November 6, 2006

Voting and blogging.

Tomorrow is a voting day and a blogging day. As you probably know, I've accepted getting ensconced in a coffeehouse with a couple dozen political bloggers.

It's funny. I described it to a colleague today, and he just couldn't understand what we could possibly write if all we were doing was watching TV like everybody else. Everyone is watching the same thing, so what are you writing? I had to say, you know, I don't even think about that. I always figure there will be something for me to see and describe that will be different.

But it's a good question. Fortunately, I'm not letting that good question spook me. At the very least, I'll be able to observe the other bloggers.

You know it's very strange to be stuck in a room on election night with people who have different preferences. I'm thinking CNN has a secret plan for us. Of course, they are saying that they want to use our text, our insights. And it's easy to see that we add a hip, cool edge for them. And, of course, we'll all link, essentially to ourselves, and send traffic to their site.

But there's this other thing. We're rats in a cage. We are being subjected to an experiment.

We're very passionate folk, we might kind of hate each other, and the inflow of election results will stress us out. The night will wear on. Who knows how we will act? And CNN's cameras will be trained on us the whole time. I know I'm going to be scrutinizing the scene and describing and commenting. But I'm also one of the scrutinized. What's that going to be like? I've been trying to picture it. And, basically, I'm prepared.

But I'm also relying on you, dear readers. Comment. Email. Give me tips on things to blog about and let me know how my little cage looks from out there.


Gahrie said...

Bring a taser. There's no telling what the moonbats might do when they see the results going against them....

Dave said...

There's a nauseating puff piece about Hillary in New York Magazine.

2008 is going to be a brutal election.

Ron said...

Remember, keep up that sublime Althouse moisterization regime, for the camera will be on you, especially if you sock Kos in the nose! (jus' hoping on the if-come!)

Unknown said...

If you really want to know what's going on, you should be checking out

There is real money behind that, so it will be 20 times more accurate than any exit polls.

Right now it is predicting a Democratic House and a Republican Senate. Boring, but probably right.

al said...

Watch CNN? That's a brutal requirement.

Anonymous said...

Think hard about what you are going to say ahead of time, both in print and to whoever interviews you.

Less is more.

Short and catchy wins the day on TV. Repeat yourself.

You will have succeeded, if at the end of the night, Wolf Blitzer (or whoever the host is) wraps things up by saying, "I think Wisconsin Professor Ann Althouse summed up the mood of the nation when she said...xxxx."

If you were from out west, you could say something like, "A wishbone is no substitute for a backbone, and that's how America voted."

If you were from the South, you could say, "America was about as frustrated tonight as a three-petered nanny goat rubbin' against a barbed wire fence."

If you were from New York, you could quote Yogi Berra.

But I don't know anything about Wisconsin. Perhaps a cheese comment might be in order.

Or something about wolverines.

P.S.--Don't forget the lip gloss.

Paddy O said...

Remember, to advance your commentary, to stand in the front middle with a 3/4 pose for the group picture.

MadisonMan said...

The new thing is to care passionately and be right-wing. Blog about that.

When (if) the news of Santorum's defeat comes in, think of me!

Anonymous said...

If you were from New York, you could quote Yogi Berra.

But I don't know anything about Wisconsin. Perhaps a cheese comment might be in order.

Obviously this is the guy for her to quote. (There should be plenty of opportunity to use that first quote.)

Revenant said...

Personally, I think the Republicans are going to do even worse than the polls predict. I expect Republican voter turnout to be low; there just isn't any reason to be enthusiastic about those guys. I think both houses will flip. And then flip back in 2008.

DRJ said...

My only thought is that you should be objective but that doesn't mean you should be neutral. I see those as similar but not identical qualities. To me, objective means you can realistically observe what's happening and fairly evaluate it. However, once you form an opinion based on your observations, I think you should share that opinion rather than try to remain a neutral observer. At that point, be spontaneous. Talk about what impresses you whether it's based on substance, appearances, an interesting turn of phrase, whatever.

Of course, you aren't shy about offering your opinions so this falls under the category of useless advice.

SteveWe said...

I'd like to know what you overhear in the hallways and while visiting the toilet. Not that you'd say anything on camera about that. But, as blog tidbits...? Are the CNN house people drinking the Kossack Kool-Aid? Are they really sitting in the home team's bleachers quietly rooting for the away team? Are they vain or supercilious? Are they just talking heads who don't know much about nothing? Heh! I guess my Halloween mask is in the trash.

Seriously... This election is all about the Iraq war and whether we cut and run or stay the course. Everything else people mention is just a cover. I hope every exit interview on video puts the war question directly to the voter. And, I'm going to watch their eyes when they answer.

Cedarford said...

1. Well, you have boned up on Webb, so if that race is close, you'll have something to talk about. But I imagine bloggers wish to go past "horserace" cant the MSM fixates on - it may well be a bloggers place to bring in original themes other media doesn't think are important. Like how Webb has potential to be a very different type of Democrat..and along with may be that Democrats are finally adapting to the New South.

2. Closer to your homebase, a theme might be the Ohio House of Reps losing Republican seats. The night could show if Republicans appear to be losing their long dominance of this critical swing a trend with big implications for 2008. And how not only Congressional corruption but local state corruption hurt their candidates.

3. An interesting phenomenon is that with the One-Party Democratic South now a thing of the past, the Democrats may be resurrecting it in the Northeast. If the votes go the Dem's way, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Vermont could join Massachusetts as NE states with All their Senators and all their Reps now elected as Democrats.

