What did you do on election night?

I took my family over to a friends house, where there was a small gathering of white-wine-sipping, arugula-eating Hollywood Liberals gathered to watch the election results. The adults watched MSNBC and talked shop (movies and real estate) while the kids watched Anchors Aweigh in the other room.free stats

When the big moment happened, I called Sam (7) and Kit (5) into "the big room" to watch Obama’s historic speech. Sam, in spite of baking cookies and selling them for Obama, was really into Anchors Aweigh and asked if I could "show the speech to him later" so he could go finish watching the movie. For Kit, it seems as though Obama has been running for president her entire life, so she was happy to curl up on my lap and watch the speech.

When Obama opened by saying that, now that he’s president-elect, his daughters will "get the puppy," Kit’s ears perked up. Obama’s daughters get a puppy? Does that mean that she also gets a puppy?

And so "getting a puppy" became the joke in the room for the rest of the speech. When Obama thanked David Plouffe for the astonishing job he did on what was perhaps the best-run campaign in history, I added "David, you get a puppy." When he spoke of the 106-year-old woman from Alabama who had witnessed a hundred years of American history, I expected him to add "You get a very special puppy." When he acknowledged that this victory belongs to the hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Grant Park, someone else chimed in: "You all get puppies." A number of folks in the room were substantial Obama donors, and soon they were all asking about if they would get puppies.

Anyway, enough about that. I have a pitch meeting today, but tonight, finally, at long last, the fulfillment of a promise that began with a simple request from a humble producer, was broadcast from the pages of this journal’s history, and was met with a resounding cry of assent from the electorate yesterday: analysis of The Blob. Yes we can.


45 Responses to “What did you do on election night?”
  1. marcochacon says:

    That’s great. I had a party as well–small group (my daughter was with her mother). We went out to dinner and then came back and sat around and watched the numbers roll in. We had two (fairly unconvinced) McCain voters in the crowd who were so disgusted by Palin that while they had questions about Obama’s qualifications they weren’t unhappy to see him win.

    I am in a mixed-race marriage. It was a great moment for us.

    The puppy-line is great.


    • Todd says:

      I just think it would have been awesome if, in one moment, before even taking office, in the first moments of his president-elect-ness, instantly emptied out America’s animal shelters and gave puppies to every Democratic family in the US.

  2. yesdrizella says:

    My new desktop background!


    I was in shock about 30 seconds into Keith O’s announcement, then I screamed and banged on my roommate’s door and just about tackled her. Although I -really- lost my composure when Obama had won Florida and I saw my county, the formerly red Orange County, had turned blue. I worked with my uni’s College Dems and the local Obama campaign to turn this county blue, and as cheesy as it sounds, his victory felt like my victory, too.

    Your children are going to grow up with an African-American man in office. It is an amazing time to be an American! We not only can, we did!

    • mitejen says:

      I’m in Orange county too, howdy!

    • Congrats on on helping our country! 🙂

    • Hey, I’m in Orange County too =) I was helping out with the UCF Obama-people on election day, and let me tell you, they kicked SO MUCH ass. The line that lasted till 11:30 made me so proud of my school. I wish I’d been more involved earlier in the race.

      • yesdrizella says:

        Are you talking about the line at the UCF arena? I marched over there with the Dems at around 2, it was huge then! I’m glad to know that voters stuck it out.

        And YES, our CDs are so awesome. I don’t think the College Reps have one eighth the passion that the Dems do.

  3. curt_holman says:

    I was amazed that you were letting your children stay up so late, then realized — Pacific Time. Duh. So they weren’t watching movies at midnight.

    The 106 year old woman is only 15 years old — in dog years.

    • Todd says:

      Yeah, it was nice of the electorate to finish everything up before PST bedtime. And believe me, Hollywood people do not stay up late — the second Obama’s speech was done, everyone was out the door.

  4. sorceror says:

    Wait — was “Anchors Aweigh” the basis for a scene in some Family Guy episode?

    What? That’s historic too!

  5. jedisoth says:

    Gee, all I did was visit my wife in the hospital then go home, took some Nyquil and played City of Heroes until it was time to go to sleep.

    I didn’t find out who is to be our next President until I read the news this morning.

