There are a lot of things to say about last night. Some of them I’ll have to wait on, since I want actual statistics to discuss, rather than exit polls (which are a statistical mess).

But a few scattered thoughts:

I’m glad Jon Stewart was the one to tell me. ^_^ (We were watching Comedy Central’s hour-long coverage special at the time.)

McCain supporters at the concession speech: not cool. Speech good, but I wish he had been a little more energetic in quieting the boos.

Part of me wishes I were still in Indiana, not only so I could be part of flipping that state blue — seriously, the results aren’t finalized, but it looks like it happened! — but so I would have had a real possibility of hopping in the car and driving to Chicago. Because a part of me really wishes I could have been there in Grant Park.

Sadly, my being in California does not appear to have made a difference in Prop 8. But there are already legal battles being prepared; we’ll get rid of that thing, and I hope sooner rather than later.

As moving as the headlines from around the country are, what get me more are the international reactions. Very nearly the entire world was rooting for Obama. And while he’s going to have a four-year uphill battle, trying to fix the many things that have gone wrong, the simple fact of his election is enough to make many nations look more kindly upon us. That alone is worth the weight of the White House in gold.

Now? The real work begins.

0 Responses to “”

  1. jimhines

    I loved the Comedy Central coverage. Much fun, and I loved the Harvard prof. who came in to talk about how he thought Michelle would be the one running for president πŸ™‚

    (Edited to fix the unforgiveable mistake of using the wrong icon!)

    • amysisson

      I was quite impressed with the Harvard prof too. I’d be as intimidated as anything to appear on that show, but he was both funny and made his point.

      I didn’t see “the” announcement on the Daily Show — will have to track that down on YouTube tonight. I saw it on ABC. I was stunned that it came so early. In a good way. πŸ˜‰

      • Marie Brennan

        I wasn’t surprised. I think basically everybody was waiting for the West Coast polls to close, because calling it sooner would have a detrimental effect on turnout*; but with Ohio and Pennsylvania in the bag, and Virginia on its way there, McCain didn’t really stand a chance. I mean, hell — McCain’s concession speech came fast enough that you have to figure his team already knew they had lost, and were just waiting for the poll closings to admit it.

        *I guess we don’t care about turnout in Hawaii or Alaska. At least not enough to wait. πŸ™‚

  2. tessagratton

    I’m glad Jon Stewart was the one to tell me. ^_^

    He’s the one I’ve watched the campaign with, and he’s the only thing that got me through the days after the 2004 election – I am so glad he told me, too.

    And of course, I peed my pants laughing when Colbert put on his black-out goggles.

    • Marie Brennan

      I wished earlier in the day that they had more than just one hour of coverage, because while Stewart and Colbert wouldn’t have any news yet either, at least they’d be entertaining about it.

      The empty chatter of traditional pundits just makes me want to sport my eardrums out.

      • tessagratton

        The pundits were especially bad when they started trying to say things that will turn into famous quotes about this day in history.

        Maybe the reason Colbert and Stewart remain so good is *because* they know how to limit themselves. Even when we are begging for more.

  3. eclectician

    I was a little dismayed too, but it was pointed out later that if Obama was conceding, we’d probably have heard some pro-forma boos from the support too. Bad losers are everywhere.

    Oh, also, Charles was apparently in Grant Park last night. =)

    • Marie Brennan

      It’s hard to speculate, since the situation is not comparable. The momentum of the election was such that for Obama not to win would have raised very justifiable suspicions about voter suppression, etc; his team was prepared to fight to make sure everything got counted appropriately. Any speech he made would not have been in concession, and there would have been a lot more than just booing.

      I can try to imagine a scenario in which Obama’s campaign was the dispirited and lagging one, going in to the election with no more than a distant, forlorn hope of victory, and then guess how his supporters would have reacted: sure, there might have been boos. But I heard in McCain’s supporters the harvest of the way their candidates demonized the opposition, campaigning on fear and negativity, and it makes me worry about the future.

      • eclectician

        This is all true.

        But I’m not sure the way the McCain campaign was run really contributed to what we heard. I think it was more a universal feature of politics, the hard, bitter core of any support, the universal sore-loser tendency.

        • Marie Brennan

          I haven’t watched enough concession speeches to know, and especially not enough of this sort (where one candidate was headed for clear victory well before the day itself).

