Daniel W. Drezner

What I’m looking forward to on Election Day

And now, the end is near…. In Newsweek, Nate Silver provides a useful hour-by-hour description of what to expect tomorrow.  Meanwhile, I see that David Broder thinks this has been the best election campaign ever.  Yeah, not so much. It was the greatest primary campaign ever.  Both the Democrat and Republican races being seen as up ...

And now, the end is near…. In Newsweek, Nate Silver provides a useful hour-by-hour description of what to expect tomorrow.  Meanwhile, I see that David Broder thinks this has been the best election campaign ever.  Yeah, not so much. It was the greatest primary campaign ever.  Both the Democrat and Republican races being seen as up for grabs for much longer than anyone anticipated, and from a narrative perspective, the eventual victories of McCain and Obama were entertaining.  By comparison, the general election has been a bit of a bore.  In part, this is because the expectations for both McCain and Obama were higher.  They were both seen as interesting, idiosyncratic, atypical politicians with broad-based appeal.  The general election campaign has not earned any of those adjectives.  However, I will make one prediction — whoever loses should give an awesome concession speech.  It fits with both campaigns.  For McCain, it would be his chance to do the honorable thing — and help to improve his media image.  For Obama, it would be consistent with his message of reaching across party lines.  I like the ritual of concession speech, and this year it will be more important than ever.  If Obama wins, there will be a lot of angry GOPers upset over a foreign Muslim socialist who had his memoirs ghostwritten liberal Democrat winning office; Obama will be lucky to have McCain’s imprimatur.  If McCain wins, the collective shock from the media and the Obama faithful will be enormous — so big that only a good concession larded with lots of grace and promises that the election actually was free and fair.  Question to readers:  what are you looking forward to the most tomorrow? 

 Twitter: @dandrezner

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