Saturday, November 06, 2004
The people have spoken. We have spoken.
We blogged for large parts of the year. When we first started out, as Hot Off the Trail, Howard Dean was screaming, John Kerry was winning (primaries) and we had a plethora of candidates who were already getting tired of bad food and long days on the road.
Before all the other Dems even dropped out, the Bush-Kerry trash talk heated up and kept going for much of the year.
Last week, we changed our name to America Votes and covered the days leading up to as well as the fateful day, Election Day. We wondered if we'd be covering this for weeks or even months to come, but by midday Wednesday, Bush was reelected.
Opinions, passions and speculations continue on both sides but the parties have cleaned up and the party's over.
Thanks for joining us. We had a great time.
posted by Ellen Dunkel at 3:06 PM
Friday, November 05, 2004
For any Dems ready to head for the border - the northern border with Canada, that is - Thane Burnett, a columnist for the Toronto Sun, offers an unofficial citizenship test in today's Philadelphia Daily News.
Questions include: "What are Smarties?" "If you're in Newfoundland, and ask the quickest way to get to "Dildo," where would they tell you to go?" and "Explain our senate. To the rest of us."
Also, Burnett points out, "From now on, you will no longer have to disguise Canadian landmarks while filming American movies."
posted by Ellen Dunkel at 11:12 AM
Thursday, November 04, 2004
Many in the San Francisco Bay Area are looking around and wondering what happened on Tuesday.
In six Bay Area counties, the vote for Sen. John Kerry over President Bush was a resounding 71 percent to 28 percent. And yet, 44 percent of California voted for Bush's re-election and 51 percent of the country agreed.
posted by Ellen Dunkel at 3:40 PM
The Philadelphia Daily News, which has a lot to say, offers two opinions on Tuesday's outcome.
Stu Bykofsky says: "For blue-faced Democratic diehards who insist this is the first time [Bush] "won," pardon me for saying that sour grapes like that helped get him re-elected. Your infantile whining is music the Republicans love to dance to."
Ronnie Polaneczky asks: "How cynical, how blatantly hypocritical, is it for this president to ask for unity, while ignoring the fact that, during his presidency, we have ceased being the United States? Instead, we've become the Divided Ones - separated into the reds and the blues, so radically different in our belief about what it is to be an American that neither side can be expected to support the other's chosen leader."
Bykofsky also adds, and this is across the board, that we had a "record" turnout with 60 percent of eligible national voters turning out.
"When I went to school, 60 percent was a failing grade," he wrote. "What about the 40 percent who stayed home? What would it take to get those lardasses out - free pumpkin pie?"
posted by Ellen Dunkel at 3:19 PM
It wasn't just heavy turnout that made polling places look like Soviet-era bread shops, with lines around the block, the Charlotte Observer reports.
The system was strained by precincts stuffed with too many registered voters, an unusually long ballot and, in some places, a shortage of voting machines.
posted by Ellen Dunkel at 3:08 PM
More than 4,500 votes may have been lost in Carteret County, N.C., because officials believed a computer that stored ballots electronically could hold 10,500 votes, but the limit was actually 3,005 votes.
posted by Ellen Dunkel at 3:00 PM
Disgruntled Democrat looking for an out? You could go through the usual Canadian immigration process ... or you could marry into the country! A Canadian spoof site, Marry an American, offers to help out forelorn Yanks:
"And let's face it, when compared to the United States, Canada is a liberal utopia & we have universal healthcare (in two languages!), gay marriage, free marijuana for everyone, and we don't like guns."
posted by Ellen Dunkel at 2:05 PM
Is it too soon to pick a leading Democratic candidate for 2008? The New York Times says it's not and adds that Clinton looks like the one to beat. Hillary Clinton, that is, the former first lady and junior Senator from New York.
posted by Ellen Dunkel at 1:46 PM
How can 59,054,084 Americans be so dumb?
OK, Britain didn't really ask. The Daily Mirror did.
posted by Ellen Dunkel at 1:31 PM
The Philadelphia Daily News - which we can always count on to speak its mind - is running a plea for Canada to adopt us.
We would get flu shots, free health care and a national anthem that's much easier to sing to.
Our neighbors to the north would get serious sports teams, warm weather vacation spots and fresher produce, as well as top cultural arts:
"Tourists will love Canada's museums including the Smithsonian, the Museum of Natural History and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Plus, in addition to Broadway, the Kennedy Center and top regional theater, we're throwing in our best orchestras - Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago and L.A."
According to the Daily News, this relationship would work out well for Blue Staters, Red Staters and existing Candians alike.
posted by Ellen Dunkel at 1:20 PM
The Associated Press is reporting that a new puppy will be entering the White House.
W marked Laura's 58th birthday today by announcing he would give her a Scottish terrier puppy that is a relative of the current first dog, Barney.