  6. stormwyvern says:

    New Puppy ’08!

    My husband and I spent the evening and a friend’s house, just the two of us, our friend and later, his girlfriend. We watched “You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown,” the latest Simpsons Treehouse of Horror, and the Daily Show/Colbert Report coverage, interspersed with periodic updates from the intertubes care of my husband. I can’t say the whole night was wonderful all the way through; we’re all pretty bummed about the various same-sex marriage bans passing. But largely, it was a night of much celebration. We stayed up to listen to both McCain and Obama’s speeches, and given that we’re n the east coast, we’ve been pretty tired today.

    On the ballot initiative front, Massachusetts decided to keep our income tax, decriminalize possession of one ounce of marajuana, and outlaw greyhound racing by 2010.

    • Todd says:

      As one of the parents at my gathering said, “This makes no sense — eventually, gays will be able to marry, this will be back on the ballot in two years and the Mormons will just have to spend the tens of millions of dollars again to defeat it again, and eventually they will lose after spending all that money, what is it they hope to achieve?”

      • stormwyvern says:

        I don’t know that they’re thinking about it all that logically.

        I was talking with my mother this morning and told her how disappointed I was about the same-sex marriage bans going ahead. She remarked on how, just in her lifetime, the country had gone from the days of segregation to now, where an African-American man can be elected president. We both expressed the hope that we would see similar developments in marriage equality in both our lifetimes, and I do think that will happen as younger and more progressive generations start to take the reins. I just find it sad that one day that shows how far we’ve come as a nation is also showing us how far we have yet to go.

      • laminator_x says:

        The concept that one’s descendants might at some point not procreate is a big deal when plugged into the Mormons’ concept of apotheosis and population of new worlds by your spiritual progeny.

        • Todd says:

          So: you’re saying Mormons are bugshit insane?

          • ms_violet says:

            They want more puppies.

          • bassfingers says:

            I wouldn’t go so far as to call Mormons Tom Cruise Crazy

          • stormwyvern says:

            Is that better or worse than batshit insane?

            I would vote “better”, as bug excrement is probably not something we notice in most cases and everything I hear about guano says that it’s pretty nasty.

          • zodmicrobe says:

            They want to hurt us. Period. They wish we would get flushed away by a divine rain or something.

            They spent tens of millions of dollars along with the Knights of Columbus just to hurt people like me from marrying my partner of 10 years. And they did it by convincing the African-American community to support this bigotry, which they did with numbers like 9 to 1 in favor.

            I am very happy about Obama, he’s a candidate I supported since the primaries. But I feel punched in the gut right now. I expected more from Californians, honestly.

            • There’s an interesting dichotomy at play there with African Americans, and I just had a discussion about this with a gay friend who actually voted third party (in a state that was assuredly going for Obama, if he were in a toss-up he wouldn’t have), mainly because Obama refuses to outright support gay marriage. I think Prop 8 in Cali helps make the fact more obvious that you CANNOT be a viable Presidential candidate (yet) if you’re openly supportive of gay rights. I personally know a small army of Baptist blacks and Catholic whites who voted Obama, but would have definitely withheld their votes if Obama had openly said he approved of gay marriage.

              Which is dumb and shitty.

              But I honestly believe time’s on the side of the sane.

              • zodmicrobe says:

                Time is indeed on the side of the sane/non-bigoted, but honestly, it doesn’t help me get married to my partner on our tenth anniversary in January.

            • Anonymous says:

              Not all of the African American community favors this type of bigotry, I can assure you. It was a 7 of 10 count via exit polls. I’m not sure the Mormons convinced African Americans to do anything; many are certainly ignorant w/out any help. As a woman of African/Asian descent married to a man of Welsh/Irish descent (40+ years ago before Loving vs Virginia it would have been us), we (& many more) pledge to fight this primitive bigotry & hatred w/ every fiber.
              If 1 of us isn’t free, none of us are.

              • zodmicrobe says:

                Thanks, and I agree that not all of the California African-American community supports bigotry.

                But I’d put the figure at roughly 70 percent.

