Liveblogging: a good night for Enlightenment values


What a fine end to a tough campaign. I think that oration may find its way into the history books.

Good night, everyone.



Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States of America.

“The test of perfecting our Union moves forward.”

“We are an American family and we rise or fall together, as one nation.”

“We have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America the best is yet to come.”

[Says we have to fix the voting system.

Praises Romney campaign workers.

Gets the crowd to cheer for Romney.

Says he looks forward to working with Romney.]

This is very, very good.

Big boost for Biden.

Effusive praise for the campaign team and volunteers. Is he going to try to keep the army together, as he should have done after the 2008 campaign? It could give him leverage in Congress, and maybe change the map for 2014.

Praise for politics: people around the world are fighting for the chance to argue about things that matter.

Debt, inequality, global warming in the same sentence.

Recognizing common goals won’t do the detailed work of compromise, but “that common bond is where we must begin.”

Like the last rally in Des Moines, this is the 2008 Obama back again. Hope he stays around.

“The role of citizens in our democracy does not end with your vote.”

“This country has more wealth than any nation but that’s not makes us rich.”

This is more like an inaugural address than it is like a victory speech.

It’s as if the end of his last campaign has liberated Obama.

Final riff on “the United States of America,” taking himself back to his keynote of 2004.



Salon has an astounding collection of sore-loser tweets.

Sample, from Neil Boortz:

WI? PA? That’s it folks. TV off. Moochers, trial lawyers, union goons — they win the day. Sorry, but that’s the pathetic truth.


NBC says Obama won women by 12 points, lost men by 7.  Women vote more than men do, so that suggests a net margin of 2.5-3 points, just as Nate Silver called it. I confess to being a tad disappointed: the project of holding Romney to 47% seems out of reach. But I’m strong; I can deal with disappointment.


Romney finally appears.

Well, he’s smiling, and being reasonably gracious.

Boosting Ryan.

Giving more or less his victory speech.

He promises to pray for Obama: no offer to work with him.


Governor Loser is finally going to concede. He’s already phoned the President to congratulate him.


NBC says Dems leading Senate races in N.Dak., Montana, and Nevada. Amazing!


Could Mitt Romney possibly be more classless? Apparently even Fox News is hammering him.


Jerry Brown says he thinks Prop 30 is going to pass in California. But that’s a torniquet, not a transfusion.


Andrew Sullivan reports that gay marriage has carried in Maryland and Maine, after a long series of popular-vote losses. The arc of history …


Larry Sabato calls VA for Obama. Florida looks good, with Obama leading and nothing but a bunch of Miami-Dade left to count. CO called for Obama. Nevada looking good. So he keeps everything from 2008 but North Carolina, Indiana, and Missouri.


Matt O’Brien @obsoletedogma is on fire:

The McGovern coalition just called. It’s a majority now.


Jeff Flake wins the Arizona Senate race. Apparently his campaign was making robo-calls sending Democratic voters to the wrong polling places. It would be nice to have a new Attorney General who decided to make a Federal criminal case out of cheating people out of their votes.


Colorado and Washington marijuana legalization propositions passed. Oregon never had a real shot.

Slate has asked me for 800 well-chosen words on the topic, to appear tomorrow.


Romney flack officially denies that Ohio is out of reach, even after Fox News called it for Ohio.

That campaign is dying as it lived: in defiance of consensus reality.



Still delusional after all these years. NBC reports from Romney HQ that the crowd there is in denial about the Ohio outcome.

And will someone retire Ron Fournier? He belongs on Newsmax, not at the AP?



Not a sweep of contested Senate races. Kerrey went down in Nebraska.


First tweet from the re-elected President:

We’re all in this together. That’s how we campaigned, and that’s who we are. Thank you. -bo


The auto bailout did it.


Mercifully, NBC finally called Ohio, and the election for Obama.

If you gave of your time, if you gave of your money, be proud of yourself.


Greg Sargent:  A lot of super PAC money just swirled down the drain.
Cutting through the network flannelmouth, looks as if Romney gets North Carolina  and Virginia and Obama  gets Florida, Ohio,  Iowa, and Colorado.