Miss Beazley, as the first lady and twins Barbara and Jenna have already named the pup, was born Oct. 28. She is due to arrive just before Christmas.
The dog was named for the character Uncle Beazley, a dinosaur in Oliver Butterworth's children's book, "The Enormous Egg."
Stay tuned to the Presidential Pet Museum Web site for important bulletins and holiday gift ideas.
posted by Ellen Dunkel at 11:54 AM
Whichever side you're on, there's an insulting T-shirt to express your opinion at T-Shirt Hell. Warning: Some - or maybe all - may be offensive.
Two shirts showing the red and blue states offer opposing views. One says: Blue=Democrats, Red=Complete Morons. The other: Red=Republicans, Blue=Idiot Crybabies.
Also availble: "Well ... that's the last time I vote," "I bet you'll vote next time, hippie" and an HTML special, < /bush>
posted by Ellen Dunkel at 11:38 AM
Making its way through e-mail boxes: A new rendering of North America (most of it anyway).
posted by Ellen Dunkel at 11:14 AM
News organizations are saying they'll look into why exit polls showed an initial surge for John Kerry. But they also blamed bloggers for spreading news that gave a misleading view of the presidential race.
The Florida and Ohio exit poll results, along with those in other states where Kerry was strong, were quickly disseminated on Web sites such as Slate, the Drudge Report, Wonkette, Atrios and Command Post. Some of these sites cautioned readers not to make too much of the information.
posted by Ellen Dunkel at 8:43 AM
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
Let's wrap up tonight with a look forward, or at least a nervous glance, considering what lies ahead. As one senior administration official told Reuters after the election victory, "There was not a lot of high five-ing. The sense was, OK, we've won, but the prize is the responsibility, the toil."
Newsday breaks down the issues on the second-term agenda, and the Washington Post says Bush and team will need to move quickly:
With bigger Republican congressional majorities and a decisive victory in the popular vote, Bush heads into a second term with a clearer mandate and greater power than he did in 2000 to put a conservative, free-market stamp on U.S. domestic and foreign policy. The president and his advisers interpreted Tuesday's election results as a ringing endorsement of his goals of reducing the size of government, providing taxpayers greater control over their income, and continuing, if not intensifying, the war on terrorism and other security threats. ...
posted by John Murrell at 11:41 PM
Michele Catalano of A Small Victory, on the other hand, woke up feeling pretty good until she logged on:
I woke up to a very different world in which people I assumed were rational Democrats are spitting poison nails. I received some nasty emails and comments (since deleted) that were alarming in their venom and hatred. People I never had a harsh word with were suddenly knocking down my virtual door to leaving the equivalent of letter bombs. ...
posted by John Murrell at 10:42 PM
Joanna Guldi woke up this morning feeling bad ... very bad:
I saw the beast of history for the first time last night. It was slinking through our electric city of San Francisco, marking the doors of hipsters and intellectuals with ram’s blood.
posted by John Murrell at 9:59 PM
Jay Rosen at PressThink, among a lot of good observations, asks if we're headed for an opposition press:
Big Journalism cannot respond as it would in previous years: with bland vows to cover the Administration fairly and a firm intention to make no changes whatsoever in its basic approach to politics and news. The situation is too unstable, the world is changing too rapidly, and the press has been pretending for too long that its old operating system will last forever. It won't. It can't. Particularly in the face of an innovative Bush team and its bold thesis about the fading powers of the press.
posted by John Murrell at 8:40 PM
Timothy Noah, writing at Slate:
In the coming days, a heartfelt dialogue will begin in which Democrats ask themselves, in a refreshing spirit of constructive self-criticism, why they can't connect with the American middle class. I have been listening to, and occasionally contributing to, discussions on this topic for more than two decades, and they began well before I tuned in. By now, the very subject makes me want to scream. Three critiques tend to dominate this discussion:
posted by John Murrell at 8:22 PM
Taking the results especially hard? You may want to look over Harper's guide to expatriation, offering counsel on renouncing your citizenship and resettling in another country, on an Indian reservation, on the high seas or in a micronation you create yourself.
posted by John Murrell at 6:21 PM
Steve Thomma of the Knight Ridder Washington Bureau looks at the nature of the Republican base:
Bush never enjoyed broad support. Only half the country approved of the way he handled the job. But he so energized that half and cast enough doubts about Kerry it was enough to win in a nation that remained closely divided, culturally and politically.
posted by John Murrell at 5:58 PM
Dan Gillmor of the Mercury News and SiliconValley.com looks ahead and sees stormy times:
There's no secret about what's coming. We don't have that excuse this time. Here comes more fiscal recklessness -- as we widen the chasm between the ultra-wealthy and everyone else. ... Here comes an expansion of the American empire abroad, a fueling of fear and loathing elsewhere on the globe. ... Our civil liberties will shrink drastically. ... The environment? We'll be nostalgic for Ronald Reagan's time in office.