Extra points if you call Connecticut and Rhode Island "Massachusett's allied Rump States" or "Kennedy/Kerry Party Machine poodles".

Long dominated by Democratic state legislatures, plus New York and New Jersey, those States tended to elect Republican governors to watch over the Dems. That tradition also appears to be ending.

4. You are a law professor. I suppose it is your cross to bear that you have to weigh in on some legal an interesting referandum or gay marriage or Patriot Act or something lke that..

5. There is always Arnold.

Maxine Weiss said...

Sheep being herded into a room. Being ensnared in CNN's trap.

Cogs caught in the machinery of CNN bureaucracy.

And, you're on their property. They can do whatever they want with you.

They even have the right to confiscate your laptop....and then you're nothing.

What would you do then?

Peace, Maxine

Fenrisulven said...

She'll absorb events around her and post them later. If CNN gets sneaky, they'll lose.

I'll be at the GOTV in MD getting Steele elected, watching FOX news. I don't expect any significant national tallies until the AM, with balance of power undetermined a few days while the lawyers yammer back and forth.

But I'll try to send you any relevant info. May try to surf to CNN to catch you if our staff doesn't have any heavy aerodynamic objects nearby. They've got lethal aim.

Derve said...

If they pass a plate of home-baked goods, just stay away from the brownies.

You don't want to be in that kind of experiment.

SteveWe said...

I just put my instigator hat on. What if you, as a black-sheep Democrat, were to interview, via blog or on-camera, the two major black-sheep Democratic candidates -- Joe Lieberman and Jim Webb?

Dave said...

Keep tabs on John Hall's race in New York against Sue Kelly. We need another guitar player in the House.

Also, keep tabs on the Democratic caucus. Not just whether the D's take over the House but how many Blue Dogs and New Denmocrats are in the caucus. If there are enough moderates, they'll be able to keep Nancy Pelosi from following her natural inclination to go left. That's the only way, really.

And to go back to the earlier conversation about your morning newspaper, I don't know what hotel you're staying in this time around but on Wednesday you want USA Today. They're the only ones who print the results of all the House races.

And tell us if Jack Cafferty is more charismatic in person than on camera. If he's not, what's CNN's excuse for giving him air time?

thefewandtheplenty said...

Hey, the Fonz was scared too before he got on those waterski's-but he jumped that shark. And so will you.

Simon said...

I think Gahrie's probably right. The Democrat cintingent is going to blow a gasket if they don't win - and not only if they don't win, but if they don't win big. They've convinced themselves that tommorow is going to be a bloodbath, and while I think that the GOP is going to lose the House, I think the Dems are going to get some nasty surprises in Washington and Maryland.

The more I think about it, the more I think that on some practical level, a bloodbath in the House combined with comfortable GOP victory in the Senate would be the best case scenario; if that happens, it will be much harder for the Dems to claim that the election was rigged, a claim that will be floated the instant any Republican candidate in a right Senate race looks to be ahead. Of course, I might be biased, because I can live with losing the House...

Derve said...

Confessing you're content to lose, eh Simon? Careful that doesn't become habit now...

I thought of another one, Ann: Don't use the word "bloodbath" on camera. Unless you use it in the literal sense.

Anonymous said...

Ann Althouse said: "You know it's very strange to be stuck in a room on election night with people who have different preferences. I'm thinking CNN has a secret plan for us."

They do and it is more terrible than you can possibly imagine. How do I know this? Because I know the guy who mows Ted Turner's mustache. The guy talks funny because he lost part of his tongue in a freak karaoke accident, so Ted Turner thinks he is retarded and talks about everything in front of him.

I forgot what he said because he talks like a retard so I was cracking up but it was some kind of dastardly plan. They are definitely going to kill all the bloggers there except Atrios, whom Turner refers to as "The One". I remember that, but I don't remember how they are going to kill you all. Sorry!

Mr. Forward said...

Advance the ethnic interests of your people. Bring beer. Lots of beer.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Don't forget: I'll pay money for an on-air mention of "Sippican Cottage."


shergar said...

Hip and cool edge...mmmmph!

MadisonMan said...

I was #88 at the polling place this morning, at 7:30. Quite a line. Not as long as the Presidential election, but it did remind me of the year Feingold beat Neumann -- because of heavy turnout in Dane County

al said...

I was #11 at 6:10am. Three precincts vote at the school I was at and all had lines.

There were a couple of Democrats doing some last minute campaigning just outside the 100 foot line and there were getting shot down on a regular basis.

As for tonight - if someone brings up the 'support the troops, not the war' - how about a plug for Project Valour-IT and Soldiers Angels and ask them to put their money where their mouth is?

Simon said...

I've already explained that I'm content - although not exactly happy - to lose the House, because the House has no role to play in the issue that dominates my concern in this election, which is what kind of judges (and Justices) are nominated and concerned. The fact is that your side is going to go absolutely batshit if you don't win the House, because you've built it up in your minds, so you know, whatever. And frankly, Pelosi just doesn't have the guts to halt this war in the only way that she can with control only of the House, so if you want the House, if that's what it's going to take to lance the boil of anger that the kossacks represent, go for it.

Derve said...

OK Simon: So I've got you down:

Content to lose in the election; Iraq is not a big deal to you; SCOTUS is your only big issue.

What an unpatriotic America. Not fighting to win. Out for himself. Not caring so much about the troops overseas as the judiciary. Pathetic, but at least we all know who we're dealing with now.

Born Loser, no matter how the results come in tonight. (Are you what's called a chickenhawk, by chance? Talking big until it's time to pay up and show effective action. I think you are...)