HNN Election Night Special: Google Hangout Livechat





11-6-12

HNN hosted a live chat on Google+ Hangout on election night, featuring our publisher and editor-in-chief Rick Shenkman, editor David Austin Walsh, professor of history at McGill University and HNN blogger Gil Troy, professor of history at the College of the Holy Cross Edward O'Donnell, Brooklyn College professor of history K.C. Johnson, and Berkeley PhD candidate Sam Redman.

The conversation covered all the bases -- the election, the campaign, the media, the future, and -- naturally -- Grover Cleveland.

Click here to start from the beginning.

***FINAL UPDATE 11:45 PM***


Rick Shenkman
11:45 PM
Thanks Gil!

Gil Troy
11:45 PM
Thanks David, Rick and HNN for all that you do to forge a community of historians and educate the populace, This is just one of many impressive, creative initiatives you launch, seemingly so effortlessly, but i know the hard work and deep thought that you invest in it all -- keep it up!

Rick Shenkman
11:45 PM
That the GOP lost this election is shocking in the end. This was a GOP year.

Edward O'Donnell
11:44 PM
It's been fun. Let's do another on inauguration day ...

Gil Troy
11:42 PM
Democracy works -- and let's hope that the losers look inward and ask how they could have done better rather than starting rounds of recounts and recriminations.

Samuel Redman
11:42 PM
It suddenly became a lot like political Christmas in the Bay Area. Car horns, traffic jam on the road outside my house on the way to Berkeley.
Thanks for the good conversation, fellow historians.

David A. Walsh
11:41 PM
Well, gentlemen, the election is more or less over, and just slightly less important is the fact that the length of this thread is causing my browser to nearly crash. Final thoughts then call it a night?

Rick Shenkman
11:39 PM
Fox News has now called the election. Now all we need is Romney's concession speech. Will Obama wait for it?

Edward O'Donnell
11:34 PM
If Romney wins pop vote, it will embolden GOP hardliners in short term - eg upcoming sequestration/fiscal cliff.

Samuel Redman
11:30 PM
@David - appropriate that the car horns are blaring in DC, given the consequence of the auto industry for this election.

David A. Walsh
11:27 PM
Romney still leading in the popular vote.

Edward O'Donnell
11:24 PM
OK, now the 2016 campaign begins ...

Samuel Redman
11:24 PM
CNN projects Obama's win 18 minutes later in the evening than 2008.

Edward O'Donnell
11:19 PM
CNN - Obama reelected via Ohio
Empire State Building has just turned Blue

Rick Shenkman
11:18 PM
Both CBS and NBC have called the election for Obama.

David A. Walsh
11:17 PM
I can hear singing and hornhonks in Adams Morgan tonight.

Samuel Redman
11:17 PM
Iowa and Oregon puts it over the top for Obama. Re-elected President of the United States.

Edward O'Donnell
11:12 PM
I agree. It seems there would be a HUGE opportunity for a GOP moderate. I'm thinking of the transition from Goldwater to Nixon.

KC Johnson
11:12 PM
I'm signing out for a bit--am heading to do a Digital chat, but will check back in. Enjoyed the conversation.
KC Johnson left group chat.

Gil Troy
11:12 PM
The contrast between the two conventions optically was stark. It is ironic that Obama, who came to power repudiating the critics who slice and dice America is presiding over the country as the divide between white America and mulitcultural America grows and calcifies. But the Republicans have to figure it out, and there are enough traditional, family values Hispanic immigrants to heal the party.

Rick Shenkman
11:09 PM
@Edward: Looks to me like the GOP will need somebody l;ike Christie whose appeal to the rightwing is based on personal qualities than hard policies. He could appeal to Hispanics and conservatives (once they get over his kind words for Obama). Christie in 2016!

Edward O'Donnell
11:07 PM
Question to all - what will be the takeaway for GOP from the election if the Dem/Obama trend continues? I know we've talked about it a bit but what's the future of the Tea Party faction? Especially when GOP considers the Latino vote?

