analysis of all kind.
I love Election Day. Really. I do. It’s Christmas seven weeks early. I get to input into a machine exactly what I want, then await that magical hour when the results come rolling in. Odds are I won’t get everything (one) I want (in office). But, as the old holiday adage goes – it’s the thought that counts.
Consider other ways the first Tuesday in November mirrors December 25:
You can’t wait to open presents
Anticipation for this year’s elections is running so high, exit polls will be harder to get to than questions inside a hermetically sealed mayonaisse jar on Funk & Wagnall’s front porch. Under threat of severe finger wagging and shaking heads, there will be no leak on trends, upswings, downswings or beloved crashes. Damn. By midday I will be in the midst of data-deprived hysteria. Think Ron White after one week sans a smoke. Seven o’ clock will not arrive fast enough. I’ll take several deep breathes, then become Ralphie unwrapping his BB gun. Ahhhhhh … release.
Old friends call come out the blue to say hello
Rush Limbaugh called me yesterday. No lie. He begged me to come out and support the GOP. Wow, I’m important! Cool! … Okay, maybe not. I admit it. It was a recording. And yes, my phone number was probably drawn at random by a computer. And yes, he said the same thing to everyone else “he” called. But that’s no different or less special than getting a Christmas card, which is usually read by Hallmark, addressed in the order in which my address appears in the contact list, and says the same thing everyone else reads. No?
Tuesday, September 5, in the year of our Lord 2006, at 6:30 EST, Katie Couric became the first woman to ever make $15 million a year reading someone else’s words during a network news cast broadcast live before a national television audience. Given the incessent hype and overwrought promotion, I felt it an obligation as a media junkie to tune in and witness HISTORY! (or is that HERSTORY!)
I was able to catch the A block. I was interrupted by my regularly scheduled duty of bathing the baby. In my mind I was live blogging the event. Consider this tape-delayed:
6:30 – It’s on. I’m there. Sorry Brit.
6:30.05 – Holy ghosts of Connie Chung Live! Is the opening supposed to be a subliminal nod to a former CBS co-anchor, or a lesson ignored? The show opens with Katie taking a step away from a giant screen and toward a camera dramatically zooming in on her (thankfully she didn’t stomp toward it as Chung did). She teases the night’s stories. Cheesy swoosh effects. Dramatic music. No smile. We’re hardcore now.
Politics and professional wrestling are twin brothers of different fathers. One born from a Jefferson, the other a McMahon. To understand one is to understand the other. Politics is simply professional wrestling with podiums. Or better yet, professional wrestling is playing politics in your underwear. Both require big guns.
Consider these five rules to success in both endeavors:
1. You gotta have a good gimmick.
WWE: Stone Cold Steve Austin is the beer-drinking hellraiser. Rowdy Roddy Piper the crazy Scot. The Undertaker gothic evil. Hulk Hogan the American hero. The way these dudes talk and dress enhance their assigned caricatures. It is how fans identify and perceive them. And the best gimmicks are often those not far from the true nature of the person. Back in the day Ric Flair really was as wild and – Wooooooooo – slick with the ladies as his in-ring persona suggested. Authenticity is not a requirement, but it does accentuate the narrative and promise success for the character.
W,D.C.: George W. Bush is the born again cowboy. John Kerry is a Vietnam vet. Bill Clinton was the Man from Hope who felt your pain. John Edwards is the son of a mill worker. John McCain drove the Straight Talk Express. Ned Lamont embodies a Referendum on the War. These guys lack only theme music and valets. (Could you imagine John McCain coming to a stage like this? I can.)
I’m not saying these traits aren’t authentic. I only argue that they are overstated and emphasized in an effort to brand the candidates.