"So fucking proud of you guys!" This guy is going places!
Oh wait. O'Rourke.
Did you know there is a "Presidential Prayer Team"? Well, there is. And here was the team prayer today:
Heavenly Father, thank you for your continued grace and mercy and for blessing the United States of America. As many across the country head to the polls, we ask for Your wisdom and guidance as the nation votes. We pray that Your will is accomplished through our actions and for the results of the election to be according to Your plan.
Although we may try to control our lives, we know that you are ultimately in control. Remind us that no matter the outcome, Your plans for the nation far exceed our understanding. Heal any divisions or broken relationships that we may have endured because of political views and help unify the hearts and minds behind the newly elected leaders. Guide them in the service of their country and that each decision that they make would be honoring to you.
Fellow Americans, I bid you good night.
Quote for election day, from one of my erudite Facebook friends.
Benjamin Disraeli was called to order after telling Parliament that "half the cabinet are asses":
"Mr. Speaker, I withdraw my statement. Half the cabinet are not asses."
Claire McCaskill concedes in Missouri: "This state drives me crazy but I love every corner of it."
In other news, more than 100 women were elected tonight, I read on Facebook.
Yes, I'm watching Pelosi, who is best described as a pre-existing political condition. Her words bead on my brain, and run out of my ears. (So did both Bushes', both Clintons and most of Obama's. Maybe I just don't listen too good.)
Ted Cruz insists on congratulating Beto O'Rourke on C-SPAN: "He worked tirelessly, he's a dad, and he took time away from his family" to work on this campaign. Because that's what good men do. Meanwhile, Democrat Sean Casten, who won in the 6th Congressional District here in Illinois, is making Caddyshack references. More touching is 14th District Representative Randy Hultgren, giving a gractious concession speech while his young son watches him, in tears.
Dave Brat loses, Amy Finkenauer wins. Go figure.
12%, and I don't know where the cord is.
Gillum concedes in Florida. "I still believe that there are more of us who believe in what is common and what is decent and what is right." … "If we all do good, we can all do good." … "Even in defeat, I believe that to be true."
My computer battery is at 17%. My battery too.
MSNBC just projected the House to Democrats, while Senate will stay Republican. All over but the shouting. Not sure how much patience I have for the shouting. And the shouting seems to begin with a discussion over whether the new Democratic House will request Trump's tax returns from IRS.
This is basically going according to Hoyle. (Remember in 2016, when the NYT had that asinine gas-gauge that showed Clinton with like a 90% chance of winning, and you watched that needle just go down to zero? This is not that.) Anyone who is crushed was not listening. Anyone who is happy is on better drugs than mine.
Now Pritzker. I think we're gonna need a bigger lectern. (Yeah, yeah; there are different kinds of obesity, okay? This is human lectern obesity.) He's trying to deliver a set speech, very obviously speechwriter-crafted. A story of the Grand Crossing neighborhood where he announced his campaign. Something about a train wreck that occurred a hundred years ago. Something about needing to build from the wreckage of the past. "From Tangled Root Brewery to Brown Sugar Bakery, our entrepreneurs, blah, blah, blah." Speechwriters, don't write speechwriter speeches. This is going to be a boring four years.
ON THE OTHER HAND: Kwame Raoul is giving his victory speech for winning Illinois attorney general. I sat next to him at a political dinner earlier this year. He's a lovely, charming, somehow shy-seeming man. He's in tears, talking about his mother, who is on the stage. And his father, too. And his son. And his daughter. Check it out, WGN. (It's a shambling speech, I grant you; but deeply heartfelt.)
J.B. Pritzker spent $171 million of his own money to become governor of this hopelessly shitty state we live in—and to run it like a run-of-the-mill Democrat. I'm glad he beat Rauner, I honestly don't understand his motivations. It is undeniably bad, being governed by billionaires whose motivations we don't understand. An unrepresentative democracy.
Family member acknowledges Dems are winning House races so far but is haunted by 2016 and was hoping for the blue wave. If she would just wake up to C-SPAN jamokes for a full hour to start every day, as I do (because I am a man of good sense and deep wisdom), she would have faced daily the truth that there is a blue wave, but there's a red wave, just as strong. And there's nothing more dangerous than a confused sea.
Text from a family member: "I don't know if I can take more heartbreak." What did she just see?
Joe Manchin giving victory speech on C-SPAN. This isn't rhetoric. It's ground clutter. He assures us that social security and Medicare won't be messed with, and promises to fight against pre-existing condition deniers "with every drop of blood in my body."
A writer friend, on Facebook: "I was determined not to watch this. I hate the county by county results. Damn technology. I walk away, come back and see a number, freak or cheer. I need to pretend it’s Christmas and I still believe in Santa. Go to bed, wait to see. Last two times I did that – Gore and 45 – the Grinch came down my chimney."
More reminiscences from 2016. Scout came downstairs the next morning and asked what happened. I burst into tears, then pulled myself together and sat her down on the couch and said that when people get angry they do stupid things. They punch holes in walls, and they break their hands. And the wall needs to be repaired and the hand needs to be cared for.