                • Anonymous says:

                  I don’t know what to say to mitigate your obvious anger. I hope you don’t hate based on that statistic.
                  I think President Obama will lead the charge to change this incredible injustice. While he has said as a Christian he believes marriage should be between a man & a woman, he voted against a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage & he was quoted as being against Prop 8. Happy Anniversary in January. I hope you & your partner will be able to celebrate your marriage in that month. Prop H8 may be overturned as unconstitutional in court, just like Prop 187 (1994).

                  • zodmicrobe says:

                    I don’t hate based on that statistic, and I look forward to the Obama administration.

                    But it’s appalling that so many in the African-American community, which was systematically discriminated against with miscegenation laws decades ago, now embrace identical language against gay people and enthusiastically support bigotry. And honestly, I don’t really see a lot of prominent African-American community leaders doing much about it.

                    Bigots are bigots, and I don’t care what the color of their skin is. If it had come out that 70 percent of the California Asian community had voted in favor of 8, I’d be calling them on their bigotry too. But they didn’t.

          • mimitabu says:

            i’ll always remember when i was in my early teens i read (i think it was called) lost boys by orson scott card. it seemed like a very typical stephen king-ish thriller (i’d read a lot of stephen king), but there was this awesome moment near the end where the book changed and i realized i was reading some sort of crazy mormon religious thing. i was like “whoa whoa whoa, what the hell is this shit?” it was such a great/horrible twist.

            if i ever get famous for making a movie/novel that’s regarded as classic or genius for its first 75% or whatever, but reviled for turning into some kind of awful (perhaps plainly facetious) christian/rightwing primer or something at the end, it will be card who i’m ripping off with the joke. i can think of little better than giving people something great and then creating that moment where they realize that the author is not on their side; rather the author is a total asshole.

            this message of self-indulgence brought to by: mormons can be pretty crazy. no offense internet mormons!

      • charlequin says:

        Presumably if you’re a pro-Proposition h8 Mormon you don’t actually understand that your position is bigoted and therefore that the inevitable tide of history will sweep it away again mere years from today.

  7. ndgmtlcd says:

    I had to go to bed without knowing if proposition 1a had passed. Now, I hope that they’ll eventually let puppies ride on those high-speed trains.

  8. mimitabu says:

    i spent most of election night at a friends apartment with about 8 other people. we sat around and drank wonderful snob belgian beer, and i repeatedly expressed my hope that americans continue to believe in and work for change now that we won’t have a lunatic for a president.

    • Todd says:

      Just think of this one small thing: every time our president goes to a foreign country, the intelligent people of the US won’t have to spend the whole time doing a collective facepalm about the guy making a total ass of himself.

  9. I spent the night in a lounge chair, alone because I’m ill, flipping between repeats of tv shows and election coverage, then watching Indecision ’08 on Comedy Central, followed by the concession speech by McCain and Obama’s wonderful speech on CNN.

  10. capthek says:

    Is this photo from your arugala gathering?

  11. misterseth says:

    When Obama opened by saying that, now that he’s president-elect, his daughters will “get the puppy

    How cute! (much better than Nixon’s ‘Checkers’ speech…)

  12. Anonymous says:

    Todd, let me first thank you for all your thoughts on the election, and thanks for posting Toby’s Palin video. I spent the evening w/my girlfriend in Washington Heights (NYC represent!) and my enthusiasm and anticipation was tempered a lot by a medical procedure I’d had earlier. But before that I’d spent a happy hour on line waiting to vote. I told a friend I saw there I wanted to cut in w/him but that was highly illegal, I’m sure, although I love when it happens at concerts. He said “Well, get on the McCain line, it’s a lot shorter!” The woman ahead of me at the voting booth was named Katherine Harris — oooh, scary memories of Florida 2000…
    Obama’s speech took me back to the first big election I was aware of, which was JFK’s. My family lived in the D.C. area at the time. I remember a huge snowstorm the day of his inauguration, and he wore no hat or coat, I believe, which effectively killed the hat as mens’ fashion accessory. I also remember my family driving by Nixon’s house and seeing Checkers out in the front yard (obligatory puppy reference). Probably not around the election or inauguration, but I’d sure make it then if I were writing a screenplay.
    My son turns eighteen on Dec. 1st and he was so pissed he wasn’t eligible to vote! I called him last night and told him I was happy he was just coming of age in what may be an age of hope. He’s certainly witnessed a lot of the dark side since 2000.
    I was all choked up by the end of the speech, and Barack has moved me like that three or four times in this (endless) campaign season. I was reminded of the scene at Grant Park 40+ years earlier.
    Well, after all that, I feel like someone should wheel me into the day room for bingo w/a Jello chaser. Anyway, I’m glad we all can feel a lot more hope, because we certainly need it for the work ahead of us! Regards from Lt. Ant from Brooklyn

