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Truman Beats Dewey

SLIGHTLY OFF THE MARK

 

            I try to get my weekly column turned in by Friday (and often succeed), but the paper doesn’t actually come out until the Wednesday. That’s a problem during an election, because it means I have to write the thing almost a week before voting results are in. Writing a story about the 2012 election would be a case of predicting the future.

            So I did.

            Actually, as I write this it’s two weeks before the election, but what the heck: I’ll either be right or wrong, and another week won’t change that unless Joe Biden is found in bed with a dead lawyer or a live prostitute. So here’s the way the election’s going to go:

            (Mind you, this was all before FrankenStorm hit the East Coast, which could have a way bigger impact than Biden’s prostitute lawyer. Who doesn’t exist. What I predict to happen by the hour might be by the day, or week.)

            6 a.m.: A tiny community on the east coast of New Hamshire casts the first votes of the election, choosing Obama 42-23. Joe Biden immediately goes before Congress to move that the voting be closed. He’s initially confused by the silence that greats him, until he’s reminded Congress has shut down for Election Day.

            6:14 a.m.: Romney receives a call from John McCain, informing the Governor that he’s in for one long day.

            For the rest of the day most cable news channels speculate on what Obama will do during his second term. Two personalities on the Fox News show “The Five” strangle liberal Bob Beckel when he starts chanting “Four more years!” The show is quickly renamed “The Four”.

            5:50 p.m.: Nancy Pelosi tries to declare California for Obama, and has to be forcibly restrained until after the polls close.

            6:01 p.m. Maine goes Democrat. MSNBC calls the election for Obama.

            7 p.m. In quick succession, all New England States except New Hampshire go to Obama. Then they go back inside, turn up the thermostats, and have a beer.

            7:15: Feeling lonely and left out, New Hampshire goes to Obama.

            7:20: Officials begin investigating voting irregularity in Florida, even though none of the Florida precincts are yet in.

            7:30: NBC calls the election for Obama. CNN quickly reacts by claiming they called it one minute earlier, during a commercial.

            7:50: Every East Coast state down to South Carolina is given to Obama. South Carolina, not wanting to seem too much like New Hampshire, gives its delegates to Romney. Later that evening all the Deep South except for Florida goes to Romney. Florida is quick to point out that they’ve never really been part of the Deep South, even though they’re south of everyone else.

            8:12: By less than a thousand votes Pennsylvania is declared for Obama, then West Virginia for Romney. Joe Biden is seen counting delegates on his fingers, very slowly. Then he turns to his wife, and when she nods he yells “That’s (expletive deleted) great! Right?

            8:30: Ohio goes, again narrowly, to Romney. Everyone’s a little surprised, including Ohio.

            8:35: Indiana goes to Romney. Nobody notices.

            8:46: Illinois is declared for Obama, after an overwhelming blowout vote from the Chicago precinct that contains Graceland Cemetery.

            9:02: In one of the night’s surprises, Missouri declares for Obama. One of the delegates is heard to say, “I appreciate that the Democratic Party gave my great-grandfather in Chicago a chance to have his voice heard so many years after his death”.

            9:14: On Fox News, Dennis Miller describes Romney as having “Less support than Dolly Parton’s retired backup bra”. A fist fight with Bill O’Reilly ensues.

            9:28: A solid block of states from North Dakota to Texas go to Romney, just as O’ Reilly is forcing Miller to cry “uncle!”

            9:38: Minnesota goes solidly Obama. After thinking about it, Wisconsin and Iowa say “Eh – what the heck,” and (by a smaller margin) do the same.

            9:50: Colorado, where voting is hampered by an early snowstorm, goes Obama. New Mexico, where voting is hampered by a sense of pointlessness, does the same. Arizona goes to Romney in what PBS refers to as “an act of defiance”.

            9:59: Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, and Utah join forces to declare for Romney all at the same time. No one notices except Indiana, which is sympathetic.

            10:42: All three West Coast states are handed to Obama. California is so solidly blue that some map observers mistakenly think it’s sunk into the Pacific Ocean.

            10:55: Alaska goes to Romney, Hawaii to Obama, both with a shrug.

11:30: Florida declares a statistical tie and prepares for a long week of recounts, lawsuits, and counter lawsuits. Then someone realizes that Obama won without them. The Florida election commission votes to just let it go.

            In the end, Barrack Obama wins reelection with 332 electoral votes and 49% of the popular vote, and declares it a mandate. Chris Matthews takes to the airwaves to nominate Obama for sainthood.

It isn’t discovered until days later that Nevada forgot to vote.