Samuel Redman
11:04 PM
Colorado for the Republicans in 72, 76, 80, 84 Democrat in 92, GOP again 1996, 2000, 2004 and Obama in 2008. Major demographic shifts in recent years.

Edward O'Donnell
11:03 PM
CNN - Wisconsin for Obama and NC to Romney

Rick Shenkman
11:01 PM
My condolences to Utah Gov. Levitt, who has been slaving away on a plan to take over the government when Romney wins. Err. When he was supposed to win.

Samuel Redman
11:01 PM
CA went red between 1972-1988, but has gone to the Democratic candidate for President ever since

KC Johnson
11:00 PM
On redistricting, yes: the NC gerrymander was nothing short of extraordinary. And, ironically, the Dems' fault for passing a plan (back when the state had a Republican gov.) to strip from the gov the right to veto redistricting plans.

Rick Shenkman
11:00 PM
The Tea Party has now killed the Senate chances of the GOP in two successive elections. I bet they don't get a chance to do it a third time. Party stalwarts will cut them off even if there's blood on the floor. Mitch McConnell doesn't want to be minority leader forever.

Edward O'Donnell
10:59 PM
CNN saying FL looks more and more Blue

Gil Troy
10:59 PM
Whose waiting for the 2016 campaign to start -- it already has -- what was Bill Clinton doing on the campaign trail if not sowing seeds for Hillary, and Time magazine has already crowned Paul Ryan the front runner for 2016 or 2020 depending on how Romney does tonight

Edward O'Donnell
10:58 PM
Polls on the west coast close in <2 min

Samuel Redman
10:58 PM
ID for Romney
CA, WA, OR, HI likely for Obama

Edward O'Donnell
10:57 PM
Agreed on the power of redistricting - can you imagine how Boss Tweed and other kingmakers of the past would have taken advantage of computer technology to micro-design favorable districts?
Polls on the west coast close in 2 min

Samuel Redman
10:54 PM
The worst part is the waiting for the 2016 campaign to start.

David A. Walsh
10:52 PM
One word: Redistricting. GOP control of state houses in 2010 is paying dividends.

Samuel Redman
10:52 PM
And we're down to the battleground states . . .

KC Johnson
10:52 PM
The other interesting downballot result from this election is the strong showing of Dem Senate candidates (there remains an outside shot the Dems could gain a Senate seat), combined with the pathetic performance of the Dems in House races. Of the three areas (Pres, Sen, House), I thought the Republicans had the best chance in the Senate as of, say, 1-2011.

Edward O'Donnell
10:50 PM
they also enjoyed seclusion - transparency is often a good thing, but it's also overrated.

Rick Shenkman
10:49 PM
You are so right!

Gil Troy
10:48 PM
Meantime, Rick, the founding fathers had time to write the Declaration, Constitution, and Federalist Papers -- because they had time for contemplation, and weren't twittering, texting and smsing little dollops of wisdom that preclude building up to the big insight!

Samuel Redman
10:47 PM
Todd Akin now giving his concession speech.

Rick Shenkman
10:46 PM
Let this election be remembered for technology. At present I am 1. watching TV news coverage, using FaceTime, texting, Google +ing, getting alerts from NYT and CNN, and reading NYT homepage updates. This is a far cry from waiting three weeks for election results as the founding fathers did.

Samuel Redman
10:44 PM
My home state of Minnesota just called for Obama.

Edward O'Donnell
10:44 PM
Re Hoover – self-delusion was easier in 1932, in the days before the sophisticated, computer-generated, micro-analysis of electoral attitudes that we now have (e.g. Nate Silver).

Samuel Redman
10:42 PM
Still waiting for quite a bit of vote from Miami . . . people still standing in line

KC Johnson
10:41 PM
I did read the MIT story. FL continues to distinguish itself for its election management style...

Gil Troy
10:40 PM
meanwhile, did anybody read or hear about some funny electoral tidbits today -- i heard that a Florida woman was banned from her polling station for wearing a pro-Romney sweatshirt - but it said MIT not MITT - eventually someone at the poll realized it was referring to another massachusetts institution -- this one of technology. Now, of course, Florida electoral officials are the geniuses who figured out how to get old Jewish ladies to vote for "the anti-Semite" Pat Buchanan, thanks to that ridiculous butterfly ballot.