Three toss-up Senate races left: Montana, Nevada, and Arizona.

Romney’s margins in Appalachian Ohio behind McCain’s margins there.



Tammy Duckworth kicking Joe Walsh’s butt. Not at all a good night for the House overall, but that’s a highly gratifying win.


Axelrod smiling, pointing out that his data beat Republican fantasies.

Axelrod also reporting that Obama’s share of the urban vote in Ohio is up while his share of the rural vote is down. But  urban turnout is up, while rural turnout is down.


Missouri Senate called. Todd Akin also a rape victim.  So far, every iffy Senate race has gone our way, with VA still open but looking good.


Will there be consequences for any of the fools and tools who predicted a Romney landslide?

No. Why do you ask?


Baldwin beats Thompson in WI. Good night so far for the Senate.

NBC gives Obama “leads” in Iowa and Nevada as soon as the polls close.



Medical marijuana – on a very loose system – carries in Massachusetts.

No word yet on Arkansas (also medical) or Colorado-Oregon-Washington (full legalization).

NH called for Obama. He might actually reassemble his 2008 map, minus Indiana, Missouri, and

(probably) North Carolina.

Weigel reports the big demographic story: huge black turnout in Ohio. Big Puerto Rican vote may put Florida in the Obama column.

That National Capitalist Christian White People’s Party strategy isn’t looking so good. Huckabee quoted as saying GOP needs to do better with people of color. Duhhhhh … really?



NBC calls the MA Senate race. Scott Brown got scalped.

NBC calls Indiana for Donnelly. Richard Mourdock got raped.


With 81% of the Florida vote in, the candidates are 631 votes apart.

People still in line to vote in four Democratic-leaning counties.


NBC calls Wisconsin for Obama.


Reality (or arbitrage) finally intrudes: Romney down to 10% on Intrade.


Here’s the whole campaign in a sentence. Romney told reporters he’d written a victory speech but no concession speech. Not sure whether that would be more appalling if trueor if false.


CBS calls PA for Obama. So much for that head-fake. Also reports that WI and OH are leaning to Obama. That would be the ball game.


Local TV just called the VA Fifth Congressional District for the Republican. Too bad. Retired Gen. John Douglass, the Dem candidate, is a class act.

VA still too close to call on the Presidential side, but Kaine’s vote is running about four points ahead of Obama’s. So Kaine seems fairly secure.


In parts of VA, where polls close at 7pm, the lines won’t clear until 11pm. A credit to the voters, but a disgrace to the state.



Nate Silver reports that Romney’s margin in Chesterfield County, VA is closer to McCain’s margin in 2008 than to Bush’s in 2004.


No call yet on NC. A good sign.

Ezra Klein points out the high partisan stakes tonight: the winning party gets to take credit for a strong recovery. Of course, that means the House Republicans have an even stronger incentive to try to tank it.
How hard would it be, when reporting partial results, to report the results the same precincts four years ago? Any VA pol looking at the VA results so far can probably tell you who won the state. But instead we get vague vaporing about “the rural vote” and “Fairfax County.” Bleh.

Here at UVa with a bunch of brilliant MPP students. I’ve made them promise to share their insights with me so I can share them with the RBC.

Just checked Betfair. Romney is now 15:2 (12% chance of winning). On Intrade, he’s still trading at 30%. Why is there never an arbitrageur around when you really need one?

Exit polls from Ohio show Obama keeping Romney’s margin among the white working class down to points. Auto bailout very popular, and those who support it voted Obama 75-25.

NBC just called CT for Chris Murphy.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

45 thoughts on “Liveblogging: a good night for Enlightenment values”

  1. Really? I held my nose and did my duty to keep the huns at bay as best I can, but to see the national Democratic Party held up as the exemplars of Enlightenment values is absurd — certainly not reality-based.

    Is extrajudicial killing of anyone, anywhere on the planet by an unreviewable committee of one one of those values?

    How about cruelly torturing a soldier who is accused of having dared, in a democracy, to release to the people information about what their government is doing in their names?

