page contents

Election Night Diary by Lily Murphy

1pm Irish time and I make some coffee and smother some crackers with peanut butter. Apparently coffee and peanut butter are great for developing insomnia and such a condition will come in handy tonight. I put some logs on the fire, turn on CNN and settle down for a long night watching the election results of the 2012 American presidential election. Four years ago I was watching the then election results in a hotel bar in Washington D.C amid all the Obamamania. When he won I went down to the White House to join in with the throngs of jubilant people cheering outside the gates. This time I’m at home in Ireland watching CNN in my living room with my dog curled up asleep by the fire and my cat lounging at my feet. In a way my situation mirrors the campaign. The presidential race in 2008 was exciting and entertaining, in 2012 it was unenthusiastic and lacking any optimism but it doesn’t stop a political junkie such as myself from staying up all night glued to CNN and overdosing on Nescafe.

11:05pm and no one does it better than CNN. The intro to its election night special looks like a trailer for a Hollywood action blockbuster while reliable Wolf Blitzer keeps his emotionless face fixed on. I could turn over to Fox news or the BBC but they don’t have the level headed Wolf Blitzer. There’s no better man to have in a crisis than good old uncle Wolf!

12:30am and my cat decides to relocate herself on my lap while CNN make one of their projections and what a projection it is. Florida is split 50/50 between Romney and Obama. Christ, I’m going to need some more coffee because I have a feeling this night is going to drag.

1am and Obama has 64 electoral votes while Romney has 40. Game on. More logs go on the fire and more coffee washes down my gullet. I reckon the toilet won’t be a nice sight nor carry a pleasant aroma when the final result is announced. Coffee and my intestines never make good company together. Diarrhea usually occurs.

1:25 am and I haste to the bathroom when I feel a mini storm brewing up inside me. I knew I shouldn’t have over done it with the coffee. It usually never ends well when I drink too much coffee. Perhaps I could blame John King and his magic wall for my unsettledness. That magic wall can bamboozle any sound mind and stomach.

2:15 am and the race is still close. My dog has given up her place by the fire. Florida is taking its toll on her and she retreats to her basket in the hallway. The cat is as restless as CNN’s projections for Florida and she is pacing the room. She eventually settles on my lap again but not before digging her claws into my Obama t-shirt. I got the $4 t-shirt four years ago in Washington and I really should have thrown it into the washing machine when I came back home from America because I can still smell the Budweiser I spilt on it amid the election night celebrations of 2008. After tonight I will have to retire my $4 ‘Obama For President’ t-shirt.

2:25am and CNN have taken over the Empire State building. The top half of the building is illuminated in red and blue. The more electoral votes Romney wins the more red the Empire State building turns. The same goes for Obama, the more votes he gains the more blue it gets. CNN’s attempt at creating a giant political thermometer out of a famous New York landmark just goes to show why America is the land of possibilities!

3:15am the neighbor’s extremely loud car alarm goes off and scares the living shit out of my cat who scrambles from my lap and up on my head. I have a bloody cat scratch on my forehead now. This wouldn’t have happened if I was watching the election results in a bar in downtown D.C. I don’t know why the neighbor’s car alarm went off and I don’t care either. Florida is still too close to call and I am having terrible flashbacks of the presidential election of 2000. What if it could happen all over again!? Do I have enough coffee and peanut butter to help me through such a scenario!?

4:02am and my stomach has gotten the better of me so I hit the kitchen for a peanut butter sandwich. Obama has 238 electoral votes and Romney has 191. It is looking good for the democrats but chickens shouldn’t be counted just yet. Not before they hatched anyway.

4:15am Obama looks set to retain his job. Uncle Wolf isn’t giving anything away with his stoic human less expression but John King’s magic wall fills in for Wolf’s lack of human emotion.

4:18am Obama wins re-election. The empire state building turns blue. CNN cameras across the States show happy dancing cheering ecstatic whooping crowds. For now it seems all is well with the world. It’s just like 2008 all over again.

4:43am CNN reports that Romney is refusing to concede. Christ I’ve been up all night why can’t he just fucking concede already!!

4:49am and I think lack of sleep along with a constant concoction of coffee and peanut butter is turning me slightly insane. I am envisioning a Romney victory speech being interrupted by Kayne West jumping up on stage proclaiming that Obama should have won.

5:08am still waiting for Romney to concede. In the meantime Maryland voted in favor of same sex marriage while Colorado voted for the decriminalization of marijuana. It seems like the conservative America so many Republicans and tea party nuts want is slowly fading from their grasp. Instead it seems like the society which the likes of the liberal generation of the 60s could only dream of is becoming a reality for this generation. It is after all the year 2012 and progress is the name of the game.

5:55am and Romney comes out to give his losers speech. I must admit I do feel a bit sorry for him, he doesn’t have much of a crowd, it looks like most of them fucked off home! Well he can always go back to his day job flogging old spice or whatever his occupation was before he got the mad idea into his head of competing against Barack Obama for the presidency of America.

6:30am here comes the man. President Obama. Sounds good. Thank Christ we can continue saying those two words for another four years. President Obama. It was well worth losing a nights sleep for that.

7:10am hello bed.

Lily Murphy is 24 years old and comes from Cork city, Ireland. She graduated last year from University College Cork with a B.A in history and politics. She can be reached at