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Moments from the 2012 Election We Should Remember Forever
1. Singing and dancing in the streets as a direct result of seeing change in action.
2. President Obama’s now famous Tweet, and that moment when the entire Obama family initially took the stage.
3. Tammy Baldwin’s win in Wisconsin - She is the first openly lesbian senator to be elected and the first woman senator to be elected in Wisconsin. In addition, a record number of women (some might say a binder full of women) will hold seats in the Senate.
4. Tom Brokaw skewering the American voting system:
I do hope there’s going to be a movement in the next four years to fix the broken American voting system...this is the greatest democracy in the world. We’ve got all this new technology that we entrust the rest of our lives to - how we communicate with each other, how we use our credit cards, whatever we do - and then when voting comes, we do everything but get a candle and a nightgown and walk in somewhere and make a mark with a sharp stick....
5. Obama making a similar point in his acceptance speech: “Whether you voted for the very first time or waited in line for a very long time.....By the way, we have to fix that.” Let's hold him to it.
6. Chrysler gave employees day off to vote. Democratic participation encouraged and packaged as an employee reward? Let’s revisit this idea.
7. Trump’s Twitter tantrum, which prompted Brian Williams to introduce him as someone “who has driven well past the last exit to relevance and veered into something closer to irresponsible.” What I think Williams really meant to say was: "Ain't nobody got time for that."
8. Karl Rove’s tantrum, which sparked perhaps the most pointless minutes of television ever broadcasted. When Fox pundits were speechless at Rove’s stubborn argument that Obama had not yet taken Ohio, anchor Megyn Kelly hopped up and took a long, cheerful walk on camera through a labyrinth of hallways at Fox News HQ (at one point admonishing the cameras not to get too close) in order to interview the nerds at the “decision desk,” who immediately conceded the race to Obama. Why couldn’t Kelly just interview the decision desk from her post over the phone or email? Who knows. But let's hope the auto-tune video remix arrives soon. One part of the clip really looks like a music video.
9. The rumor that Diane Sawyer was drunk on air is as silly as it was fast-moving. But we did appreciate the appearance of this Twitter account (not the first of its kind):
10. An audience member standing behind Obama during his acceptance speech accidentally upstaged the president because she had stuck her American flag in her hair, sparking a slew of Twitter comments. Our favorite: “Flag Hair Lady + Biden 2016.” We're sorry, Mr. President. But that's what happens when you make Americans wait too long for something; we get punchy. (You might want to keep this in mind over the next couple of years.)
11. Nate Silver's slam dunk. In other words, the succesful use of math in upending the national media’s baseless “what’s going to happen?!” punditry drama long before the curtain went up on their live show.
12. The convincing displays of humanity during both the concession and acceptance speeches. Mitt kept it classy (once he finally appeared); his seemingly tear-stained eyes and obligatory supportive notes to Obama and the country seemed genuine.
And Obama’s speech struck just the right chord as he reminded us of the initial inspiration that got him elected in the first place:
I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.
When one of the highlights of the local election coverage is a crowd of people singing along to Journey, it’s hard not to characterize the 2012 election outcome with words like "joy" and "hope." It’s also difficult not to lose that sense of hope the very next day.
But as we wait to hear the final word on Ref 74 and the gubernatorial race here in Washington state, my positive attitude endures.
After all, even The Stranger’s Paul Constant got a little warm and fuzzy in his election wrap-up written last night as the results were being announced:
Tomorrow, the work begins again, but tonight the air is alive with that incredible moment that happens every so often, when the dirty, grubby, grinding process of politics manages to churn out something incredible, a moment greased by sweat and liquor and tears, and it starts to feel less like politics and more like love.
After a night like that, you have to ask: why rush back to cynicism or apathy? Let's bask here a little longer in the crazy, mixed-up, unscripted (but always documented) world we get to live in when we embrace new things.