    I can see where the GOP wrecking crew wanting to take America back to the Dark Ages and beyond puts the idea of the Enlightenment in your head, but to suggest that there is any commitment to the actual values of the Enlightenment in this administration is to assume facts very much not in evidence.

    1. Well, it’s a hard choice we make every time.

      I hope you have better choices next time, sincerely!

  2. It’s not their commitment to troglodyte policies: it’s their contempt for science, and, at a deeper level, for the difference between truth and falsehood. Tonight is a bad night for global warming denialism and a good night for 2 + 2 = 4.

    1. Agreed….
      And if you don’t believe that…
      Read this:

      …there is a profound difference between President Obama’s energy advisor and Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s energy advisor. Harold Hamm is part of team Romney while Heather Zichal is in Obama’s camp. Hamm made his fortune from oil, his academic qualifications consist of little more than a high school diploma. By contrast, Zichal has worked as an intern for the Sierra Club while at Rutgers University. Her meteoric rise in Washington’s policy ranks took a little over a decade. Hamm is the chairman and CEO of Continental Resources and one of the richest men in America. He is an enthusiastic supporter of more oil and gas drilling, or as he refers to it, an “American renaissance.” Hamm wants to less federal regulation and he wants to give states more say in environmental regulation. Hamm does not believe that the federal government should be involved in environmental regulation.

    1. Could be, but on the other hand you get extra Brownie points for being the first network to call the winner in any of the big states.

  3. Is it really better to understand climate destabilization and yet be unwilling to do battle to persuade the public what that knowledge requires than to deny it?

    I’ve never felt better about the caliber of the Democratic candidates as a class, or worse about the GOP folks — and I go pretty far back — and yet never in my life have I had the phrase “the worst are full of passionate intensity while the best lack all conviction” come into my head, unbidden and unwelcome, more often than during the period 2008-2012.

  4. With 79% of Florida votes counted, the difference is about 300 out 4.7 million votes – wow

  5. Um, I think your comments on Brown and Mourdock are a bit over the line — IMO, even a well-intentioned liberal white guy isn’t in a position to appropriate those terms.

    1. Oh for heaven’s sake, Brown and Mourdock have said vile, ignorant, bigoted things – and meant them seriously. They deserve a lot worse than some mockery.

      1. This woman says no. Funny and fine. I wish both of those guys would get raped. Two or three times.

  6. Delighted that Brown got beat. Delighted.

    Is there a precedent for declaring a newly elected Senator the most intelligent person in Congress before she even takes office?

    BTW, I think FL is going for Obama.

    1. I think it would be fair to say that the Senate IQ goes up with Brown’s departure. You don’t have to be THAT smart to know you should ‘dance with the one what brought you’; And yet Brown, who got into the Senate with Tea party aid, decided he didn’t need them anymore.

      It’s an old story, and can end badly if the next election is seriously contested.

      Too early to say, but we appear to be on track for a replay of 2000, with the roles reversed. If so, it will be entertaining watching all the players seamlessly swap their positions on what really gives legitimacy.

      And, is the Florida economy starting to rely on recount spending?

      Anyway, the bed is calling, I can wait until tomorrow to find out how this turns out. Suspect I’d be waiting until tomorrow even if I stayed up…

      1. I don’t think Romney is going to win the popular vote. Yes, he’s leading, but there’s this rather large state on the west coast that has yet to report results.

        1. Also, counting of provisional ballots tends to add more to the D vote total in the days after the election. Even if Obama is behind on popular vote tomorrow morning, that will not last the week.

          1. Don’t know about the popular vote, but with it currently standing 203 to 263 on the electoral college, I’d say Obama is the favorite to come out the winner… Unless Romney carries every single remaining state, which I don’t regard as plausible.

            So I’d say your guy almost certainly won, and recounts in Florida aren’t likely to factor into it.

            Conservatives, having lost this battle, must now move on to taking down their long term enemy: The Republican establishment. The establishment candidate having been defeated should, in theory, make this a little easier. Or perhaps less difficult would be the right way to phrase it.

            Either way, I think the MSM have about spent what remains of their credibility, and are well on their way to buggy status, if Obama doesn’t graciously make them the state run media they’ve been auditioning for.

