Out of the Blue: The high drama of Election Day (opinion)
Out of the Blue
This column was submitted per its normal deadline of Monday ... and thus, it does not take into account results from Tuesday’s General Election.
It hasn’t been verified on any major news resource — at least not of Monday morning — but if it’s true, we have a truly Shakespearean finale for one of Election 2016’s late-appearing villains.
A couple Fridays back, FBI director James Comey brought Hillary Clinton’s emails out of retirement: thanks to Anthony Weiner’s sexual proclivities, that damned email server in HRC’s basement became news again. This Sunday, Comey released a “just kidding” memo, alerting Congress that the illegal messages he was concerned his team might find were indeed nothing.
The unproven news story that intrigued me more than any direct email nonsense was that on the heels of this “Nothing to see here, folks!” statement, a Trump/Pence sign was spotted on the lawn of Comey’s Connecticut home (and yes, there were photos of it).
Of course, this could be an irresistible internet hoax that is only 10% true, but seeing as we’re running out this election cycle with maximum melodrama, to have this stinging coda — likely the last thing we hear about Comey before HRC fires him — is deliciously fascinating.
It’s also a great symbol for the final laps of this race. I’m doing a fair share of soothsaying here, typing two days before November 8, knowing I won’t be published until the tenth, but the cold winter photograph of Trump/Pence (and, of course, “Make America Great Again”) outside what purports to be Comey’s large, lifeless mansion is a spot-on indicator for what the last gasps of this campaign have felt like.
How about some other snapshots of the moment?
I understand that when it comes to Hillary Clinton, if you hated her in the past, you’ll probably keep on hating, but her campaign put out a video over the weekend that chronicled the rollercoaster odyssey from her 2015 announcement that she’d run for high office to November 2016’s groundswell get-out-the-vote push, and I have to admit that I welled up a bit while watching the piece.
Trump tried a similar attack with a two-minute summation of his cause that aired during Sunday NFL games (among other places, I imagine), and even with cursory investigation, folks like Senator Al Franken cited its not-so-latent anti-Semitism. Whoops!
And it will no doubt be overshadowed by Election Night, but it’s been inspiring seeing Nevada in national political news. Many of us have been working our tails off imploring our neighbors to get out to vote early, and from new polling data, it looks like these efforts are paying off.
Las Vegas tends to get all the attention, it being our state’s single biggest hub, but even outside of Clark County, Nevada voted like gangbusters in its first go-round. Political reporter extraordinaire Jon Ralston even said on the record that Trump “needs a miracle in Vegas on Election Day — and a Buffalo Bills Super Bowl championship is more likely” to win the state (the Bills play the Seattle Seahawks tonight in Washington; they’re expected to lose).
Speaking of our Battle Born state, on Saturday, while stumping in Reno, Donald Trump was rushed off the stage due to concerns over a member of his audience brandishing a firearm. A day earlier, a Trump supporter at a Clinton event took a similar appeal, showing up to hear Barack Obama speak and deciding to exercise his right to protest by making his Republican opposition clear right there in front of the president.
But Obama didn’t whisper for the Secret Service to cart the guy off — he reaffirmed to his audience that peaceful protest is totally legal, and that the vast majority of the people there who disagreed with the pundit shouldn’t even bother booing him: they should vote blue instead.
Once it was confirmed that the dude in Trump’s Reno rally wasn’t armed (it was just a sign, apparently), Donald returned to the stage and offered a more menacing response than Obama’s. “Nobody said it was going to be easy for us,” he said. “We will never be stopped.”
In my mind, a thunderclap can be heard right after this statement, with dark clouds spreading across the sky, but I can’t confirm that.
Regardless of your preferred snapshot of the political season, one thing is certain: By the time you read this, the 2016 Election will be over. Its trials, tribulations, thrills, and surprises will have been tied up in a nice bow and relegated to the rearview mirror.
I just hope that Comey Trump/Pence sign is a real thing…
Mike Restaino is a writer and filmmaker based out of Incline Village. He is also a Vice Chair of the North Tahoe Democrats. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.