Wednesday, November 12, 2008

REPORTER BLOG Election Night Coverage

Molly Smith

Lucky for me on election Tuesday my fellow reporter Alex and I were assigned to cover the Democratic Party at Skippers Bar and Grille. I had never been to anything like this before so I was really looking forward to it. I mean how better to celebrate your candidate's win than with other supporters!

But being the professional reporters we are, we weren’t there to participate in the drinking and carrying on, we were there to cover all of this. Everyone was posted up at the bar or at tables in the restaurant, glued to the television screens listening to the CNN anchors and reporters with their updates on who was winning what state.

Alex and I got there at around 7:30p.m. when the polls closed because you never knew when news is going to break and just like Aerosmith we did not want to miss a thing. We were there for the first states to report their results, and then there was a break until around 9:00p.m. when the polls that closed at 7:30p.m. were ready to report their winners. It was very exciting, but the states in the beginning were going pretty much as planned in the polls.

When it came time for Pennsylvania things started to get interesting. Around this time the restaurant started filling up. The College Democrats were there along with campaign volunteers for State House candidate Debbie Philips. She arrived and the room exploded with energy. The local election results wouldn’t come until much later in the night and early morning, but updates were coming in about every half-hour.

Philips was leading the vote early in the evening. The college democrats gave out funny awards for every individual’s personal effort in the campaigning, and Debbie thanked them for all of their volunteered time. I was really surprised at how good she was with names. She knew every one of these volunteers and I remember thinking “wow talk about thanking all of the little people.”

I don’t remember the exact order, but when Obama won Ohio and Florida the place exploded! Tears and screaming and shouting and drinking were the most common reaction. This was my first election so I was super excited that the candidate I voted for did win, but I wasn’t about to break out in tears about it.

I guess I am more cut out for sports and entertainment than for economic and political coverage. I know that I do understand the passion these people feel--I get that way about the MLB, NBA and NFL championships. So that’s what I kept telling myself. “Molly don’t judge them, this is their Super Bowl. This is their World Series.”

We didn’t hear the final results for Debbie’s State House race until the next day which she did end up winning, but I know that she enjoyed spending the night with her supporters even if it was an early celebration. Needless to say it was an exciting night. Witnessing the election of the president-elect and covering the people who cared most about it was definitely an experience I will never forget.

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