Oh My God
Don’t get me wrong, I can’t vote. But that doesn’t mean shit. I don’t vote now, but I will. That doesn’t mean that the mid-term elections were any less emotional to me than it was for the rest of the country. The world, even.
On Tuesday, I went to the city to shoot a few people voting. Although I only know where the local politicians vote (Giuliane doe’s it at the Hunter College), I got a few nice pics back.
That night I went to bed very upset with the Senate results. It’s just amazing how stupid people can be. The Democrats had to win three more central states to win the Senate. Central States. You know what that means?
I was extremely nervous and slept the the CNN on, so I could take a pick at the results from time to time. When I woke up on Wednesday, things looked a little better. The Democrat Party won one more state. It was 49 X 49.
I went to work hoping Montana and Virginia would end up BLUE. I even painted my nails with a M, for Montana, so cheesy. Late that afternoon, they finished the counts and Montana was finally Democrat. 49 X 50. Now, we would be at least as represented as the evil party.
The President (or The Emperor, as Maher said), was on TV to say that Rumsfeld was replaced by an ex-CIA Chief. That was the third time the man tried to give up his position as Secretary of Defense.
Today the good news came, Virginia, by less than 2000 votes, is also Democrat. So, they have the total marjority of the Congress. Both branches, Senate and House belong to the Democrat Party now. It’s going to be a fine two year period for Mr. Bush. I can’t wait to watch it, and am already preparing letters to Mr. Menendez.
Concession in Virginia Race Tips Balance
Senator George Allen of Virginia conceded today that he lost to the Democratic challenger, Jim Webb, ending the last undecided Senate contest and giving Democrats control of the full Congress for the first time in a dozen years.
“In this season the people of Virginia, who I always call the owners of the government, they have spoken,” Mr. Allen said. “And I respect their decision.” He said he had called to congratulate Mr. Webb, who had already claimed victory in the race after Tuesday’s voting.
Shortly afterward, Mr. Webb told his supporters that he and Mr. Allen had had “a good discussion,” and that the defeated senator’s private concession remarks had been “very gracious.” The two will confer over lunch next week, Mr. Webb said.
The triumph in Virginia effectively gives Democrats 51 seats in the Senate. (Representative Bernard Sanders, the senator-elect from Vermont, is an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, and Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut is a Democrat, although he ran for re-election as an independent after losing in the primary.)
Mr. Allen opened his concession speech, which he delivered from an outdoor podium in Alexandria in front of cheering supporters, by tossing a football and thanking his family.
The announcement had been widely expected after analysts said Mr. Allen was unlikely to close the margin separating him from Mr. Webb, who was leading by about 8,700 votes.
Virginia officials said today that they were continuing to canvass in several districts as part of the formal certification process in the closely watched contest. They also started to count provisional ballots cast by voters whose eligibility to vote could not be confirmed at the polling places.
Mr. Allen noted that the race was close but said he would not exercise the legal right to ask for a recount.
“It is with deep respect for the people of Virginia,” he said, “that I do not wish to cause more rancor by protracted litigation which would in my judgment not alter the results.”
Mr. Webb told his supporters in Arlington that he would represent “those who have no voice in the corridors of power.”
Mr. Webb, a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, said that America’s fighting men and women are “in our hearts and in our prayers” as Veterans Day approaches, but that it is simply wrong to describe him as a candidate who ran on an anti-war platform.
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” he said, describing “economic issues and social justice” as the themes that drew him to the Democratic Party.
In the other Senate race that was left undecided many hours after polls closed, Jon Tester, the Democratic challenger, won in Montana. The Republican incumbent, Senator Conrad Burns, conceded today.
“I stand ready to help as Montana transitions to a new United States Senator,” Mr. Burns said in a statement. “We fought the good fight and we came up just a bit short.”
Democrats, ecstatic at the prospect that they might have swept both houses of Congress, did not wait on Wednesday for final word from Virginia.
Mr. Webb began planning his transition on Wednesday. Taking a page from the Republican playbook in the contested presidential vote count in Florida in 2000, he tried to cast his victory as inevitable. But Mr. Allen’s advisers held out the possibility of a recount.
Aides to Mr. Webb began referring to him as Virginia’s senator-elect, and this afternoon he issued a news release naming three members of his transition team.
Democratic Party officials and some news organizations, including MSNBC and The Associated Press, declared Mr. Webb the winner of the election Wednesday.
The concession by Mr. Allen ended a rough campaign marked by accusations of racism against him and sexism against Mr. Webb. The contest alienated many voters, particularly women, and has apparently left Mr. Allen’s once-promising political career in tatters.
Mr. Allen had been expected to win a second term easily, but campaign blunders, including calling a Webb supporter of Indian descent “macaca” at a campaign rally in August, started a steady slide for Mr. Allen and opened the door for the Democrats.
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