Ambiguous sign if not an ambiguous outcome
It’s now a little past 8 pm Eastern and apart from watching ABC’s World News Tonight I’ve been watching NBC with Brian Williams, Tom Brokaw, guest Tavis Smiley, and various experts – Williams just finished interviewing Harold Ford Jr of the Democratic Leadership Council.
First to be called was Kentucky for Red, followed by Vermont for Blue. So, for an hour, Sen. John McCain led Sen. Barack Obama in the electoral college tally. But at the stroke of 8 NBC called Pennsylvania, the state where McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin campaigned so often and so passionately, for Obama. After I post this it’ll be time to check the other networks to see if they’re following suit.
In Virginia, well-financed former Gov. Mark Warner is beating former Gov. Jim Gilmore 60-40, so it looks like one Democratic gain is guaranteed in the Senate. And that margin may prove decisive in swinging the state into Obama’s column. In North Carolina, Sen. Elizabeth Dole is trailing badly in early returns. Again, this could compensate Obama if Florida doesn’t go his way.
NBC shows crowds starting to gather in Grant Park in Chicago, the site of the most furious confrontation between radical protestors and the police in 1968. (Illinois, along with predictable states like Maryland and Delaware, and the District of Columbia, has been called for Obama.) The mood at the park this time appears hopeful and expectant.
Just now, from the TV in the other room, I hear a minister – I don’t know if it’s in Chicago in somewhere else – saying something about the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King being fulfilled. There may be jubilation already as the electoral college tally (at least as called by NBC) finds Obama going over 100 votes, but what’s happening in the House and Senate, and in the gubernatorial contests? Time to do some channel-surfing and check.