Gil Troy
10:36 PM
i saw it as an attempt by the msm to restore some credibility after some hasty judgment calls and bad predictions in previous election cycles
 

Edward O'Donnell
10:35 PM
I’ve been surprised by what appears (to me) to be an extraordinary effort on the part of the TV media to appear objective, even in the face of many early signs that it’s a very good night for the president and Dem party. Seems to me that it reflects the hyper-partisan political culture and the desire of major media outlets to avoid criticism – especially with their commitment to reporting exit polls and east coast voting results as they come in – well ahead of the closure of west coast polls.
Nora O'Donnell on CBS just invoked "soul searching" and the GOP ...

Gil Troy
10:31 PM
I found it dismaying, every time i logged on (OK way too often, way too obsessively) to Real Clear Politics, how lefties were calling it for obama and righties were calling it for romney,, i thought only academics cooked the books based on political impulses!
Rick -- it is interesting how many losers thought they would win. In addition to self-delusion, the bubble that they are in -- and the adoring crowds they encounter when they go out, feeds the delusion -- and most pols are primed to believe in their own greatness. This of course makes the defeat all the more shattering a blow.
 

Rick Shenkman
10:31 PM
Got to mention one of my favorite election night stories. It concerns Hoover. He was convinced until the very end that he would win in 1932. Such is the power of self-delusion.

David A. Walsh
10:30 PM
@Gil: Well, Dick Morris was predicting a Romney landslide, and I doubt his media profile's going to diminish that much. Which is a pretty damning indictment of our media.

Samuel Redman
10:30 PM
I'm amazed at how close the results are in NC

David A. Walsh
10:29 PM
@KC Yes, I'm surprised by the gay marriage polls, too -- I've been following the MN poll very closely (former resident) and was expecting rural voters to overwhelming reject gay marriage.

Gil Troy
10:28 PM
yes, so far, the coverage is making it look easy for obama -- but i am very very cautious, having been on air in 2000 -- when others called the election, i waited and waited...

Rick Shenkman
10:28 PM
If PA went for Romney, that would have meant a lot of the other battleground states might as well. I took that as an omen for Obama. The state polls were apparently right. The national polls misleading. Score one for Nate Silver's statistical approach to the election.

KC Johnson
10:28 PM
My other surprise would be non-presidential--though the MD result is very close, it looks possible as if the same-sex marriage forces will go 4-for-4 tonight. Maine is already a victory, and the Minnesota marriage ban is losing.

Samuel Redman
10:27 PM
I'm a little surprised by how quickly PA was called for Obama - especially with Mitt Romney making recent campaign stops in the state.

Rick Shenkman
10:26 PM
What I find surprising is that we may not have to wait for Ohio to call the election for Obama. Florida may cinch it. That would be amazing.

David A. Walsh
10:24 PM
Question: Aside from KC's observation on NC, what has surprised you about tonight?

Edward O'Donnell
10:21 PM
Re Sandy - Interesting to consider how Katrina might have impacted the 2004 election had it come a year earlier ... yikes, did I just engage in counterfactual speculation?

KC Johnson
10:18 PM
I suspect, as well, that the initial message will be Romney would have won but for Hurricane Sandy--even though the state polls in the 2 weeks before the storm indicated otherwise.

Edward O'Donnell
10:18 PM
I think the Romneyites have the facts on their side. The takeaway from the debates and the last weeks of the campaign for many undecideds was how moderate Romney was (as well as presidential, strong, etc).

Gil Troy
10:16 PM
I think there will be a fight over what they should fight about. The Tea Party types will say Romney lost by not being ideologically pure enough the Romneyites will say that he didnt moderate fast enough or with, dare I say it, enough conviction.