  4. booniecat

    I thouht that McCain gave a very nice consession speech, all things considered. Very elequent. And I don’t think there was any more or less demonizing or negativity on one side or the other, this election or several previous ones. Not every McCain supporter is a racist redneck (speaking here as a red neck) any more than every Obama supporter is a socialist hippie (Speaking here as a hippie). In the end, it is just the die hard dedication that what you worked for and hoped for during the last 2, 3 years of your life did not come to fruition. (Speaking here as a third party supporter)

    • Marie Brennan

      And I don’t think there was any more or less demonizing or negativity on one side or the other

      I have to disagree. Unless you class “John McCain would tax your health insurance benefits” on par with “Barack Obama pals around with terrorists,” I don’t think the negativity of the two campaigns was equivalent. I saw a lot on the right aimed at raising fears that Obama is a secret Muslim, he isn’t really American, he isn’t like You And Me, etc, and while the McCain campaign wasn’t actively pushing all of that, it certainly did its part, and did not do much to quiet the people shouting things like “bomb Obama,” “off with his head,” and “kill him!” All of which increases the risk that somebody’s going to decide that they need to save America by putting a bullet in Obama’s head. (In fact, some people have already decided that. I’ve heard of two thwarted assassination plans already.)

      If you can find me evidence of people shouting similarly violent things at Obama rallies, or Obama encouraging people to equate John McCain with a terrorist, I will reconsider my opinion.

  5. booniecat

    So, because someMcCain supporters were fringed and crazy, all are? I live exactly 15 miles from the birth place of the KKK in Texas (as they will proudly tell you the one, and only time, you might stop to shop there). But, even in this back woods part of the world, there was not much of that at all, and none of the rallies for Obama or McCain here had any instances of it. The news latched on to it in several cases, and what was a few isolated events became expectations, on both sides of the fence. It is very similar to people attributing what Obama’s (former) preacher would say directly to Obama’s beliefs or consider them as good as said by him. Just because he was associated with someone who may hold those beliefs does not, thru the associative property of math, make them his beliefs.

    Not to mention, if you silence it at rallies, no matter what is said, you will be introduced to the wonderful world of Freedom of speech, special thanks to our friends over at the ACLU.

    I just think this was a particularly sticky election because, even tho race shouldn’t matter, it does matter, even if it pains America to admit it and America had to learn to deal with it.

    Anyhow, McCain and Palin were plenty attacked just in a more traditional manner. How many times were they called warmongers, what abot the “McSame” ads, or the attacks on Palin regarding her parenting skills, religion, or hobbies?

    In the end, it is all the same. Ever since the “Daisy” advertisement, political campaign commercials have become less “Vote for me because of X!” and more “Don’t vote for him because of Y!”. Each side is equally guilty of it, and has been. But, it is accepted practice.

    My point is those crazy, extreme people exist, but they don’t define the candidate they support, the party they claim or the area they reside any more then Fundamentalist Christians who bomb abortion clinics represent Christianity.

    Although, on the topic of his assassination (I thought it was three thwarted?), have you heard about the crazy lengths that the government is going to go thru for him and his family. I mean, it is good that he is going to be protected, but so, so sad at the same time. For him, but mostly for his family. I cannot imagine having to live in that kind of fear every day, and my heart goes out to them (And those Agents charged with their lives).

    • Marie Brennan

      Er, I don’t believe I ever claimed that all McCain supporters were fringed and crazy. This started with me saying that I didn’t much like the guys at his concession speech booing when he spoke of the need to work together with our new president. We went on from there to the question of campaign tactics.

      I don’t think that being associated with somebody whose beliefs are perhaps objectionable means that you’re automatically tarred the same. (Which is why, though I’m deeply bothered by Palin’s own religious associations, I don’t generally bring them up when I talk about why I opposed her.) What bothered me with the McCain campaign was the extent to which they were willing to author and abet such attacks, either in their own speeches, or in standing silently by when other people did it. To say they’d be abridging freedom of speech by suggesting to their supporters that maybe death threats against a candidate isn’t the way they want to run things is a gross overstatement of the First Amendment, and I don’t think the ACLU would even bat an eyelash.

      “A more traditional manner” of attack, to me, is not the same thing at all: McSame may be a derogatory nickname, but it’s a way of encapsulating the undeniable fact that McCain voted with Bush over 90% of the time (and was once very proud of it). Likewise, when his camp is singing “bomb bomb bomb Iran,” I think calling them belligerent is a valid criticism — and not the same thing as accusing Obama of terrorist associations because he was once on the board of a charitable foundation with a guy who did bad things when Obama was eight. One tars a guy for his indirect associations; the other tars him for his direct actions.

      Yes, people attacked Palin for her parenting skills and other things not directly relevant to her political actions. I never saw the Obama campaign do so, and in fact they issued a statement saying people should lay off Bristol and her baby. I did see the McCain campaign call Obama anti-American and a friend to terrorists. And given the atmosphere in this country, and our racial tensions, that fed the threat of violence in a way that names like “McSame” do not.

      I can’t imagine having to live that way, either, and there’s a thread in me that will always be wound tight with the fear that someone is going to kill him, or a member of his family. That would be, not just a tragedy, but a catastrophe for this nation.

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