Liveblogging: The Long Night of Hope

And so the day has finally arrived … and here I sit in my hotel room in Birmingham, the sonorous sounds of Wolf Blitzer, spinning himself into a frenzy as he waits for the polls to close, singing me to sleep.

The first polling booth is another hour away from closing and many media agencies are already in a frenzy over exit polls … I’ve been here before and I know which way the wind is blowing … I’m not going to listen, I’m going to stick my ears in my fingers and sing at the top of my lungs until something substantial comes through …

22.32 GMT
Hey look, it’s Rudy Giuliani … how long til he says 9/11?

22.39 GMT
CNN are reporting ‘poll access problems’ with people waiting 5 hours to wait to vote. Shit! Seriously? What the hell is the problem? Are there international observers monitoring these elections?

If, for some reason, you’re reading this and you’re in the US and you haven’t gone out to vote yet, grab a good book, or charge up your PSP and jump in line. Even if the polls ‘officially close’ they have to allow everyone queued up to vote. You will not get another chance.

Things to do while waiting in queue to vote:
– reacquaint yourself with the Declaration of Independence, some of the finest writing in existence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

– start a Mexican wave
– study electrical engineering and IT – you may need the ability to fix the polling booth when it breaks down …
– Sing the theme to the Muppet Show, better still see how many people you can get around you to start singing this:

01.00 GMT
Polls are closing along the east and CNN is doing the usual ‘we project’ even with only 1% of the vote counted in many of those areas, for the most part, it’s none too exciting – they’ve awarded ‘safe states’ to McCain and Obama. MSNBC and Fox both appear to agree with CNN.

In the red corner with 34 electoral votes (and may I remind you how confusing this gets when one is used to associating red with left and blue with right … is anyone else amused by Palin calling Obama a socialist while wearing red?) – Oklahoma, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina

In the blue corner with 77 electoral votes – Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and the District of Colombia

picture-11

01.50 GMT
All media outlets are awarding major swing state, Pennsylvania (21 electoral votes) to Obama – a massive call given that only 1% of the votes there have been counted.

A quick sweep of the news outlets and it appears that there are still a lot of issues surrounding the actual act of voting. Over at Fox they’re reporting that actor Tim Robbins, who has been registered to vote in New York for 10 years, discovered that he wasn’t on the list of his polling place

02.05 GMT
CNN are stunned that in their exit polls, race was not a factor.

Lesson for media outlets to learn: in the real world, people do not give a shit about the potentially inflammatory stuff you do – please find some real news to report.

02.15 GMT
So Sonal, what are these Electoral votes?
Um … good question … I’ve tried looking it up on the US Electoral College and, god help me, even Wikipedia … I still don’t understand how it works (and I managed to fully grasp how the primaries worked in the space of an hour) – help, please?

Time for a nap (I still have to work in the morning).

03.00 GMT
Yup, I’ve checked Reuters fancy little fact box (scroll down their page to find it) and I still don’t understand the reasoning behind or how the electoral votes work … did the founding fathers not trust the masses to vote for President?

CNN have called another major swing state, Ohio (20 electoral votes), for Obama … that takes us to roughly 200 electoral votes for Obama (he needs 270 to win) with – Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, District of Colombia, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and New Mexico.

Meanwhile in the red corner with numbers that vary from 78 – 124 electoral votes – Oklahoma, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, West Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Wyoming, North Dakota, Louisiana … MSNBC also gives him Kansas, Texas and Arkansas.

‘It’s insulting for the McCain campaign to say the other part of America isn’t the real America, it’s insulting’ – CNN panellist … um, you think? Dude, we all said that back when they wheeled out Palin, only now (when it’s possible that the writing is on the wall) you see it with the rest of us?

picture-21

03.23 GMT
CNN are reporting that senior advisors in the McCain camp are feeling grim and don’t see much hope … I don’t dare to breathe … not just yet …

03.50 GMT
Ok CNN win on their coverage purely because they’ve got a hologram thingy that looks just like the one in Star Wars (where Princess Leia says ‘help me Obi Wan Kenobi’) to do interviews with people off site … awesome!

picture-3

04.00 GMT
CNN projects Barack Obama to be the 44th President of the United States

04.04 GMT
MSNBC also follows suit and calls the election for Obama

04.07 GMT
And a million Facebook statuses celebrate …

04.08 GMT
Even Fox News has conceded

picture-4

04.18 GMT
John McCain concedes the election.

04.40 GMT
Text messages between many a sibling world wide …

Bhai: Obama won 🙂 – it’s a great day
Soni: Woo!
Bhai: I am v happy!
Bhai: This is looking like a trashing of epic proportions
Soni: [paraphrased] yeah the republicans have lost 4 states and the democrats have the majority of the senate and look like they’ll have the house too. expect major policy changes next year.
Bhai: Finally some sanity wil prevail!

CNN reports that Bush has called Obama to congratulate him.

04.48 GMT
While we wait for the President – Elect to speak, let’s see where we are at:

In the red corner (155 electoral votes) – Oklahoma, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, West Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Wyoming, North Dakota, Louisiana, Kansas, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Utah, Arizona and Idaho.

In the blue corner with a whopping 333 electoral votes (and the largest majority since Lyndon B Johnson) – Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, District of Colombia, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, Florida, California, Oregon, Washington, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado and Hawaii

04.57
Obama enters stage left …

On this day change has come to America

And he promises his kids a puppy …

05.15 GMT
Out of many, we are one.

And as that is how I started tonight, I think that’s a pretty good place to end this long obsession with the race to the White House. Goodnight y’all.

A new age begins – here’s hoping they we can live up to our expectations.

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4 Responses to “Liveblogging: The Long Night of Hope”

  1. I actually never thought about the red/blue thing before – to me it seems natural for red to be republican, both for the alliteration and the easy addition of ‘neck’

    Never got around to dressing as Sarah Palin for Halloween but I’ll keep the badges I made for when I throw a dress-up party with the theme “Whatever happened to…?”

  2. That’s it america, make those arrogant hate-stoking cheneycons and their cadre of bombastic REMF lickspittle media toys CHOKE.

    We have all earned some frikkin schadenfreude, s’all I can say.

  3. Tom Brokaw explained that ages ago NBC had red as Dems and blue as GOP (blue blooded, etc). However, at some point after that, ABC decided they didn’t want to be accused of calling the Dems Commies, so they switched it, and this version caught on. Not that interesting of an explanation, I know.

  4. Thanks Lady T for the explanation! Still waiting for an explanation of the electoral college vote … anyone?

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