Edward O'Donnell
10:14 PM
Re GOP soul searching - That’s a very compelling question. Traditionally, political parties do eventually get the message. But I wonder if there’s enough of a Tea Party-ish core in the party and among its leading lights (Norquist, Limbaugh, Palin, FOX) that the message (such as it is) will be received later rather than sooner. In this age of the digital media echo chamber, I think zealotry has a longer life …

Samuel Redman
10:12 PM
Since 1972 - FL has gone to the Republicans 7 times and the Democrats only 3 (1976, 1996, 2008)

David A. Walsh
10:08 PM
Obama holding on FL, though barely.

David A. Walsh
10:08 PM
stephanopoulos just asked George Will on ABC if GOP defeats will cause soul-searching on the part of the Republican Party. Will it?

Edward O'Donnell
10:07 PM
CBS calls McCaskill and Donnelly

David A. Walsh
10:06 PM

Romney's just won UT, which is a good segway -- why hasn't Mormonism been more of an issue in this campaign?
David A. Walsh
10:04 PM
My gut response is that it'll be huge, but on the other hand, I suspect that whoever wins -- and the odds are really, REALLY good it'll be Obama -- they're going to be perceived as illegitimate by the base of the opposing party anyway.

Edward O'Donnell
10:01 PM
How much will it matter if Obama wins the election but not the popular vote?

Edward O'Donnell
9:59 PM
Honestly, I think race had a lot to do with Michelle's restraint. There was abundant evidence early on that nearly anything she did that appeared aggressive or forthright would be read by many as ... well, you know ...

Gil Troy
9:58 PM
Michelle Obama was also very sensitive to the dynamics around her being the first African American in the White House and that also encouraged her to go traditional. I think it was the smart move, but i wonder sometimes whether the psychic cost for her was too great.

Rick Shenkman
9:56 PM
What was path breaking about Michelle was that she didn't model herself on Hillary but stuck to the traditional first lady role. Laura Bush didn't have that option. Michelle, as an attorney, did.

Samuel Redman
9:55 PM
One thing is for sure - no matter who becomes First Lady this evening, they will have a dress exhibited at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

David A. Walsh
9:55 PM
We should talk a bit about the Senate races -- Warren has won in NC, Donnelly in Indiana. No word yet on Missouri.

Edward O'Donnell
9:54 PM

Imagining a 19th century version of what we’re doing right now with historians huddled in telegraph offices … and a lot of whiskey and tobacco juice


Edward O'Donnell
9:49 PM
re tuning in to Mary Todd Lincoln: the real one or Sally Field?

Gil Troy
9:49 PM
I agree Ed -- i call it the first lady's gossamer shackles. The claim is that each FL can be whatever she wishes to be but in fact they follow a carefully drafted script, and suffer the wrath of the American people if they deviate (see under Clinton, Hillary Rodham and Reagan, Nancy).

Samuel Redman
9:47 PM
How many people would have tuned in for Mary Todd Lincoln?

Edward O'Donnell
9:47 PM
Being a modern First Lady is a dicey affair. Many expect you to act like the modern women we see in business and politics, but many also want a more traditional image of a, as Gil notes, “don’t rock the boat” type. They need to appear both very modern and very traditional at the same time. It’s the ultimate thin line. Consider how much flak Michelle Obama received for wearing sleeveless dresses at official White House events.

Samuel Redman
9:46 PM
Certainly, and I would acknowledge Ann Romney as one of the highlights of the Mitt's campaigning . . .

Gil Troy
9:45 PM
Fair point Sam, i was thinking about on the campaign trail -- the convention speech was a big hit..

KC Johnson
9:45 PM
And Michelle's speech at convention was very very effective--much more so than her husband's.

Samuel Redman
9:45 PM
I would disagree with the notion than Ann Romney has been "felt more" than Michelle Obama's in this campaign. If I recall correctly, 26 million viewers for Michelle Obama's DNC speech, 22 million for Ann Romney's RNC speech.