That morning I received a note from a friend in the Netherlands, condolences fit for a death in the family:
we' re all so dazed this morning.
Thank you for sharing this important blog.
I just cannot explain how I feel, let alone imagine how you all must be feeling right now.
It's so depressing that love didn't trump hate. What does this tell us about the human kind, I don't know.
I have to find my feet again, and it won't be easy, let alone for you.
You could move to Norway, but you could also come to the Netherlands…
But no guarantees that we will not follow in your path, I fear.
Politics here is also getting rougher and rougher.
The only thing we can do is help each other and in every day life, show that we do things differently.
But I'm struggling to find a positive angle here.
I feel so sad.
I'm so happy that I know you and – thanks to you – other special Americans.
That might be the biggest comfort right now.
Hang in there.
We have. We will.
But we need some more fucking ideas.
C-SPAN has the usual parade of American jamokes, shut-ins and horny long-haul truckers calling in and telling the lobotomized host how they "feel" about the returns so far. More interesting and insightful than the CNN panel. And smaller.
A quick check of Fox reveals Sarah Sanders analyzing things, in a party-issued red dress and pearl necklace. She's hoping aloud that if the Democrats take the House, they stop being such negative nellies all the time. Karl Rove, meanwhile, is on the record as predicting that Cruz will win in Texas. But he doesn't sound as confident as he did in 2012 when he predicted Romney's victory.
Vast CNN panel agrees on this, at least: Not quite the blue wave Democrats were hoping for and Republicans were fearing.
Closer to home, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is not running for reelection. Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich wrote a column about gathering mayoral race, and received an email: "I'm trying to find an application to Run for Mayor but cant find anything online. Please advise-Thank you kindly."
I have personally met with one young mayoral candidate, and know of several more.
Leading me to observe that if you're not running for mayor in Chicago this year, it means you don't care.
MSNBC is impossible. If a Russian missile was projected to hit New York, Rachel Maddow would be super geeked, Chris Matthews would draw a parallel to the Cuban Missile crisis and the Kennedys, and Brian Williams would find the perfect segway to take us to commercial.
FYI, my sleeves are rolled up and I look super sexy right now.
I said I would focus on the rhetorical aspects of this. But there are none.
Joe Manchin projected to win in West Virginia: That's cool.
Joe Manchin voting against Trump on any issue: That would be even cooler!
In case you missed this and want a break from the law firm of Blitzer, Tapper and King—this was brutal; fast forward to the interview with Cruz toward the end.
Klobuchar projected to win, but she'll remember nothing from tonight, per usual.
I may be too dumb for this. I may be too numb for this.
You know what Florida is? Florida is a Chicagoan who can't decide whether he likes the Cubs or the White Sox. We would shoot a Chicagoan like that.
Two years ago this minute, I wrote: "A friend is at a bar down down the street and asks if he can come over because he can't handle it there. 'No,' I tell him. The house is in too bad a mood. "
On election day 2016 I was deluged with correspondence from European friends and colleagues wishing us luck.
A Dutch communication executive leaves a voice mail: “The whole of the Netherlands is thinking about America today. How are you feeling? Did you already vote? Well, we’re with you all the way with everything.”
A Vancouver speechwriter contributes “a short note to my wonderful American friends and colleagues—the best to you all for tomorrow’s election. We in Canada will be watching with equal interest and perhaps trepidation.”
A speechwriter at the European Parliament: “On the eve of this election day, I am of course very much thinking of you. I hope all the love and support we in Europe send you across the ocean will reach your shores. We Europeans feel very close to you these days: this ocean is only a lake, you know. When fear and trepidation are all over the place in the media, I also want to take a moment to share with you how much my colleagues and friends, the European speechwriting community … share their gratitude for 8 years of great oratory and inspiring speeches … leadership on issues we share and care for, and progress of peace in some difficult places on this planet. Thank you—and peace to your country and our planet."
And a rhetoric professor and a dear family friend from Norway writes: “I summon my very best thoughts and send them across the Atlantic. If it doesnt work, you can come and live with us. We have good soccer teams for girls.”
No notes from Europe today. Because midterms are less sexy? Because they've given up on us? Because they have problems of their own?
Ted Cruz is down by several touchdowns. But Tom Brady is coming into the game.
I have a new motto, as a rhetorical would-be national healer: Hate the hate, not the hater. How do you like it?
8:33 (Eastern, though I'm in Chicago; and if I revert to Central time, that's why)
Hamburger stroganoff made, dishes cleaned, second vodka lemonade poured … and, I'm blogging. I heard Pritzker is projected to beat Rauner in Illinois. Also, a million other things are too early to call. What have I missed?
I know why Steve Kornacki is always fooling with those fancy electoral maps. To give him something to do with his hands! I live-blog on important political occasions for the same reason. And during the last one of these nights I blogged until 11:30 the next morning.
I trust tonight won't be as dramatic as that. And perhaps my posts won't be as frequent as usual. And I'll try to keep it focused on the rhetorical aspects of the proceedings, but you know I drink.
But I'll be here, because—well, speaking of my hands, I got them on this precious video from election day 1976, in Chicago.