5:01: Finally! Results. Settle in. Pour yourself a nice glass of win or whine, as you see fit.
5:37: "There's only one thing to take to a Kenyan election victory feast: a goat. Preferably still breathing - 'a sign of freshness' - and with big testicles, apparently the sign of quality breeding."
5:42: Per Fox News, McCain will lose (if he loses) because McCain's idea of the surge worked so well and because President Bush kept us free of terrorist attacks. The national security issues have receded into the shadows, and that makes it hard for McCain.
5:48: Polls about to close in a lot of places at the top of the hour, so let's while away the moments by looking at the sedate polling place where I arrived at 9:15. Enter:
Drop by the church-school bake sale:
6:00: CNN declares Obama the winner in Vermont and McCain in Kentucky, which is unsurprising. It does not resolve Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina, and Virginia. So does that mean that there is no overwhelming landslide for Obama? Or is CNN playing us (or playing it safe)?
6:16: Wolf Blitzer beams in a hologram from Chicago. It's Jessica Yellin, floating about oddly. It's also funny how obvious it is that she is being photographed outdoors. There is a subtle hunching against the elements that looks slightly daffy projected indoors. [Video.]
7:00: Polls just closed in a bunch of states, and CNN is only predicting the states that were very predictable. So the big blowout is not happening.
7:09: Elizabeth Dole crushed.
7:15: In the comments, there's quite a lot of talk of getting drunk. Palladian shows us what he's got lined up:
7:18: MSNBC calls Pennsylvania for Obama. Is that a cry for attention, or do they know something CNN and Fox don't?
7:33: CNN Headline News has Nancy Grace going on about a psychic looking for a missing toddler. I guess "Headline" doesn't mean what it used to. Now, it means holding pen for politicophobes.
7:40: Now, CNN calls Pennsylvania for Obama.
8:00: My state went for Obama. So did Michigan and Minnesota. Obama's at 179 electoral votes, with McCain at only 49.
8:04: Per CNN, twice as many voters said age was important as said race was important. But both groups tended to see that factor as a reason to vote for Obama.
8:34: CNN calls Ohio for Obama. "A huge, huge win," says Wolf Blitzer. "A huge, huge win," he says a second time.
8:34: Here, fiddle with this interactive map. It seems rather clear that Obama will win.
8:45: John King fiddles with the CNN interactive map to see if there is any way, given the states already called, that McCain could win. He gave him everything except Hawaii, California, Oregon, and Washington, and it was not enough to hit 270. So unless they've made some wrong calls -- and I vividly remember when Florida was called for Gore in 2000 -- McCain cannot win.
8:53: I hope the McCain supporters are holding up. Don't despair. Glenn Reynolds had an op-ed this morning saying: "[O]nce someone is duly and legally elected president, you do owe some respect to the office and the Constitution. And to your fellow Americans. I'm not an Obama fan, particularly, but a lot of people I like and respect are. To treat Obama as something evil or subhuman would not only be disrespectful toward Obama, but toward them. Instead, I hope that if Obama is elected, their assessment of his strengths will turn out to be right, and mine will turn out to be wrong." Yes, can we please not hate the President this time, for a change? (Or did I just rile you with the word "change"?)
9:01: More states called. Obama's up to 206 electoral votes... which doesn't include California (with 55). Do we have to keep watching?
9:08: "The Republican Party is getting a drubbing tonight, the likes of which we have never seen," says James Carville.
9:27: In the comments, Doyle asks, "You guys having fun?" Which provokes Palladian: "No, I wouldn't be having fun no matter who won this miserable election. But are you going to be having fun? It's not enough to sit around and bitch, you sour little cocksucker. You're in charge now! In charge of all of us! In charge of our future! You're not going to get to protect and govern only those that agree with you. You're going to have to protect and govern all of us, just like George Bush did with your sorry asses these last 8 years. We're ready for the brilliance, for the leadership, for the change and hope and all that. Time to deliver! Bring it on, doily!" Balfegor responds to the same question: "I am, actually. If we must endure the unendurable, and suffer the insufferable, we may as well have a bit of fun while we're at it. I am young, and may reasonably expect that, barring accidents, I will live to see a day when the Obama presidency is nothing more than a distant memory. And he may, after all, surprise us -- we know next to nothing about his ability to lead, or what he really believes, as he has hitherto studiously avoided any situation in which either could be put to the test."
10:00: CNN projects Obama as the winner!
10:01: I've been sitting here feeling completely cool and calm all evening. But that announcement -- that Obama has won -- gave me chills, made me almost cry. Something big has happened.
10:13: Karl Rove says "Every American should celebrate." That's on Fox, where there is some sedate but sincere celebration of the historic achievement: the first black President.
10:19: McCain speaks (over booing). "I deeply admire and commend him." He speaks of racial progress. "Let there be no reason now for any American to fail to cherish their citizenship in this, the greatest nation on earth." He urges us to "come together." "Whatever our differences, we are fellow Americans."
10:37: Charles Krauthammer, on Fox, praises Obama as a self-made man, who came out of nowhere, with no real resources. He says we don't really know who he is, but we'll find out. But he seems to think -- I do too -- that Obama is not really an ideologue, but a sensible, intelligent, pragmatic man who will check the Democratic Congress.
10:52: CNN is showing the crowd -- gathered spontaneously -- around the White House. Are you where you can see or hear people celebrating in the streets? I'm not. The window is open on this warm night, but all I'm hearing is a train whistle in the distance.
10:58: Obama walks out on the stage in Chicago. He looks happy. It makes me feel happy enough to laugh out loud. Michelle is wearing a very strange dress, black with glowing redness spreading upward and downward from a black X across the midriff. The little girls look elegant, as if they'd grown much older since we saw them this morning. He compliments McCain. He tells his girls they're getting a puppy. He gives us all credit for his victory. We understand "the enormity of the task that lies ahead." (Yikes!) He's going to listen to us, but he wants us to help him "rebuild this nation." "Let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility." Let's not be partisan and petty. Let's remember Abraham Lincoln. He was a Republican. He faced a nation more divided than it is now. But he reached out to them. And we share a destiny with everyone in the world. "Democracy, opportunity, and unyielding hope." "America can change. Our union can be perfected." Now, he's in a sing-song poetic part of the speech, with the refrain "Yes we can." The crowd catches on and shouts the refrain. "Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America."