KC Johnson
9:45 PM
I'm following Nate Cohn's live blog at The New Republic--he's noted that some OH counties have come in a little worse for Obama than expected.
Also, Huff Post (I have no TV, so am following election solely on line) has an interesting chart comparing 08 and 12 returns--across the board in OH counties, Romney doing just a tad better than McCain, though the exit poll says 51-48 OH

Gil Troy
9:40 PM
Third, i think Michelle Obama has been a great role model and a very effective First Lady, but i think she has succeeded because she has followed the Barbar Bush Laura Bush dont rock the political boat template... I dont see what is so pathbreaking about her, but again i give her credit for being impressive and effecive.
is the operative assumption here that obama has it -- any evidence to the contrary? (this is a sincere question, i am not seeing much good news for Romney)

Rick Shenkman
9:39 PM
I did a study a few years ago on presidential debates. Almost always the PERCEIVED winner of the debates won the election. Of course, sometimes there was a split decision. Reagan lost to Mondale then came back in the second debate and won. (Nancy famously said: What have you done to my husband, after the first debate, when Reagan fared so poorly.) So this is another split decision election as far as debates go.

Gil Troy
9:38 PM
Three thoughts re First Ladies. First, I thought Anne Romney's presence was felt more than Jill Biden's or Michelle Obama's -- but it was very much following the traditional script of standing by her man.
Second, it was interesting to me that at the end Michelle Obama reverted to her early 2008 persona, emphasizing how much Barack owes her and how glad she is that the campaigning part of their live is over - that's a glimpse into underlying tensions which are often obscured.

Samuel Redman
9:37 PM
Another notion becoming clear only in retrospect - Obama's poor performance in the first debate opened up space for both he and Joe Biden to be agressive in the ensuing debates.

KC Johnson
9:36 PM
On the role of First Ladies in the campaign--it's worth recalling what seems to me the precedent-setter in this regard--Lady Bird, with her Southern swing in 1964, and her willingness to campaign solo for days (& in areas that were very hostile to the Pres.) in a way that was revolutionary at the time.

David A. Walsh
9:35 PM
Excellent question!

Rick Shenkman
9:35 PM
This is Gil's area. Gil? What say you about the effort of first and second ladies?

David A. Walsh
9:34 PM
@Gil & @Ed: Isn't this the lesson: debates always matter within the dynamic of a particular campaign (Gil, I think you're absolutely right that the first debate fundamentally upended the race), but usually doesn't determine who wins?

Samuel Redman
9:34 PM
Something I think future historians may note that current political pundits seem to miss are the impression efforts on the campaign trail of Michelle Obama and Jill Biden - who campaigned either together or separately for months. Michelle Obama especially, is a political figure unlike any we've seen from the role of First Lady.

Edward O'Donnell
9:33 PM
CBS says Obama wins NH

David A. Walsh
9:33 PM
Michael Beschloss and Richard Norton Smith on PBS right now.

Edward O'Donnell
9:32 PM
I agree that the debate was significant in making it a tight race. But it'll be a footnote if Romney loses.

David A. Walsh
9:32 PM
David Brooks just called Ohio a must-win for Romney.

Rick Shenkman
9:31 PM
PA went for Obama. That means the polls were right and the GOP wrong. Highly significant.

David A. Walsh
9:31 PM
WI just went for Obama according to PBS. Not surprised -- even with Ryan and Walker, Wisconsin hasn't gone for the Republican since I believe 1984.

Gil Troy
9:31 PM
sorry -- i still would say it was a significant debate. Without that debate i think it would have been a wipeout and Romney made it competitive. If Romney loses I will compare it to Ford's comeback against Carter in 1976 -- he covered a lot of the territory he needed to but fell short, that doesn't mean, however that it wasn't an impressive turnaround.

Rick Shenkman
9:31 PM
CBS said that NC African-Americans were going for Obama in the same numbers as in 2008, something the Obama campaign hadn't expected. That's apparently the key.

Edward O'Donnell
9:29 PM
Not sure how all this will turn out, but if Obama wins I suspect a lot of historians and political scientists will have to ditch their half-written proclamations on the significance of the first debate. A few weeks ago, it seemed likely to join the "Nixon didn't shave" and "there you go again" category of significant prez debates.

