This election, I was expecting another long delay in counting the votes as in the previous two elections. For those two elections, it was so close that no one knew who would win, with the recounting and other events dragging it on for so long. Even though these events happened in the last two elections, I still stayed up to see how the events of this year would transpire.
To my surprise, as soon as I turned on the TV, it was already being broadcast on CNN that Sen. Barack Obama was handily beating Sen. John McCain in electoral votes. I was shocked. After all, it was only the beginning – it could have changed in the next hour or so, though I hoped it wouldn’t. And as the hours went on, Obama was still ahead of McCain as things began to look worse for the Republicans, both in the presidential race and in the House and Senate.
Finally, at 11 p.m., when the West Coast polls came in, Obama was announced the winner. I was shocked and almost didn’t believe it for a second. But then some guys on my floor started screaming and running through the halls, going on about Obama being president. That was when I accepted the fact that Obama had truly won the presidential campaign as the first black to do so, and my first vote in any election was for this historic race. After watching the victory and concession speeches, going on Facebook and witnessing more people running through the hallways celebrating Obama’s victory, I was happy and at ease with the election being over for me.
When I compare this election to the ones of 2000 and 2004, I have to admit this election night, though shorter than the other two, was probably more exciting than the previous elections.
First, compared to the race of 2000 between then-Gov. George W. Bush and former Vice President Al Gore, the suspense from the closeness of the electoral votes was great and all, but after a while, everyone just wanted it to be over.
Florida’s votes were recounted so many times that it eventually had to be decided by the Supreme Court, which stopped the recounting. This eventually led to Bush winning Florida and the election. But by then, everyone was just exhausted and not as excited as they had been a month before.
Then there was 2004, the election between Sen. John Kerry and Bush. Though not as close as the one before, it was tight in some states and in the Electoral College until all the results were compiled. Another important part of the election was the publicity each candidate received before the election. There was so much emphasis on the backgrounds of each man that their histories became more popular than the candidate’s campaigns.
But in this election, there was a lot of publicity surrounding the candidates and their families. Most of the news before the election was about the pasts of the presidential candidates and their running mates, Sen. Joe Biden and Gov. Sarah Palin. It was so popular that even “Saturday Night Live” received many great reviews for their Palin skits starring look-alike Tina Fey.
I believe this election, despite the speed of the vote counting, will be remembered for years to come. I believe this to be mostly because of the publicity of the candidates and the result of the first black man being elected president.
Sources: CNN.com, NPR.org