      2. Brown didn’t lose for lack of Tea Party enthusiasm; he lost for lack of moderate credentials. He could’ve maybe held that seat forever if he hadn’t done exactly what he complain he didn’t do enough of, and adhered closely to the hard right. Massachusetts voters love idiosyncratic moderate Republicans – but given a choice between a partisan Republican an a partisan Democrat, this outcome was strongly favored.

  7. Delighted that Brown got beat. Delighted.

    Hell yeah…
    I literally did a Indian rain dance, a whoop, and played my air axe…

    1. a Cherokee rain dance? are you on the east coast? they don’t really need any rain for a while! But yes, do celebrate, it’s very good news.

  8. In Maryland, there will be a little noticed Obama victory. It’s the passage of the Marriage Equality Act. It will be an Obama victory because until he came out in support of marriage equality, the act had been aggressively opposed by the African-American ministers. Once the President made his position clear, the African-American community split, with a number of ministers appearing on TV ads in support of the question.

    1. Hope Brendon Ayanbadejo is celebrating.

      (Wow, I did amazingly poorly at spelling that the first time.)

  9. CNN reporters sound like they really want to call the fight, but maybe producers won’t let them.

  10. Great night for Nate Silver (and data wonks generally). His presidential predictions are holding, including a late move of Florida to Obama’s column, and will be perfect or close to it; likewise for the Senate.

    1. This is a big shift, from pull-it-out-your-ass b.s. to hard, highly predictive data. I expect Team Feudalism to bring their infomercial worthy ‘data’ schtick right quick. Muddy the water, embolden the troops, etc. Yet another brick in the red/blue wall separating our two America’s. I think Krugman hit it on the head (as he so often does) when he said: “we have the most ruthless, self-absorbed opposition party since the 1850s.” This is exactly right. Lie, cheat, distort, obstruct, obfuscate….and if a remarkably talented prognosticator gets in the way, well, t.f.b., it’s under the bus with you. The other avenue for Team Serfdom is to screw with the basic data. Oh, well. I have only one thing to say:

      ELECTORAL LANDSLIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Thank you very much.

    2. It’s looking like Silver’s predictions under-called the Senate for the Dems. I haven’t looked at what the margins were, nor at Sam Wang’s senate predictions.

  11. Gave my money to Warren, Baldwin, and Brown (Sherrod) this year. A very good night, it looks like. Now if Tester can hold on…This will be a big win!

    The question remains, however: How long before the hippie punching begins? Again.

    And what the Professor said about Tammy Duckworth!

  12. That campaign is dying as it lived: in defiance of consensus reality.

    That just makes the dregs even more bitter.
    And drink it they must…

    Via CNN I’ve got Obama headquarters and Romney headquarters feeds in parallel.
    It’s a wonderful and stunning contrast. The thrill of victory and the pseudo denial of defeat.

    1. Just think…
      They can’t touch ObamaCare now.

      And hopefully Roe v Wade as well

    2. Yes. It’s done, and advanced. Also – Supreme Court. And with 55, possibly 56 Senate seats, an energized prez, Reid ready to rumble, and an increasingly, visibly radical and out-of-touch Republican House in sights for 2014….forgive me for feeling somewhat optimistic. Keep the ball rolling….

      1. what are the chances that the new improved Senate would vote at its first 2013 sitting to get rid of the rule, or practice, that one does not need to filibuster in reality to block something, one just has to wave a hand at more than 40 Senators likely the proposal? It is bizarre that a 56/100 vote cannot even be got to, let alone that it’s not enough to carry a motion.

      2. what are the chances that the new improved Senate would vote at its first 2013 sitting to get rid of the rule, or practice, that one does not need to filibuster in reality to block something, one just has to wave a hand at more than 40 Senators likely to dislike the proposal? It is bizarre that a 56/100 vote cannot even be got to, let alone that it’s not enough to carry a motion.

  13. FINALLY, I’M “moving on.” Probably the saddest part of the campaign is that I can never watch an Eastwood movie with the same joy as before.

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