KC Johnson
9:28 PM
It seems to be 50-49. What struck me as odd is that Obama seems to be doing as well (between exit poll & reported figures in NC as in VA--not what I would have guessed.

David A. Walsh
9:27 PM
@KC What are the figures you're seeing?

Samuel Redman
9:22 PM
Historians - which states have a history of fast reporting of election results and which states have a reputation for slow tallying?

KC Johnson
9:19 PM
I was teaching earlier this evening, and just got out of class. Am struck thus far by the surprisingly close race in NC, though I imagine that as the election day votes come in Obama will fade.

David A. Walsh
9:18 PM
@Rick: Right. Still, a CBS tie-in.

Samuel Redman
9:18 PM
Historians are notoriously poor at predicting the future. Better to go with a wonky statistician?

David A. Walsh
9:17 PM
Just saw -- so far Nate Silver has been pretty accurate in his predictions.

Rick Shenkman
9:17 PM
I was the managing editor of the Seattle CBS affiliate. But never worked for the national CBS.

Edward O'Donnell
9:17 PM
PA for Obama

David A. Walsh
9:16 PM
And welcome to KC Johnson!

David A. Walsh
9:15 PM
Lots of CBS love in this group -- Rick, you worked for CBS for a number of years, didn't you?

Rick Shenkman
9:14 PM
Old habits die hard. Am watching CBS. Pelley is actually as close as we're likely to get for an old style anchor.

David A. Walsh
9:13 PM
@Gil: I'm switching between Fox and CNN, but agreed w/ Rather -- my memory doesn't go much further back than '00, but in '00 and '04, I always watched CBS.

Samuel Redman
9:12 PM
Lots of upheaval (esp. amongst organized labor) in the era between Grover Cleveland - William McKinley. Electoral map shifts somewhat - NY, for instance, flips from Cleveland (Dem.) in 1892 to McKinley (Rep.) in 1896.

Gil Troy
9:11 PM
could i change the subject - what is your TV station of choice. I miss the old CBS -- first it was walter cronkite, but then for years I loved watching Dan Rather -- even when the election was boring there was great suspense watching him, you just never knew when he was going to come up with one of his ridiculous metaphors, when he was going to telegraph just a whiff of lunacy, or do something else to remind us that these are not animatronic robots but real live human beings on camera....

Edward O'Donnell
9:10 PM
True historians - stuck in the past!

David A. Walsh
9:10 PM
At least we're using technology!

Rick Shenkman
9:10 PM
Let the rest of the country between the blue and the red. Here at HNN we'll fight over Cleveland!

David A. Walsh
9:07 PM
Touche!

Gil Troy
9:07 PM
I thought Newt Gingrich told us that Clinton was a McGovernik and Rusk Limbaugh told us that Obama was a socialist.... case closed!

David A. Walsh
9:06 PM
And, of course, the Left continues to criticize Obama as essentially an Ike-style Republican.

David A. Walsh
9:06 PM
Gil: Is that still the case, even after Clinton's triangulation strategy?

Gil Troy
9:05 PM
One more Grover Cleveland thought - when
Arthur Schlesinger Jr called Jimmy Carter the most conservative Democrat since Grover Cleveland it was not a compliment!

David A. Walsh
9:04 PM
Maybe they'll even take a nod from JFK and go hatless.
 
Samuel Redman
9:03 PM
President Coolidge had the first inauguration to be broadcast over the radio in 1925. It seems unlikely that either President Obama or President Romney would live-tweet or Google hangout the 2012 inauguration.

David A. Walsh
9:02 PM
Very interesting that this is where conversation is going already -- Michael Kazin wrote in a blog post for The New Republic back in September that Mitt most resembles Grover Cleveland: www.tnr.com/article/107721/which-us-c-does-romney-most-resemble-hint-its-not-republican

Gil Troy
8:58 PM
Hofstadter: Cleveland ... had made a defect of his merits. He was not a cruel man, but he was dogmatic, obtuse, insensitive....He was the flower of American political culture in the Gilded Age."

