Reporting and analysis by Crosscut writers, with the most recent entries at the top.
Try finding a newspaper
By Peter Lewis
Wednesday, 5:59 p.m., Seattle — I was calling around trying to locate a copy of today's Chicago Sun-Times because I was so taken by the front page and wanted a copy to frame. On the paper's Web site, they said they couldn't keep up with demand and were publishing extra copies. I e-mailed the chief editor but I'm probably only the 5 millionth person who has.
Anyway, I decided to phone Bulldog News on University Way in Seattle, and the woman who answered told me they're "sold out of every daily newspaper we carry."
For today anyway, newspapers aren't dead!
Happy, but not ready to celebrate
By Benjamin Lukoff
Wednesday, 5:35 p.m., Seattle — Don't get me wrong: I am pleased with last night's election results. Initiative 1000, which has personal resonance for me, passed easily. And until recently, this biracial son of immigrants thought it would be at least another decade, if not two, until America was ready to elect someone like Barack Obama to the highest office in the land. Yet as I sat with my sister and girlfriend last night at the Madrona Eatery & Ale House, watching the spectacle unfold, I felt oddly detached from the nationwide jubilation. I don't know if reality has yet to set in — or perhaps the reality had set in that, as momentous an occasion as this is, now comes the hard part. Maybe I was just getting a head start on what The New York Times' Tara Parker-Pope calls the "post-election blues." (Local freelancer Diane Mapes weighs in on this phenomenon as well, for MNSBC.com.)
In his victory speech last night, Obama called on the country to "resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long." In his concession, John McCain encouraged us to "come together ... to bridge our differences ... and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited. Whatever our differences, we are fellow Americans." This election is no quick fix, but it's certainly a step in the right direction. I am now guardedly optimistic about the future. If we heed the candidates' words, we will be that much closer to fulfilling the promise of Obama's campaign — and perhaps it is then that you will find me dancing in the street.
The burden, lifted
By Clark Fredricksen
Wednesday, 1:10 p.m., Seattle — What a night it was. Here are some gut reactions to this historic moment.
Charles Blow, The New York Times
And then they wept: History will record this as the night the souls of black folk, living and dead, wept – and laughed, screamed and danced – releasing 400 years of pent up emotion.
Tom Toles, The Washington Post:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. Ratified November 4, 2008.
David Horsey, Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
Lincoln rose above his own prejudices and upbringing to start America moving on this path. Today, Lincoln's dream was fulfilled. Whoever your favored candidate may have been for president, that is something of which all Americans can be proud. For myself, I am also proud of my daughter and son's generation. No matter what part of the country they come from, most young Americans have grown up without the prejudices of their elders. This election demonstrated that the fearful, narrow-minded old guard is passing away. The torch has been passed to a better generation.
Danny Westneat, The Seattle Times:
His election won't be the end of racism or the culture wars or any of the other old grudges and grievances that have crippled American society. But that was one potent symbolic shift. As Obama said last night, who can now claim that America isn't still the land of promise? Where anything is possible? For anyone?
Ezra Klein, The American Prospect:
These were crowds that were utterly joyous at the prospect of what they had just done: Elect a black president. Strike a blow for civil rights that many had presumed impossible. A win by a more traditional Democrat would have put Bush in the past, but there was a sense last night -- inchoate, but present -- that Obama's victory somehow represented a more decisive transition into the future. That wasn't a political judgment and it wasn't connected to policies. It was just a sense that an America that could do this was a different America than the one we had been living in for the past few years.
Ross Douthat, The Atlantic:
This may be a bleak day for the Republican Party and for conservatism, but come what may in the years ahead, it's a great day for our country. Barack Obama deserves congratulations, tonight, but so does the nation he's about to govern: We've come a long, long way.
George Packer, The New Yorker:
We will have a President who can think and feel and speak; we will have a grownup who will treat us like grownups. The Bush era is over. And the Clinton era. And the Reagan era. And the 1960s.
Sam Taylor, Bellingham Herald:
The politics blog is quiet. I’m almost not even sure what to do today. A year of coverage. Lots of it. On top of a full beat. It was fun. We had good times. But what do we do the day after?
The winner calls
By Lisa Albers
Wednesday, 1:10 p.m., Seattle — Reuven Carlyle trounced John Burbank in a 36th District state House race in Seattle, taking 65 percent of the vote in this Dem vs. Dem contest. It was the triumph of the entrepreneur over the steadiness presented by an insider. Carlyle seemed cut from the same cloth as Barack Obama — an angle he played up during the race — while Burbank evoked Clinton-esque appeal for many, and his failed "latte tax" was no help.
While at a breakfast meeting at Dish this morning, I saw Burbank come in, looking the way one would expect a candidate on the low end of a landslide victory to look the morning after. He received a call from Carlyle while waiting for a table and took it out in the parking lot, standing in the chill autumn air, running his hand through his hair.
Winners and losers
By David Brewster
Wednesday, 12:53 p.m., Seattle — Some early winners and losers from the local elections, including some who weren't even running. The envelope, please:
Winner: Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels. He defied conventional wisdom and pushed for the Sound Transit vote, hoping to cash in on the big Obama turnout. He further gambled by more or less running the campaign from his political organization. Big win. Second big win: the parks levy, which passed despite Nickels' opposition. He now gets to dole out money for parks, cut ribbons, and proclaim to taxpayers that he was against it!
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