Obama Makes History

More than 40 years ago, African-Americans couldn’t drink from the same water fountains and use the same restrooms as Caucasians.

Today, we have our first African-American president. Today is a historical moment in our country’s history, and all Americans know that. There were very few newspapers left in our city as I discovered while driving around trying to find copies for my dad. Everyone wants something to remember today.

I love elections, and last night was no different. Today, I was feeling quite down after yesterday’s high. I get so energized on election day as I prepare to head off to the elections office and call in all the local numbers. Elections are one of the things that we journalists live for. People depend on us. Our team rocked yesterday. We had fabulous commentary in the studio, and we had several contract workers and my own husband out at numerous polling locations calling in raw numbers. It was a team effort, as it always is, and it was stellar coverage — definitely the best in the area. Days like yesterday make me proud to be a journalist.

Obama Projected to Win

With the West Coast ballots still to be counted, news organizations are saying that Barack Obama will be the United States’ 44th President. He is projected to receive 297 electoral votes to John McCain’s 146 votes. However, the popular vote was quite close with only a 2 million vote margin. Winning Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia is what put Obama over the top. Never has a President lost Ohio and gone on to win the presidency.

It will be interesting to see what happens when Obama takes the helm. Not only will a Democrat be the President, but the Democrats will hold the majority in the U.S. Congress and Senate. I’m not a fan of one party holding that much power. I’ve always been more in favor of the party opposite of that represented by the President having the majority in Congress.

I can’t wait until tomorrow morning to see how the numbers actually turned out. I was quite surprised here in Georgia to see that most of our polls were incorrect. It had been projected that our U.S. Senate seat would go to a runoff, but our incumbent has already been called the winner in that race. That’s one reason I don’t put too much stock in polls.

What Tonight’s Votes Could Mean

Here’s an interesting analysis on today’s election from Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire.

7 p.m. — Polls close in Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky.

If Virginia is called quickly for Obama, it means he likely wins the presidential race and Democrats across the country will have a huge night. If it’s not called early, it’s could be an indication that white undecided voters are breaking to McCain. Prepare for an hour long discussion of the “Bradley effect.” If Georgia or Indiana are called early for Obama, it’s a leading indicator for a landslide.

In Kentucky, all eyes are on the fate of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

7:30 p.m. — Polls close in North Carolina, Ohio and West Virginia.

Obama victories in North Carolina or Ohio likely seal the deal for him. An Obama win in West Virginia means start looking for Obama coattails in close House and Senate races.

8:00 p.m. — Polls close in Florida, Missouri, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.

If Pennsylvania is called early for Obama, McCain cannot win. His only real path to the presidency at this point requires he win the Keystone State. An Obama win in Missouri once again means a likely landslide in the electoral college.

9:00 p.m. — Polls close in Colorado and New Mexico.

Polls indicate both of these swing states should go to Obama. Early calls in each state will have Obama racking up electoral votes quickly.

10:00 p.m. — Polls close in Iowa, Montana, and Nevada.

If Obama wins in Montana and Nevada, we’re looking at a possible political realignment of the Mountain West of the United States.

11:00 p.m. — Polls close in California and North Dakota.

California is the biggest state of them all with 55 electoral votes and may put Obama over the top. If the election hasn’t been decided by now, it’s probably become an interesting night for the McCain campaign and Republicans. However, an Obama win in North Dakota means we’re witnessing a landslide.

A Historic Day

History will be made today. We will either elect the country’s first African-American president, or we will elect the country’s oldest president and first female vice president.

It’s an exciting day to be an American. Despite the barrage of advertisements and the dirty politicking that always occurs, I’m always excited on election day. I sure don’t enjoy being at work until after midnight, but I do love covering the elections. I love being the first with the numbers here locally. I love doing live reports and interviews.

But, what I love most about this election is the excitment. There is no trace of the apathy that typically plagues elections in this country. In our county, we usually have a 40 percent turnout for elections. We had that many voters cast ballots just for early voting. Our election officials are predicting an 85-90 percent total turnout. CNN is reporting that about one-third of the country’s registered voters went to the polls before election day. That just blows my mind.

Many Georgians were out early today. Lines started forming in Atlanta at 5 a.m., two hours before the polls opened, and lines now are about two hours long. And that’s expected to be the case throughout the day.

I’ve never thought about participating in advanced voting before as I enjoy going to the polls on Election Day, but I’m sure glad I did this year. My 5-minute wait was nothing compared to what voters will be facing today. But it’s worth it. And if I hadn’t been able to vote early, you would find me standing in line today to make my voice heard.

It’s going to be a great day, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out and who our next president is. Did you vote early or are you goingto the polls today?

Dalton Law Firm Bombed

A law firm in downtown Dalton, Georgia was bombed earlier this morning. According to NewsChannel 9, the suspect is dead and four others were injured. Among the injured are an attorney, a client and a female employee. Another TV is reporting that someone threw a bomb in through a window. According to the Daily Citizen, the district attorney says this “assault on the judicial system” may have stemmed from a bitter lawsuit the suspect was involved in.

I can’t get enough information about this. I know three of the lawyers at the firm, and I have yet to hear if they are ok. One of them I got to know very well when I was the Daily Citizen’s courts reporter and he was interning at the DA’s office. One I know from numerous court cases and from being on the local board of education.

I am, of course, very sad this happened, but the crime reporter in me wishes I was still in the area covering the heck out of this. After spending close to 5 years as a dedicated crime reporter, I know that desire will never go away.

Firing Up the Country

I was impressed with Barack Obama’s speech last night. Not only was he incredibly well spoken, but he named many of the issues that *need* to be fixed, like tax breaks, reducing the U.S. dependency on foreign oil and finding other energy sources. That’s huge. We aren’t going to see gas prices go down until we cut our oil usage. That means more public transportation, carpooling and hybrid vehicles. I was fired up during the speech, and I found myself wishing I was at Mile High Stadium.

During his speech, Obama mentioned how during the primary election, some Republicans who had never crossed party lines pulled Democratic ballots. I think we’ll see that in November as well. One of my friends, who is a staunch Republican, called a few minutes ago and told me in his mind, the election is over for the Republicans. He said McCain was going in with one hand tied behind his back after last night’s finale to the Democratic National Convention, and now, with his announcement today of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential candidate, my friend says McCain has both hands tied behind his back. I was surprised myself at the announcement. I was expecting someone more well-known. I’ve heard several theories — that McCain hopes her opposing views will attract the moderate and liberal Republicans; and that picking a woman might garner some of the female vote. There might be some truth to both of those. My view, though, is that picking Palin goes against McCain’s argument that Obama is too inexperienced for the job. Yes, she is the vp nominee rather than the presidential candidate, but she, too, is inexperienced. Before becoming Governor in 2006, she mayor and a member of the city council of a small town.

My friend says it’s Obama’s election to lose at this point. I think he’s right.