The Common Man is going to kick this thing off a little earlier than he thought last night. The Boy and The Uncommon Wife are off at swimming lessons, and The Common Man is nuking some leftover French Onion soup to ease an aching throat. The Common Man plans to switch between networks throughout the night and to update his blog every 15 minutes or so. He hopes to hear from you as the night goes on (and on and on), if you're so inclined. All times are central.
6:00 Good God, look at that panel on CNN. It's like watching an rerun of Family Feud.
6:02 The nation breathes a sigh of relief as Vermont and Kentucky fall to the Obama and McCain camps respectively. So far, all is right with the world.
6:03 With 0% of the precincts reporting, CNN calls the Virginia Senate race for Democrat Mark Warner. How does that work exactly, The Common Man wonders? How big are the crystal balls needed to make that call?
6:06 At this point, it's a good time for The Common Man to tell you all that he voted today at around noon. Unfortunately, he accidentally did so with his fly open. Perhaps The Common Man is, indeed, one of those sad few he discussed yesterday who should be discouraged from voting. Don't even make The Common Man tell you how he completed the arrow.
6:12 Oh God, oh God, oh God. McCain is ahead of Obama in Virginia. Oh, wait. That's ok, it's only MSNBC. By the way, if CNN is right, and Warner has won Virginia, there's no way Obama lost. And if Obama wins Virginia, The Common Man has a hard time believing he can lose the election.
6:14 Hi Keith Olbermann! Doesn't the mediocrity just drips off him. And he's interviewing Mayor Wilder of somewhere in Virginia, who just called his state "microcosmic," which clearly makes it the most awesome state ever. The Common Man wants to be any kind of cosmic. Micro or macro. Inner or intra. It doesn't matter. It sounds great!
6:23 CNN is showing footage of the crowd running in to watch Obama's potential victory speech. It would be like Woodstock or Lollapalooza except for all the union members plodding along.
6:25 CNN: Doing the Math For You!
6:29 John King has a very indepth and impressive analysis of Indiana, comparing the results reported so far to those of John Kerry in '04. The upshot: good news for Barack Obama.
6:34 The Common Man loves it when everyone talks at once and nothing is discernable. That's good tv. Thank, CNN!
6:35 AHHHH! James Carville. Look away! Look away!
6:37 Good question, did Democrats just shift their votes to vote earlier. The Common Man's gut says no (and as Stephen Colbert always says, you should go with your guy), that the early voting allowed many of those who wouldn't normally have the chance to vote to get their voices heard. But The Common Man has nothing to back that up.
6:40 If it's "still early" and the numbers that CNN projects essentially don't mean anything, why do they post them? The Common Man knows the answer, of course, they have to show something. But given the potential for those numbers to mislead other voters in other time zones, why not find other interesting, less horse-racey things to talk about during the early coverage? The fewer numbers the better, The Common Man thinks. Less to keep track of.
6:47 See? Stories like that. CBS has a camera crew outside of Martin Luther King's church in Geogia, where supporters of Barack Obama are gathering and hoping to celebrate. And many of them remember segregation. There's a story!
6:50 CBS seems to be very aggressive in allocating its electoral votes. At this point, while CNN has McCain up 8-3, CBS has him up 21-3, though The Common Man hasn't seen what states CBS has called.
6:52 CBS has given West Virginia to McCain, in addition to Kentucky. ABC is calling South Carolina for McCain.
6:56 CNN says South Carolina is McCain's as well, despite Obama being up in the vote count (again, The Common Man doesn't get that). That's 16. The Common Man approves of CNN's measured pace. Ah, guy at the far end of the desk of CNN Pundits Playing the Feud explains that it's all the exit polls.
7:00 Anti-climatic deluge: Obama takes Massachusettes, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware, D.C., and Illinois, and 3 of Maine's electoral votes. McCain takes Oklahoma and Tennessee. Again, no surprises. The count is now Obama 77, McCain 34. The magic number is 270.
7:03 He doesn't care what you say, The Common Man knows that Soledad O'Brien has no human emotions. A robot? You said it, not The Common Man. At least some kind of Latina/Irish Cyborg.
