Into the Mist

I always find this time in a campaign fascinating and surreal. I remember it from 2000, 2004, 2008. Little memories. I think Joe Lieberman and Al Gore getting a cheesesteak in Philly in 2000 in the middle of the night? My experience of it is a certain way because I experienced it as a reporter. Sometime, perhaps yesterday, the campaign took that turn into something like a fugue state.The spin and the chatter continues, sort of. But it starts not to matter. The arguments are really done. The table is set. The cake is baked. Pick your hackneyed metaphor. Now the actual voting process gets underway and all of that fades into the background. It’s almost like in a card game where you show your cards at the end. This is where everyone turns over their cards. Nothing really to talk about.

Vast, trundling, almost organic machines stand up across the country. Hundreds of thousands of people doing a million different little jobs and exertions to finally actually get people up and to the polls.

One element of this 72 hours or so of compressed and undifferentiated time is that the news cycles — to the extent they exist any more in this new media landscape, which is barely — vanish. It’s one long blur. The candidates and key surrogates move into one breakneck series of appearances that won’t end until tomorrow night. Three days of blur.