Well, the munchies are all out and the bevvies are in the fridge, the news Spectration is on the big wall and Sousa is on the CD player - I guess we're ready for the Election Night Open House that we have planned. I think there may be a lot more folks here than we anticipated, but that's cool. I will check in from time-to-time with updates about how the evening is going, both in the political world and our little social world here.
5:43: We're projecting NBC on the wall (we only get broadcast television) and playing the soundtrack from Brassed Off on the CD player. Otis is upstairs taking care of some business and I am watching our freaky cats and the talking heads (better than talking cats and freaky heads, I guess). Polls in the east have only been closed a short time, and already the projection for Obama is something like 103 electoral votes, with McCain getting 58. They may call this election before anyone even gets here at 6:00.
6:24 Johnbai, Dingo, and Sachet are here eating sandwiches and salads as ABC announced that Obama had Ohio in their projection. That gives him 195 according to them, and Stephanapolous has called it over. Hunh. They've switched to local coverage - we don't expect to really know any results for a few days.
6:49 Hi Lai and Welcome Matt just showed up with cupcakes!
Obama is at 200.
7:24 Outside the studios of ABC, people are holding banners that say "Cassoulet Forever." What is up with that? Is he running for something or do they just like French bean dishes?
7:43 Full swing:
Andres(2), Plus-one, and Yojimbo have joined the party. We have lots of champagne but have agreed that none gets opened until Obama hits 270. He has 207 now, so still some time to go. Our polls aren't even closed yet.
8:02 Wow. As soon as the polls closed on the West Coast, ABC gave the election to Obama. So did NPR. It looks like it's over. It's a little confusing, since they haven't called all the states, and no one is showing numbers yet, just cheering crowds. We'll wait for McCain to concede, I think.
8:45 McCain conceded. The champagne was pretty good. During the speech, we were wondering where the hell that guy had been all campaign - his concession was gracious and inspiring. Now we're waiting for Obama's speech. Even Soapy, our resident libertarian.
9:22 The gang just watched Obama's speech. Good stuff. Makes me want to get rid of reds and blues and just be all purple.
10:53 Everybody is gone; the gang grew to include Toke, Reni, JagGirl, Merry, and Mark I as well as the previously aforementioned folks. We watched the gubernatorial campaign come to a much swifter resolution than anyone expected - Gregoire had a substantial lead and claimed victory, attempting to short-circuit any replay of the long-drawn process from four years ago. Most of the local propositions broke the way I wanted to see them go, and my buddy Jim Jacks down in The 'Couv sailed to a stunning victory. All in all a pretty good night, leaving us with a lot of hope for the future, and the anticipation of some fence-mending and community-building, if any of that is at all possible in the polarized nation we have become.
Personally, it was a night of connection and re-connection, as close friends and acquaintances once-removed alike came together to share this historic event. There's nothing like good company and a momentous occasion to turn an evening into an event - and the coincident visit from an out-of-country pal was the cherry on the sundae. Here's looking forward to more opportunities for celebration and communion.