7:05 John King talks up CNN measured approach. The Common Man approves, but wishes they weren't such dicks about it.
7:10 Now, however, John King (mostly) effectively demonstrates that John McCain seems to be underperforming President Bush's performance in 2004.
7:12 A half million to a million celebrating Obama supporters in Chicago? Quick, pot dealers, get to Chicago stat!
7:15 The Common Man thinks now is a good time to pop open his first beer of the night. In honor of the two campaigns and the occasion, The Common Man is is drinking Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale (because Barack Obama is a crazy-ass pinko socialist, as Sean Hannity told him), out of Petaluma, California, and Rogue Chipotle (for Sarah Palin's recent mavericky decision to "go rogue." And if those run out? Maybe margheritas to highlight America's "problem" with "illegals" (damn Candadians!). First, the Commy! The Common Man will let you know how that goes.
7:20 The Common Man's first trip over to Fox News is largely non-eventful. That's disappointing. He wants to watch Hannity's head explode (even though a Democratic government is going to give him golden material for the next 2-4 years.
7:22 Neither CNN nor Fox is calling Pennsylvania yet. Good for them. And The Common Man can't believe he's writing that.
7:23 Whew! That commy beer is harsh. Very strong hops overwhelms almost everything. The Common Man enjoys it, but just doesn't quite have a handle on it. Maybe he shouldn't be drinking from the bottle.
7:26 Jeanne Shaheane takes New Hampshire's open senate seat, according to Fox News. That's good news for Obama too (and for Democrats, as that's a pickup for them).
7:27 The local Fox station finally has their election coverage up and running. Apparently The Simpsons and Two-and-a-Half Men were just too good to bump between the 6:00 and 7:00 hours.
7:29 Oops, The Uncommon Wife and The Boy are home from swimming. The Common Man will be back in 5.
8:11 Or, in 42. Somebody needed dinner (The Boy) and somebody nearly burned down the house making French Toast (The Common Man). Since The Common Man's been gone, CBS has called Pennsylvania for Obama, which is a huge nail in McCain's coffin. He has to win Virginia, Florida, and Ohio now. At this point, it's Obama 174, McCain 100.
8:15 On NBC, Giuliani believes that tomorrow the country will unite whoever wins because they will all be Americans first (The Common Man thought Republicans had already put country first). If that happens, The Common Man will be pleasantly surprised, but he refuses to hold his breath. The dissention will be just as loud and rancorous.
8:26 ABC has called Ohio for Obama. PBS has not. If Ohio goes blue, McCain is dead man walking until California reports.
8:31 NBC reports New Mexico for Obama. But believes that Cochrane in Mississippi and McConnell in Kentucky have won, dealing a strong blow to Dems chances of picking up their 60th senate seat.
8:34 Ooh, NBC hasa Minority Report wall. Far cooler than CNN's Star Wars wall.
8:36 Oh, that's unfortunate. Did Brian Williams just make a reference to the Confederacy and Virginia as a symbol? Not that the legacy of slavery isn't all around us, but it's hard to equate Virginia of 2008 to Virginia of 1863 with a straight face.
8:43 The Boy's going to bed. The Common Man needs to spring into action. Back in a jiff.
9:10 OK, The Common Man is back. The Boy is in bed. Is this thing over yet?
9:13 Luke Russert has the same doughy likeability as his father. Though, c'mon, young Russert just makes The Common Man sad and miss his father, given his mispronunciations and lack of charisma.
9:17 Congressman John Lewis, Civil Rights Movement veteran, Freedom Rider, and honored American, is currently on ABC. While not the most fiery and inspirational a speaker, his history speaks louder than his voice. One of very few Americans who can talk with relevant, first-hand accounts of Dr. King and Lyndon Johnson. Lewis calls this a "nonviolent revolution". A revolution implies a fundamental reordering of the way a society functions. Gosh, that'd be nice. This is an opportunity for that kind of changing of the national priority. It will be a shame if America misses this opportunity.