Rick Shenkman
8:56 PM
Hofstadter may have missed Cleveland's political dexterity. He ran rings around the opposition when they tried to box him in with a treaty with Canada over fishing rights. Signing it would anger the Irish, who wanted to twist the British lion's tail. So Cleveland called for emergency action to protect American fishermen. It was crafty. Any ordinary politician would have been accused of being manipulative and political. But Cleveland's reputation as an honest pol was so well established that he could get away with the ploy. That he understood that is a testament to his political skills. He was highly underrated. You don't win the popular vote three times in a row without being pretty astute. His denunciation of the plutocrats in his final state of the union message in his first term demonstrates how he's misread as a plodding conservative. I bow in all other respects before Hofstadter. But he got Cleveland wrong.

Samuel Redman
8:54 PM
To be clear - I'm not advocating Hoover as some sort of political model - but I think we often forget how popular he was - for a time - in the US.
 
Samuel Redman
8:49 PM
Arguably, Herbert Hoover's disaster management responses (both in Europe during WWII and following the Great Mississippi Flood) thrusted him toward the White House. He was a popular guy for those reasons, well before he ran for the Oval Office.
excuse me WWI

Gil Troy
8:47 PM
I confess, i read too much
sorry misfire -- I confess, i read too much Richard Hofstadter -- to him being the Grover Cleveland of American Politics would be an insult, suggesting a dull, staid, placeholder who perpetuates the status quo! so maybe if the oversized shoe fits...
 
Rick Shenkman
8:46 PM
My reaction was that Christie has a chance in 2016 of coming on as the Grover Cleveland of American politics. They have matching waistlines, but the main parallel is that both come across as honest woodsmen. If we remain in the same stuck place we are in today, Christie could well find himself on his way to the White House.
I should add that based on what he's done this past week Christie will probably win re-election in a landslide. That would certainly make him a giant player on the national scene for years to come.
 

Samuel Redman
8:43 PM
Obama's numbers were improving before Sandy, but I think Christie's reaction to the storm was significant both in New Jersey and nationally. Perhaps more important, however, is the ground game built up over 4 years and millions of dollars of attack ads.
 

Gil Troy
8:22 PM
My concern from the start is the same as my concern at the finish -- this has been a surly season. At the beginning I feared that neither candidate would win, just one would not lose -- and that seems to be the mood still. There is usually something redemptive about Election Night, and this night i have been sensing that people are anxious not hopeful, i hear more concern about beating the other guy than their guy winning,,,
You invited people into the hangout.

David A. Walsh
8:24 PM
Rick Shenkman is going to join us!
Rick Shenkman joined group chat.

David A. Walsh
8:32 PM
Gil, I think you're right about the lack of a redemptive feeling for this election. Rick, thoughts? General reflections on the election.

David A. Walsh
8:34 PM
And glad to see Sam Redman has joined us!

David A. WAslh
8:35 PM
So, open question for the group -- reflections on the election.
 

Samuel Redman
8:35 PM
Glad to be here.

Rick Shenkman
8:36 PM
I second Gil's plea in today's article on HNN. We should all give the winner a chance to prove himself before piling on. That would be refreshing. The reaction of Democrats to Chris Christie's nonpartisanship showed the power of nonpartisanship. Americans are craving it. At the same time, no president should think he can govern as a nonpartisan. Not even George Washington could play George Washington in two-party system. JQA tried. He failed miserably.

Gil Troy
8:39 PM
Rick -- i agree that you cannot be nonpartisan, the problem we face is hyperpartisanship. When the simple fact that the New Jersey governor was gracious when the President visited during a storm generates such headlines, you can see that we are becoming the victims of lowered expectations. The Christie-Obama interaction should not have been seen as exceptional, such cooperation and respect should be taken for granted!

Rick Shenkman
8:40 PM
Agreed!

David A. Walsh
8:41 PM
Is that craving for bipartisanship on the part of the electorate -- and the apparent evidence of bipartisanship between Christie and Obama -- part of the reason why Obama had a modest post-Sandy bump? (For the record, though, his numbers were improving before the hurricane.)

comments powered by Disqus
History News Network