Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day Log

This seems like such a momentous day, and the idea of posting a structured post seems anti-climactic. So instead I'll just post a series of impressions throughout the day.

6:10 AM

Time to get up and go to work. I slept well last night, and I feel remarkably peaceful. Polls open at 7AM, but I'll be far from my local polling station when they unlock their doors. I'd love to get my vote out of the way early, but it's just not possible. Should I have taken the day off to help the Obama campaign? I'm there in spirit. No way am I listening to talk radio on my drive this morning. NPR is fixated on the state of our financial markets. I see plenty of Obama signs (including some good handwritten ones on Rte. 28 at the 40th Street Bridge). As I head north there are less of them, with a couple of notable exceptions.

There is a very small handful of Obama supporters at my workplace, but they are nearby, so the morning starts on a positive note. Plus one employee greets me with an Eat 'N Park Smiley-Face cookie. A co-worker is calling for a tie (at 269) in the electoral college, which would nonetheless be a victory for the Illinois Senator (as the House of Representatives would then choose the president). A few of us are gently ribbing our local McCain supporter, and letting hm know there's a slot for him on the bandwagon. I take a look at some political sites, including Huffington Post.

Mid-morning

I had a chance to catch a few minutes of local talk radio coverage. KDKA 1020 host Marty Griffin is lamenting the "haters"- conservative hosts who continually attack Democrats indiscriminately. He could have been talking about his colleagues down at the station. That right there tells you something about the state of talk radio in Pittsburgh. The fact that we are left with Griffin as the "moderate" voice in town is pathetic. The good news is that I realized I could get AM 570 out of Youngstown. Robert Mangino is the voice of the morning in Southeastern Ohio. I caught him by accidenty filling in on KDKA Saturday Night. That was refreshing.

Lunch

I understand that NPR tries to convey an even tone in their programming, but to listen to Day-to-Day, you'd hardly know that there was an important national election happening today. There was a feature on how sexuality in television may influence teens, and some more coverage of the markets. However, there's no hard-hitting reporting of the big event. Instead we get a segment on political impressions, and another on election-night rituals. I'm hoping that Terry Gross has something interesting for my drive home- I certainly don't want to be forced into listening to Hannity or Honsberger.

Drive Home

NPR's "Election Special"?! A discussion of the military under the next commander-in-chief... what kind of demographic study led to that choice?

4:15 PM

I've cast my vote for the Obama/Biden ticket. It was a touchscreen device, and you can bet your ass I took my time to make sure the machine was working right. Behind me were some young African-American men voting for their first time ever. It's exciting. The wait was relatively short... about 5-10 minutes. M. and Baby E. (who refused to smile at the site captain) were with me. What's funny is that I kind of hoped that turnout would be low in my neighborhood. Now I guess we wait for the completely unreliable exit polls.

5:20 PM

Two Obama volunteers showed up to make sure we voted. It's very heartening to see the actual "ground game" in action. There were Obama canvassers here Saturday and they were perfectly matched for the demographics of this area. I saw several more Obama signs go up on my street over the last two days. It's important to note that I have yet to see a single McCain campaign worker in this neighborhood, throughout the entirety of the process.

8:15 PM

I couldn't sit around anymore and wait for the results to start coming in. After E. went to bed I took a walk around the neighborhood. Everything was unusually still. I drove out to Subway for a sandwich, and caught audio snippets about states already being called. Clips from the Obama and McCain headquarters in Pittsburgh told much of the story. The IL Senator's place is jumping with shrieks of joy, and on the other side there was dead silence as people waited for some McCain supporters to show up. But I didn't get any specifics until now. Pennsylvania is in the Obama win column!

9:25 PM

FOX and MSNBC call Ohio for Obama. Looks mighty good for the Democrat.

9:33 PM

MSNBC calls New Mexico for Obama. Is it over?

10:04 PM

Iowa for Obama.

10:35 PM

I was going to wait for more results came in, but it seems silly to wait any longer... congratulations to President-Elect Barack Obama, and to all those who have supported his campaign. This is truly a momentous occasion in the history of this nation. It makes me proud of my country.

10:50 PM

FOX calls Virginia for Obama.

11:01 PM

MSNBC officially names Barack Obama the next President of the United States, with projected victories in California, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii (297 electoral college votes).

11:13 PM

MSNBC reports that John McCain has called Barack Obama to concede the election.

11:18 PM

Add Colorado and Florida to count (333).

11:30 PM

A gracious "Exit Stage Left" by John McCain, and an accompanying call for the nation to come together once again under a new leader.

Midnight

And the address from our new President. A message of hope and an assurance of capability. What an amazing end to a crazy race, and an incredible start to a new chapter.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading your diary of the day. I was very impressed with McCain's concession speech and his best wishes for Obama, and Obama showed the country (and the world) was a great orator he is, bringing a message of change and hope for America's future. Hopefully, the world will be a better place because of what happened yesterday.

And...congratulations to you once again for predicting this unlikely (at least at the time) final result shortly after Obama began his campaign.
jg

7:35 AM  
Blogger Reid said...

Thanks a bunch for being a calm in a storm. I found your site through O&B and have used it to keep myself even keeled through this crazy time. (Don't know how much yo've been back to O&B, but Rev is absolutely comical in his ignorance and spin and it's even funnier post election)

8:25 AM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

jg,

Thanks. No more predictions for awhile.

11:48 AM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

reid,

Thanks for stopping by for a spell. I always get a kick out of Rev. Bully's posts. I look forward to seeing his rationalizations and justifications for the loss.

11:50 AM  

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