9:23 A rhino holding a laser, shoots a golden helmet onto Obama's head to announce he won Rhode Island. Oh, The Common Man is watching Comedy Central. Better graphics. Also, dynamic and hilarious talent like Steve Forbes.
9:27 Ooh, Sam Donaldson is still alive. Who knew?
9:28 Oh, that was sad, as Donaldson fumbles the send to commercial.
9:35 Random dude: I don't have to be a racist to be a Republican. I'm having dinner with an Iranian, a Syrian, and an Indian. John Oliver: Because you're keeping an eye on them.
9:39 Opening up the Rogue Chipotle Ale. The Red Ale was refreshing, but not flavorful. Extremely hoppy and surprisingly bitter, given how well the evening is going for Barack Obama.
9:43 Wow, that's a spicy meat-a-ball. Crisp and clean, the Chipotle Ale seems somewhat sweet but nondescript until it reaches the back of your throat. There, it explodes with a spiciness that belies its beverage-i-ness. And that spiciness lingers as slight tingle. While it won't have you running for a flower vase to find water (particularly because the spiciness bypasses the tongue), it will remind you of what you're drinking for a while.
9:55 Fox News is giving Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan 5-10 uninterrupted (and unchallenged) minutes to pimp his roadmap for bringing Republicans back from the hinterlands and end the "Europeanization" of America. Grrr.
10:01 A new President: Barack Obama. Look out, America! It's an orgy of Democratic exuberance.
10:02 Juan Williams almost cries on Fox News. The Common Man likes Juan Williams and thinks he is one of the smartest pundits working today. Far less loathesome than most of them out there. It was cute.
10:18 John McCain, ladies and gentlemen. Gracious in defeat, though still refusing to tell his supporters to be classier than they are being as they boo Obama's victory. A shell of the man who ran in 2000. Would that man have won this year?
10:22 There's Sarah Palin. What's she going to do now. It's not like she can remain prominent nationally while staying up in Alaska.
10:25 Here's where she goes rogue and grabs the microphone, leading a "Two-thousand-twelve" chant.
10:26 "Thanks so much to all my 6 volunteers."
10:27 Bill says "Stop booing, morons." See idiots, you've dissuaded someone who only wants to love and embrace you and your policies. But you had to be spiteful, angry, bitter bastards, and embrace the negative tactics and rhetoric of McCain's campaign.
10:33 Oprah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (on CNN)
10:39 Hilary issues a press release. She finally concedes the nomination to Obama.
10:54 So, um, nothing much is happening. Obama is on the way to Grant Park to address his throng, and in the meantime The Common Man is so happy that he is nowhere near that throng. Close to his heart it is. That's a lot of people.
10:57 Ladies and Gentlemen, The President-Elect of the United States of America: Barack Obama.
10:58 The best part of the evening so far? Watching Michelle swing her daughters' arms back and forth as they walk back from the podium. There is joy there. Unadulterated joy and love. A true mommy moment.
11:03 Whose arm is Jesse Jackson trying to pull off and wave above his head?
11:03 Good deal. Dad wins the election. You get a puppy. Must be nice to be an Obama.
11:06 Oh, some of them did it for you, Barack. Sure, the task is enormous, but some gals just like your big ears.
11:15 The conclusion of an excellent speech. Here's a question: America is living in the age of political satire, where it is acceptable and profitable to criticize those in power. How does modern political satire go forward in the face of a figure as popular and as inspiring as Barack Obama has been? Indeed, how do you make fun of John Kennedy? The Commmon Man is very interested to see how that develops going forward. The ball is clearly in the court of Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert, and Lorne Michaels (not so much in MadTV or Frank Caliendo).
11:20 Oh, The Common Man loves Joe Biden's mother. So very, very cute.
11:27 At this point, The Common Man thinks he's going to sign off. He's got a lot to do still and a bottle of champagne to crack open with his lovely wife, whose birthday starts in a half-hour. God bless you all and God bless America. And good luck to President-Elect Barack Obama, his family, VP-elect Biden and his huge brood. America needed a strong, bold new President and direction, a manly man with wisdom and strength of character. He thinks (he hopes) it found him.