Dan sees a nation deeply divided not in two, but in three:
I suspect there's a third America: members of an increasingly radical middle that will become more obvious in the next few years, tolerant of those who are different and aware that the big problems of our times are being ignored -- or made worse -- by those in power today. That third America needs a candidate. Or, maybe, a new party.
posted by John Murrell at 4:39 PM
From the radical left, Alexander Cockburn weighs in on where the Democrats went wrong:
Week after week Kerry and his boosters displayed an unmatched deafness to political tone. The haughty elitist from Boston probably lost most of the Midwest forever when he said in the high summer that foreign leaders hoped he would win. The applause of the French in Cannes for Michael Moore's 9/11 was the sound of the cement drying over the corpse of Kerry's chances of carrying the Midwest. Soros's dollars were like flowers on the grave. After the billionairess Portuguese-American Teresa Heinz Kerry said in mid-October that Laura Bush had never held a job it was all over.
posted by John Murrell at 4:00 PM
Bush chief of staff Andrew Card says the president won reelection by more votes than any presidential candidate in American history.
Howard Dean's Blog for America points out that more Americans voted against George W. Bush than any sitting president in history.
Safe to say turnout was heavy.
posted by Ellen Dunkel at 3:30 PM
French president Jacques Chirac and Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero watched Tuesday night's U.S. election and expressed hope that their relationship with the United States could be improved.
Election interest in Europe was intense, as was the disappointment many felt over Bush's victory. Some saw it as proof that Europe and the United States are further apart than ever.
Others worried that Bush, strengthened by a bigger win than in 2000 and backed by a Republican Congress, would turn a deaf ear to world concerns.
posted by Ellen Dunkel at 3:11 PM
The Democratic candidate for the vice presidency won't be going back to the Senate. He gave up his spot and it was filled in Tuesday's election by Republican Richard Burr, a five-term congressman who cast himself as a staunch ally of President Bush.
We suspect Edwards will be back.
posted by Ellen Dunkel at 2:24 PM
Kerry is conceding, but in Ohio, there are still provisional ballots waiting to be verified. However, it's mathematically impossible for the outcome to change.
posted by Ellen Dunkel at 1:58 PM
It's not only Bush who must try to unify Americans. The Democratic Party must also try to reconnect with much of the country, says Nicholas D. Kristof in the New York Times:
"To put it another way, Democrats peddle issues, and Republicans sell values. Consider the four G's: God, guns, gays and grizzlies.
"One-third of Americans are evangelical Christians, and many of them perceive Democrats as often contemptuous of their faith. And, frankly, they're often right. Some evangelicals take revenge by smiting Democratic candidates."
posted by Ellen Dunkel at 1:13 PM
Some factoids about youth turnout on Election Day:
* 4.6 million more 18-29 year olds voted than in 2000.
* Youth turnout up 9 percentage points.
posted by Lori Aratani at 12:58 PM
Despite all the pre-election worry and some glitches here and there on Tuesday, the Diebold electronic voting machines did better than expected.
The Green company's competitors weren't so lucky.
Thousands of voters complained about machines breaking down and recording the wrong votes in Ohio, Florida, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The most harrowing reports came from Columbus, Ohio; New Orleans and Philadelphia, all of which used the old Danaher-brand touch-screens.
Diebold Inc. stock began the morning up almost 2 percent at $49.59.
posted by Ellen Dunkel at 11:23 AM
Kerry, we're told, called Bush to concede.
The good news for him is that he still has a job in the Senate, unlike Al Gore, who rather fell apart after the fateful 2000 election.
posted by Ellen Dunkel at 11:14 AM
Adam Smeltz, of the Life of the Parties blog, reports that young voters didn't come out in the great numbers expected after all, at least not all over the country.
posted by Ellen Dunkel at 11:06 AM
Determined not to get it wrong this time, the TV networks were extremely conservative about predicting any results Tuesday night.
Their result: They were far from getting it right.
All five major networks flooded the screens with talking heads who reported how and why they weren't reporting key presidential results.
Political blogs were quicker to report results, but they weren't always right.
To be fair, it's easy to change results on a Web site, while any flub CNN makes will be remembered for years to come.
posted by Ellen Dunkel at 9:54 AM
Remember that announcement two years ago that NBC's Tom Brokaw would retire after the 2004 elections and be replaced by his regular fill-in, Brian Williams?
Voila, the 2004 elections are (mostly) behind us. Brokaw's last day is Dec. 1.
The New York Daily News points out that viewers weren't reminded of this until very late Tuesday night.
"Tom," said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) at the end of an interview, "on behalf of the millions who watched you for so many campaigns: Thanks for the memories."
