Good evening from the CRH command bunker. Dave S. here, kicking off this evening's first-ever P4500 collaborative blogging event. Throughout the evening, as time and motor skills permit, EMM, CRH and I will offer updates and thoughts/reactions. Obviously we are not among the heavy hitters but we wanted to leave our mark, as it were, on this historic occasion. ("I voted in 2008 and all I got was an archived blog post. Oh, that and a new President WOO HOO!!!")
Speaking of heavy hitters, do make sure to check in with Talking Points Memo and 538 for lots of expert analysis and delicious stats and charts.
My own voting experience this morning was relatively straightforward and took much less time than planned. Originally I had planned to go midday to beat the crowds, but Laura and Fiona encountered a relatively short line when they went at 6AM, so I decided to take care of business right away. The line took only 30 minutes.
On the other hand I would have waited in line all day for this one. This is the absolute first election ever in which my vote will actually make a difference, after living in Massachusetts and DC for the past few cycles going back to 1988. I would like to personally thank Dr. Dean for sending us our relocation orders this past spring. The kerchiefs chafe a bit and some of the song lyrics are a bit contrived, but other than that we are happy to be part of the effort to turn Virginia blue.
7:40 PM - CRH
I was really hoping it would all be decided by now, but I guess we have to wait.
I went to vote at about 9:15 this morning, at a church on Capitol Hill. While a steady stream of people went through (or a heavy trickle), there were no lines and no problems. It took me about 15 minutes. My vote will not make a difference, unless the national popular vote has some impact. I think it's time to relocate to Virginia. They also get better "I voted" stickers.
8:22PM - Dave S.
VA definitely leads the pack in "I Voted" stickers among attendees. Fiona got a "Future Voter" sticker as well, although it could have been improved by having Cinderella waving the American flag.
PA has gone for Obama so things are going fine so far. CRH has procured excellent libations and snacks; the honey-sesame cashew from Trader Joe's are eminently inhalable.
Chris Matthews seems unusually subdued. The MSNBC crew clearly took great pains to put the tranq dart into him fron an angle not obvious to the viewing public.
8:27 PM - EMM
I secured my "I Voted" sticker less than 12 hours ago. I walked the 2 blocks to my polling place and was in and out in about an hour. If my name had fallen into the A-L category, my time would have been about 20 minutes. M-R was the longest line - lucky me (no complaints as it was an easy process). I drove past the polling site at 10:30 AM and 2:00 PM and there were no lines out the door as there were with the early voters.
Although I voted for McCain, it is not lost on me the historical significance of this evening. After voting I went to the pharmacy where the young clerk commented on my "I Voted" sticker. She was a young African-American who was excited about voting for the first time today. She told me that this morning she and her mom cried at the possibility of Obama being elected.
Regardless of the outcome, I hope that people will respect the decision, embrace whatever change may come and trust that a better tomorrow will follow.
Dave S. - 8:48 PM
Bleg time! If anyone can tell us how they do the Rockefeller Center ice display on MSNBC we would be much obliged. The room consensus is "magic" which I suspect would not hold up under scrutiny. Also, the pizza has arrived.
CRH - 9:10 PM
The firehose of data from MSNBC has proven to be insufficient, and we've started to surf the news channels, hoping for new and better updates. Chiefly, I'm hoping for new and better numbers from Virginia (for which I blame the S's).
Dave S. 9:39 PM - Ohio goes to Obama, and the champagne comes out. Not a premature overall celebration but a significant hurdle has been passed. Virginia is tightening and the S's have done their part.
Dave S. 10:09 PM
The opening of the scotch coincided with the news of Chris Shays' defeat in Connecticut, removing the last Republican from the New England Congressional delegation. I await JJV's take on this, as I believe there is a picture somewhere with the two of them.
Dave S. 10:46 PM
Light updating as returns are slow coming in, plus we are glued to Comedy Central. I do want to give a shout-out to commenters MRL and JWT for checking in with us. You, as we have often said, are our base. Actually we may have said you were base but the record is unclear on that.
Dave S. 10:58 PM
This will probably about do it for us. Laura and I need to head back to relieve our sitter, buoyed by the news that Virginia has been projected for Obama. (You're welcome!) Many thanks to all and sundry!
CRH - 12:25 PM
Live blogging took a brief (ha!) hiatus, while I pushed Dave S., his lovely wife and EMM out the door, then watched the two speeches. I thought John McCain gave a very good concession speech, and both looked and sounded more like his old self than he has in years. Obama had every advantage for his speech, and used them to great effect. JJV will not be satisfied, but I thought it was a speech that a substantial majority of the country could be happy with.
On that, I will cease blogging for the night. God bless America.
Dave S. 12:35 AM
We actually watched McCain concede while being pushed out the door of the bunker, but I agree that McCain gave a good speech. However, the reaction of his audience to mentions of Obama and his (McCain's) loss suggest, however indirectly, the genie that has been let out of the bottle by the choices McCain made during his campaign. Of course, they all stem from Obama's refusal to do town meetings so McCain can sleep soundly at night.
Obama's speech was excellent and it is a measure of what we have undergone in the past eight years to delight in having a more-than-articulate person speaking for himself, his party and our nation.
Meanwhile the scene outside the White House is incredible; Channel 4 estimated 5-10,000 more or less spontaneously gathering to cheer the election results. Inauguration Day is going to be something. I was at the 1992 inauguration and remember the crowd's exultation at seeing Bush pere fly away in the chopper. It will pale in comparison to January 2009 and I intend to be there with my family. This is up there with Crispian's Day in terms of "I was there" status.
God bless America, God bless President-elect Obama (and God love Vice-President-elect Biden) and God bless our co-bloggers and our commenters.