Here are 10 people who have reason to be smiling about how things went yesterday, Election Day:
1) Abby Evans
It’s over, sweetie. It really, really is.
2) Nate Silver
The geek god of the 538.com political projection blog took a beating from conservative pundits and pollsters in the runup to Tuesday. They insisted his projections that Barack Obama had the election all but won were just another folly by the left-leaning MSM.
Silver drove enormous traffic to the New York Times web site in October as he became digital Prozac for millions of worried liberals. He never budged from his projection that the only way Romney could win was if the state polls were colossally wrong in a way they’d never been before.
He ended up being right on 50 of 50 states, and not that far off on the popular vote (which he invariably noted is not how we elect presidents, a point which has seemed to repeatedly elude many name political journalists).
As Stuart Levine tweeted last night: “So, who plays Nate Silver in the HBO movie?”
Silver’s good night was a triumph for anyone, Republican or Democrat, who still believes that facts are stubborn things worthy of respect, and who yearns for the reign of “truthiness” – the belief that anything you want to be true therefore is true – to be truly over.
2 and 3) Cam and Mitchell
Let’s use the gay couple from Modern Family as proxies for the millions of gays and lesbians in loving, committed relationships.
For the first time in the history of the land of the free and the home of the brave, gay marriage was approved Tuesday directly by voters, not by lawmakers or judges. Referenda were approved in Maryland and Maine, and an anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment was defeated in Minnesota. Obama handily won all three states where the referenda were held, and a left-leaving independent won Olympia Snowe’s old seat in Maine.
Hear that sound? It’s a wedge crumbling. See that rainbow? Why, I do believe it’s the arc of history bending toward justice.
4) Paul Ryan
No, really. No one, deep down, wants to be vice president. There’s no better way to set yourself up as leader of your party and front-runner for the next presidential election than to be the fresh young face on the bottom of the ticket for whom the rank and file swoon.
And Ryan, a smart guy, avoided the Sarah Palin mistake of going rogue and throwing your running mate under your campaign bus before the election. By the way, in case you missed this, Ryan ran for and held his congressional seat. He’s poised to be The Man for conservatives.
5) Michael Sandel
It’s been a tough few years for communitarianism as the two major parties’ dialogue seemed to devolved into an iron-cage death match between Ayn Rand and Paul Krugman.
But expect to hear a lot of reporters and analysts talking in the coming months about Sandel’s books What Money Can’t Buy and Justice.
6) Bob Edgar
The former congressman from Delaware County is now head of Common Cause, which makes him unofficial head of the nonpartisan opposition to that most horrific of Supreme Court decisions, Citizens United.
The stuff unleashed by that ruling – SuperPACs and unlimited, anonymous campaign spending – is still worrisome. As this day dawned, though, so did this realization: A small group of billionaires with an enhanced sense of grievance could not buy this national election. (And yes, there were a couple of billionaires on Obama’s side, but nowhere near as many, or spending as much.)
As one Tweeter put it, the Koch brothers et al. spent billions to flip the presidential result in two states, Indiana and North Carolina, and lose seats in the Senate. Not a great ROI.
7) My son
He’s 24. He works in the “food service industry.” Translation: He gets no health care through his job.
But since Mitt Romney won’t be repealing Obamacare on Day One, it looks like Matt can stay on our policy for a couple more years.
Exit polls say a majority of Americans still doesn’t like the health care law. And I understand that there are plenty of legitimate, thoughtful critiques of its patchwork nature. But how many of those voters who cringe at the term Obamacare could pass a basic quiz about what it does or does not do?
Keeping my son insured is one of the things it does do, and for that I’m grateful.
8) Megyn Kelly
Just guessing here but I think the Fox anchor will end up being glad she took her bizarre, on-camera walk to the back rooms of the Fox complex to counter Karl Rove’s on-air tantrum over Fox calling Ohio for Obama.
It looked for a while like Kelly was running an errand for the red-faced Rove. But it turns out she was representing on behalf of the fact-aware gnomes of Fox’s Decision Desk. When she came back on the set, she told Rove to his face that he was totally off-base. “They know the science!” she told him, backing her guys in the back room.
At least 52 percent of a nation applauded.
9) Jon Stewart
Between Rove’s very public humiliation on Fox and Donald Trump’s stupefying meltdown on Twitter, Jon and the Daily Show writing team have enough material to last them until Christmas.
How they think to check these things I don’t know, but apparently until now, the fate of the Washington Redskins football team on the Sunday before an election had always foretold the election result. Skins win, so does the incumbent. And vice versa. Robert Griffin III, the team’s incandescent rookie quarterback, played poorly last Sunday and the team lost to the Carolina Panthers. Don’t know RGIII’s politics, but doubt he wanted to be responsible for beating the first black president.
Have your own candidates for who was a big winner on Tuesday? Nominate them in the comment section below, or Tweet them at me @ChrisSatullo.