I love election nights. From a social media perspective, they're more fun than tweeting Packers games or the Brewers on opening day.
On a serious note, elections remind us why America works. And in Wisconsin, it's further proof that our citizens make up our own mind. Just a few months ago, this state kept Tea Party darling Scott Walker in office. Last night it elected an openly gay liberal to the Senate and helped send Barack Obama back to the White House. Way to keep America guessing, Wisconsin!
On a lighter note, Tuesday was a wonderful opportunity to lampoon the breathless anchors, the frenzied pundits and poke fun at a few out-of-left-field surprises that even Nate Silver could not predict.
Here's what I saw last night:
Was Diane Sawyer drunk? – I could not believe my ears when people started texting me to turn on ABC News. The veteran anchor either seemed very drunk or appeared to be having a stroke. I couldn't understand why producers didn't yank her off the air. I don't believe the "exhaustion" excuse, either. If she's not fired or checked into rehab by the end of the day today, I will be shocked.
Karl Rove meltdown – I expect ridiculousness from FOX News, so I had to tune in to see how they spun things after the election was called. What I didn't expect to see was Rove trying to cast doubt on his own network's analysis. That the other anchors indulged him and marched down to harass its own poll analysts further eroded what little news credibility this right-wing mouthpiece has left.
John King knows his counties – I saw some tweet from a guy who wanted CNN's John King on this trivia team for the "American Counties" category. I was impressed with King's detailed knowledge of dozens of pivotal counties around America, and it didn't appear superficial, either. He rattled on, unscripted, for hours, about Cuyahoga, Miami-Dade and more with a Wikipedia-like knowledge of the facts. Bravo.
Groping on NBC – At one point last night, NBC cut to an interview at Romney headquarters, and in the background, a gray-haired man was seen massaging and groping a blonde woman in a backless dress. This display went on for a long time, too. I want to know more.
Brian Williams speaks of pot – I had to laugh when the anchor said, "In plain English, there's a whole lot of weed on the ballot tonight." I took that as code that he knows of what he speaks. We'll see if Williams relocates to Denver.
No holograms – CNN's "Magic Wall" was a whole lot less interesting than the holographic projections of 2008. I was hoping that Tupac might even make an appearance. Maybe CNN made up for it by instructing Wolf Blitzer to shout more loudly than usual. I was less impressed by NBC's ice skating rink map, though the Empire State Building Electoral College light display was cool.
Twitter civility – In all seriousness, I saw a much more mellow tone on social media last night, and I follow people from all political stripes. I enjoyed less vitriol and less gloating this time around. As usual, I'm disgusted by the tweets advocating for Obama's assassination. But I'm also happy to follow @DrnkDianeSawyer.
nothig to c here guys im ok d'ont worry abot me — Drunk Diane Sawyer (@DrnkDianeSawyer) November 7, 2012
Andy is the president, publisher and founder of OnMilwaukee. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.
Before launching OnMilwaukee.com in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.
Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.