I kinda want to take a break from lessons learned, so here’s how I spent election night:
I started laughing as soon as the legal pad was handed to me. In the editorial conference room, with the entire editorial staff present, they asked me to write down my twitter account so I could live-tweet from whichever candidate’s election party I’d be posted to as results trickled in. My twitter handle is “@TroyWB” with the bio-line as “Twenty Something Mutant Ninja Turtle.” That’s a bulldog of a journalist right there, with such insights as: “Hella unforunate a shaving nick and a herpes flare-up look so similar.” Yes, I’m a professional.
At about 5 PM we were all hovering around the office’s TV and watching the CNN guys play with the giant touch-screen TV and wondering which Black Eyed Peas member was going to talk to Wolf Blitzer via hologram. My editor had reaffirmed that I was going to spend the night with Mary Nolan, who was trailing in the most recent polls. We knew, she and her party knew, everybody knew they were most likely going to lose. And I get to prod them for quotes.
I arrived that night and asked questions like “So how are you feeling right now?” and “If you lose tonight, how will you spend your time tomorrow?” It was awkward at first, but I began to make it clear I wasn’t trying to vulture in on their loss, I just wanted their honesty. They booed their eventual loss, said “Hey, the bar’s still open!” then cheered Obama’s win. It was a funny evening.
Then spent the night at the downtown Hilton for the Democratic Party’s Party, which was everything I expected: powerful politicians and business people, as well as fun-loving (maybe naive) politically active young people, more than one draped in an American flag. I got to ask many questions and meet a lot of new people, and realized this is probably something I’d love to do every four years.
Then all the reporters went out for beers and it was excellent.