Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Winners and Losers from 2004 Election

Let's get to the speeches.

John Kerry is a political wimp. I've constantly asked why we are voting for him and he showed us why during his concession speech. "The fight continues." No you lost and your party got trounced. Few members of the Democratic Party can run on the Kerry issues unless they are trying for office in the northeast and maybe in the northwest.

Nancy Pelosi, the Minority Leader in the house, can point to few positives from this election. Yes, the Congressional Black Caucus grew, but that was without her help. She can't get the "bully pulpit" to rally around Democrats. There needs to be an insurrection in Democratic House to put her those of her ilk out of the leadership.

With Tom Daschle gone in the Senate we get a Senator Harry Reid from Nevada to lead the charge. His opposition to Republicans will be tempered because he represents a western district who is opposed to eastern democrats.

Now for the President. You have every right to be grinning. "You cleaned their clocks." Large majority in the house, a bigger majority in the senate except you don't have 60 votes to stop a filibuster. It's gonna be nasty on judges. He asked for others from the other side to work with him...That remains to be seen. With no election to be concerned about this Bush has an opportunity to create a legacy. Let's see. (The easiest legacy will be reshaping the Supreme Court)

Now for the winners and losers

Big Winner

Electronic Voting - it worked for the most part. A few hiccups, but no major catastrophe.

Congressional Black Caucus - Picked seats in Georgia, Texas and have Barrack Obama in the Senate. Wield your new power and crave out a new niche.

Voters, Especially Black Voters - You went to the polls in record numbers and proved your force.

Doug Wilder - New Mayor of Richmond who ran as an independent (a trend that may prove to be winning formula).

Marion Barry - returns to Washington as a council member

Young people - for those who voted remember these events happen annually.


Democratic Message - its not universal and doesn't relate to people in the middle of the country and the south.

Lawyers - on both sides - You geared up for the battle royal that never materialized.

Religion - you are either with us or against. Evangelical Christians who come in every color have to many litmus test. Were we voting for bishop, cardinal, or pope?

Exit Polls - let's get rid of this device. It hasn't worked in the last two presidential elections and you are holding the nation hostage.

TV Networks - to many talking heads and no real reporting.

It's Over

They've looked at the totals and have done the math. President Bush will be president. Kerry is to make an announcement at 1 pm est. Bush will do his thing at 3 pm est.

It will be interesting what they have to say.

The bottomline. whoever won this race doesn't have a mandate (48 percent of america think you shouldn't be president).

Hardball politics or rational politics? (I'll bet that the winner will go with the adage...the winner gets the spoils.)

So how did the GOP win?

Simple and clear messages, appeal to voters morals, and get out your voters.

How did the DEMS lose?

They need better candidates. Northeasterners will not carry the south (look at the map). There is an elitism that does not translate well to other parts of the nation. Clear messages...embrace faith...stand for something. The next candidate needs to create a new label for democrats other than liberal. Try defining Republicans.

The Day After

At 6:30 AM I turn on the tube to find the election hasn’t been decided. It hedges on OHIO and more specifically I hear an interview with the Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, a Black Republican. “We’ll have to wait 11 days to count provisional ballots.” My son Julian goes, “What.”

I give my assessment to WEAA-FM and try and follow what’s at stake.

I arrive at work to keep my ear on what’s going on. This election has come down to 113,000 votes. That’s how far ahead President Bush is in the race for OHIO. There are a some 250,000 votes in question. Much of them are provisional ballots which will have to be certified individually. Boy, that’s a slim lead, but not insurmountable. The president’s spokesman says he’ll come out at 10 to announce Bush is the winner. They may want to rethink that idea.

Election Day

I wake up to learn that a federal court in OHIO has decided that partisan observers can challenge voters in the buckeye state. This could prove to be a problem especially for Black Folks.

Went to vote with the kids dressed in my vote or die t-shirt. Was happy to see others in similar attire. It is the outfit of choice. There are a lot of first time voters in line.

I jump on line to see about Philly and there are reports of fights at polling stations and votes already counted by machines. This is going to be a long night.

I check out several other polling stations in Baltimore and they are packed. Go back in the late afternoon and crowds have slowed. People got out early.

Stop by NAACP headquarters to view their war-room. The nation’s oldest civil rights organization has hotline setup to report voting irregularities around the state. Lots of calls coming in from the Milwaukee and Cleveland areas.

Kwiesi Mfume, CEO NAACP, seems confident that President Bush will not win (7:25 PM).

Mfume is also confident that the investigation by the IRS will not deter the NAACP from speaking out.

My wife asks, “Who do you think will win?” I remind her that US history has never turned out a president during war time. This would be remarkable if it happens.

Early returns shows Bush is leading in the south and the heartland having secured states he won in the past. An early blip says the race in Virginia is close than it goes red. No one wants to call Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida. Reports say they will keep some polls open longer in these battle grounds. Wondering if this is a sign that the election will turn.

There are lot of red states on the board and few blue. The President has the south, and the center. The coasts however have more people.

At 12:30 I’m on election overload and I’ve got to do an interview at 7:30 am. I go to bed without knowing what has happen.