The Note: A Lifetime in Politics

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One Week Until Election Day

NEWS SUMMARY

One week from today, Gang of 500 members are going to have to decide how to fill the Longest Day of Waiting.

Not everyone likes to spend Election Day in exactly the same way, but here is a rough guide to Zen happiness:

November 2, 2004:

6:45 am — start to read the Times , the Post , and the Journal and realize that the stories are useless, soon-to-be-OBE.

7:00 am — watch Good Morning America and realize that ABC News is the place to be all day.

7:45 am — — receive call from daughter at grad school who tells you she is waiting in line to vote for the very first time in her life … and the line is really long!

8:46 am — consider calling friends at the networks to get early exit poll results, but recall that they don't get the first data until the early afternoon

8:47 am — call friends at the networks to get early exit poll results, thinking maybe they have some.

8:50 am — call Al Hunt and hear about anecdotal turnout from "key" precincts in Florida, Ohio, and New Hampshire and decide you know who is going to win.

9:00 — go to the voting booth yourself; feel the buzz in the air; try to read the impassive faces of those in line around you; nervously worry you'll vote for the wrong guy by mistake — because it really is confusing in that booth; vote; sigh in relief.

9:20 am — check to see if it is snowing in eastern New Mexico.

9:30 am — check Noted Now for the latest information on casting and counting controversies. LINK

9:30 am — read The Note obsessively and closely for hints about what Brooke Brower thinks will happen.

11:30 am — place your guess for what time the concession speech starts into the office pool.

Noon — lunch at the Palm (in DC or NY); check BlackBerry obsessively for exit polls; act nonchalant.

1:25 — try to figure out how to get on the conference call where Jack Oliver briefs Rangers, Pioneers, and Regents. (Note: not necessary if you are in fact a Ranger, Pioneer, or Regent.)

2:00 pm — wildly overreact to a picture of long lines at polling stations in Cuyahoga County as definitive proof that turnout is going to be unprecedented.

2:15 pm — get scattered exit poll results from friendly lobbyist; call network journalist and offer to trade; be told "those are OUR numbers, I don't need to trade."

3:30 pm — see some exit poll results on the Drudge Report; don't even stop for a minute to doubt if they are accurate or not.

3:45 pm — become engrossed in the every-two-years debate on Slate about whether leaking the exit poll results is salutary for democracy.

4:44 pm — receive call from son in college who tells you he overslept, forgot to vote, and none of his friends are going to bother now.

5:15 pm — ask yourself if Terry Nelson or Michael Whouley is really capable of ordering a diesel fuel truck to be overturned on a key road in a key state to block traffic.

5:16 pm — stop wondering.

5:20 pm — scroll through 800 BlackBerry messages, all from people who are offering up the exact same numbers you already have.

6:00 pm — watch Fox and MSNBC anchors lean really hard into giving up the horserace results in key states by pretending to simply talk about cross tabs ("It's going to be a looooong, painful night in Ohio for John Kerry … ").

7:00 pm — tune-in to ABC News' election night coverage.

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