1. The final score: Barack Obama 303, Mitt Romney 206. President Obama becomes, by our math, the 16th president to be elected to a consecutive second term (Grover Cleveland was elected to two terms, but not consecutively. In the interim, we believe, he was a Hall of Fame-caliber pitcher in the National League. We may be wrong about that). One president (FDR) served three-plus terms; 11 presidents served two consecutive full terms, including three of the previous four; one (Nixon) resigned in the midst of his second term; and two (Lincoln and McKinley) were assassinated in their second terms.
2. So we woke up this morning and all we’ve heard is the term “fiscal cliff”, as if this hadn’t been a looming danger for the past 311 days. CNBC had glitzy promo ads discussing said precipice, and we highly doubt they were filmed and produced in the past 12 hours. Which is another way of saying that the past 18 months of campaign coverage has been a contrived distraction, as America now wakes up to a pile of bills that are due on New Year’s Eve. What exactly is the fiscal cliff? It is, as the Chicago Tribune says, “…a combination of a $600 billion package of automatic tax increases and steep across-the-board spending cuts that are set to take effect in January if Congress does not reach a budget deal.” Or, as Sgt. Barnes once said, “I AM reality.”
3. The 0-3 Denver Nuggets defeat the 0-3 Detroit Pistons, 109-97, rendering Detroit one of two remaining winless teams in the NBA (the Wizards are 0-2) after one week of play. So that explains Phillip Seymour Hofman’s t-shirt? (3rd pic down) By the way, the real Lester Bangs helped make that T-shirt, well, almost famous.
4. So tomorrow China, that little nation to the far east (or immediate north and west for those of you in the Pacific Time Zone) of us, is also staging an important election for control of the country this week. But, you know, who cares about China?
5. Congratulations to Brophy College Preparatory (Phoenix, Arizona), our alma mater, for winning its 25th consecutive state championship in swimming and diving. Its most famous Speedo’d alum is Gary Hall, Jr. The Broncos, who last lost a dual meet in the 1980s, have now won 38 state S&D championships overall. Our friend since high school days, Colin Williams, is the proud father of the state’s 200 freestyle champ, Lucas Williams.
Mitt Romney, who claimed to not have written a concession speech, actually delivered better –and briefer– rhetoric late last night (maybe he should’ve spoken more off-the-French-cuff during the campaign). “Honesty, charity, integrity and family. We look to our parents. From the final analysis, everything depends on the success of our homes.” Romney’s entire speech, both video and transcript, may be found here.
President Obama’s victory speech will be remembered mostly for three things: 1. his offsetting of two prepositional phrases (“for you” to “by you”) to make a larger point, 2. his ad-lib –or was it?– concerning the unnecessarily long voting lines (“By the way, we need to fix that”) and 3. for the bizarre lady who thought it would be a good idea to use her weave as a place to plant the American flag. We have now found the polar (lunar?) opposite of Neil Armstrong.
Our favorite presidential moment of the week starred Louis C.K. as Abraham Lincoln (your move, Daniel Day Lewis). “You know, you’re all emancipated, it’s good, right?”
Fox News’ Megyn Kelly actually wandered off set and into the offices of Fox’s election-results numbers crunchers to verify that Obama had indeed captured Ohio (politically) as Karl Rove, on-set, insisted that it was a premature call (CNN and NBC declared for the president at 11:18 p.m., and Fox News a minute or two later). This was classic television, if not the finest moment in impartial reportage. Chris Wallace: “I’m going to ask you a straight-out question… Do you believe Ohio has been settled?” Rove: “No, no I don’t.” As Rove spoke these words, even Fox News was running the graphic “Barack Obama re-elected president” This was like watching one of those SNL opening monologues in which the host walks backstage to seek out Lorne Michaels.
- “Kelly Kelly Kelly Kelly Kelly Kelly Kelly K-E-L-L-Y….”
Our three favorite cinematic fiscal cliff metaphors. We invite you to submit your own…
((For the kids, the three films in question are “Thelma & Louise”, “Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid” and “Harold & Maude.” Why films with ampersands seem to always include cliff-diving scenes is a question for Leonard Maltin)
Former University of Texas coach Darrel Royal, one of the true legends of SWC football, dies at the age of 88. Hook ‘em. Royal was an Oklahoma alum but a Longhorn coaching legend. He finished 184-60-5, meaning he won more than 75% of his games. A World War II vet, Royal led Texas to a pair of outright national championships in the 1960s and to a 15-14 win over Arkansas in the 1969 “Game of the Century.” At a time when coaches were as famous for their colloquialisms (Lou Holtz is the last surviving member of this group) as their success, Royal was famous for saying, “Dance with the one who brought ya’.”
Leftovers from election night coverage: GOP consultant Alex Castellanos, on CNN, saying, “I’m going for the hemlock” moments before CNN projected Barack Obama as the winner. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews foolishly saying, “I’m so glad we had that storm”, a reference to Sandy and to the idea that it helped propel Obama past Romney; Fox News’ Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly asking White House spokesman Robert Gibbs why Republicans in the House should in any way accede to President Obama just because he won a second term.
It must be said: as consistently and reliably smart and incisive as The Daily Show is, last night’s live election night special was a dud. It was the Seinfeld series finale of Jon Stewart’s career.
Colorado and Washington approve recreational marijuana use. The PAC-12 really is forward-thinking. As soon as we figure out how to tax it, the feds will be on board.
A gallery of angry celebrity election-night tweets, from Ted Nugent and Donald Trump to Patricia Heaton and Stephen Baldwin…
How ’bout them AAPLs? The world’s wealthiest company has lost 20% off its stock value since achieving an all-time high of $705 on Sept. 21. For some people Sept. 22 was the first day of autumn, but at Apple it was definitely the first day of fall.