Those many campaigns stretch back to 1956, when a 16-year-old Brokaw worked as a radio reporter in Yankton, S.D.
posted by Ellen Dunkel at 9:45 AM
Traffic in the blogosphere was so heavy Tuesday that many sites saw slowdowns or were simply unavailable, especially among exit-poll reports that Kerry was leading. Wonkette and Slate were both down for long periods in the afternoon.
Not that we're complaining about traffic, mind you.
posted by Ellen Dunkel at 9:38 AM
Bush was the first president since Herbert Hoover to preside over a net loss of private-sector jobs, says Dick Polman, of the Philadelphia Inquirer. He also had to defend a war that was based on rationales that were subsequently undercut by U.S. weapons inspectors and the 9/11 commission.
And that helps to explain why, as in 2000, he had to fight a Democratic rival for every last vote; and why, in the quest for a thumbs-up referendum on his tenure, he was forced to contend last night with the same racial, geographic and cultural schisms that marked his first election.
posted by Ellen Dunkel at 8:39 AM
Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press says it's too soon to tell whether we'll be able to forget our partisan differences aside and allow ourselves to be led:
"Can we put aside the anger, mistrust and fear that fueled possibly record numbers of voters for this election? Can we turn down the burners that boiled emotions, torched dinner conversations and turned neighbor against neighbor?
"For here was an election that was as divisive as a tribal feud. People didn't offer their positions, they declared them. They didn't argue their points, they hollered them. They didn't suggest their candidate was right, they insisted it."
posted by Ellen Dunkel at 8:11 AM
We get less than a month of regular annoying TV ads before the annoying Christmas TV ads begin.
posted by Ellen Dunkel at 7:59 AM
Best part of the day after, regardless of which candidate you supported: No more TV ads!
posted by Ellen Dunkel at 7:49 AM
Our colleague on Ohioblog, Steve Love, was busy Tuesday night and signed off at 6:20 a.m. All along he's been saying Ohio would be the next Florida and, whaddya know, he was right.
From July 22: "By any definition, Ohio is the heart of the 2004 presidential campaign. No one thinks otherwise, especially not the candidates - Republican President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney and Democratic Sens. John Kerry and John Edwards. They're going to be around so much they may have to file state income tax returns. (Hey, we could use the money - maybe for schools.)"
posted by Ellen Dunkel at 7:33 AM
Morning shift reporting for duty!
Looks like that might be the closest we'll get to another salute.
posted by Ellen Dunkel at 7:16 AM
So it's down to Iowa and New Mexico, where the final results won't come until later this morning, and Ohio, where heaven knows what all is going on, and it's getting late even for a night owl on the Pacific side. The morning crew will be signing on in a while, and I'll be back to help sort through the entrails in the afternoon.
posted by John Murrell at 5:03 AM
If anybody feels worse than the Democrats this morning, it's the pollsters at Zogby International. In fact, one of the reasons some Democrats feel so bad is the early euphoria stirred by Zogby at 5 p.m. Eastern Tuesday, when it summoned all its resources and expertise and made its final call on the electoral vote:
Kerry -- 311
Bush -- 213
Nevada and Colorado, too close to call
posted by John Murrell at 4:26 AM
From AP: "President Bush will declare re-election victory, aides said Wednesday morning, as Democratic rival John Kerry refused to concede linchpin Ohio or the presidency."
posted by John Murrell at 3:49 AM
In case there was any doubt, John Edwards made it clear that if it comes down to it, the Democrats are prepared for hand-to-hand combat, legally speaking. "John Kerry and I have made a promise to the American people that with this election every vote would count and every vote would be counted," he told supporters in the wee hours. "Tonight we are keeping our word and we will fight for every vote."
In preparation for a worst case scenario, a few more bookmarks: Election Central at the University of Pittsburgh Law School; the Election Law blog maintained by Rick Hasen; and the federal election law links kept by FindLaw.
posted by John Murrell at 3:34 AM
Well, CNN has invented a new color for the electoral map and painted Ohio green, for too close to call. The buzz is growing over the potential importance of provisional ballots, which by law will not be counted for 11 days. Time to add an election law site to the bookmarks.
The network is also reporting that because of mechanical problems and "fatigue," some vote counters in Iowa have called it quits for the night and won't certify a winner until morning.
posted by John Murrell at 1:53 AM
The call hasn't been made yet, but the rumblings out of Ohio are favoring Bush and the TV talking heads are already doing postmortems on Kerry's campaign. Ballgame?
posted by John Murrell at 1:13 AM
Florida makes itself reasonably clear reasonably early this year and lines up with the president. All eyes now on Ohio, where you can watch the raw numbers pile up here.
posted by John Murrell at 1:10 AM
Copyright 2004 Knight Ridder. All rights reserved. Any copying, redistribution or retransmission of any
of the contents of this service without the express written consent of Knight Ridder is expressly prohibited.