  13. craigjclark says:

    Last night I watched the movie I watch every four years on Election Day — Tim Robbins’ political satire Bob Roberts. Every time I watch it, it rewards me by being as stubbornly relevant as it was when I first saw it in 1992.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I watched Clockwork Orange which ended moments before the announcement Obama had won. I switched to WGN to watch the Grant Park coverage and made a chocolate sundae with blackberries to celebrate.

    Many thanks to Sam for the cookie donation. I am sure thats what put Obama over the top.


  15. greyaenigma says:

    I was on the edge of my seat all day, especially as it started to look for a while that McCain might actually make it close. I checked my phone while eating dinner alone (I was in a restaurant downtown, but much of the city was oddly empty) while checking my phone for updates. PA and OH had been called, and I’d already moved on to Powell’s and was playing Go when someone ran in and shouted that Obama had won. Then the shouting in the streets started. And the dancing. And, apparently, the streaking.

    I was taking this picture when an angry Bush supporter, ranting about the FBI and CIA and “it’s not over” accosted me outside a victory party. It dampened my enthusiasm a bit, but not much.
    Democracy Now

  16. Further lameness, on top of the three-for-three gay marriage bans: Arkansas passed a ban on gay couples adopting (girlfriend correctly points out: if you’re a gay couple looking to adopt, why are you living in Arkansas anyway?). And I was also really really hoping for a Democratic supermajority in the Senate which isn’t happening. Too much power in one party is a bad thing? Not when the other party’s Republican. Ah well.

    But meanwhile, Michigan got a whole lot more awesome to live in (passing stem cell research and medical marijuana), and watching Barack and his family onstage made me go goosebumpy and watery-eyed out of sheer unadulterated joy, because America as a whole got a lot more awesome to live in too. “Net-positive” doesn’t quite cover the immense overwhelming optimism I’m currently constantly high on.

    Now here’s hoping Obama was bullshittin’ a bit when he said he’s against gay marriage.

  17. robjmiller says:

    Prop 8

    Prop 8 passing could turn out to be a good thing. A state constitution is not able to override the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, otherwise every southern state would have put segregation in their state constitutions. Within two years this will be in the Supreme Court, and their decision will make same-sex marriage legal throughout the country.

    For election night, I watched a movie (Mongol, pretty good) because the election coverage was so terrible that it wasn’t worth watching. They were projecting states as soon as they got the first returns, still showing 0% of precincts reporting. Thanks guys, but I looked at pollster that morning too, and Wolf jerking off all over the special effects didn’t make it any better.

    • Re: Prop 8

      Mathematically, the projections had about a 1 in 200 chance of being wrong. The MSM amped up their calling process to make sure they wouldn’t look like idiots yet again. The calling with 0% reporting was based on massively lopsided exit-polling.

      • robjmiller says:

        Re: Prop 8

        I get it, but its just bad TV. How does this statement sound?

        “With 0% of precincts reporting, McCain is leading Obama in New Hampshire 1100 to 900 votes. We’ve got a projection coming… Obama wins New Hampshire.”

        If they have more data like exit polls, they should report it. I prefer my data to be numerical since I’d prefer to analyze it myself. In contrast, the CNN website was fantastic with up to the minute updates by county, so when McCain was up by a couple percent in VA I could look and see that Fairfax county had only put in a fraction of their votes.

  18. noskilz says:

    I spent the evening skimming assorted news sites, keeping an eye on the TPM election scoreboard, and set the TV to network election coverage (flipping between CBS and NBC, who did their best to remind me why I don’t usually pay much attention to them, so the sound tended to be off unless something of interest seemed to be happening – should have hit Comedy Central’s coverage instead.) Pleased but unsurprised, a refreshing beverage or two wrapped matters up.