Thursday, November 06, 2008

History in the Making and Weird Election Predictors

I was up all night this past Tuesday. Mind you this was not something I planned purposely but my bestest buddy El was calling constantly and sending text message updates on the US election as state after state fell to Obama. First there was Ohio, then Pennsylvania and then shockingly the old bastion of the American south,Virginia voted en masse for Obama. During our last phone conversation at 4am, it turned out we were both wathing the same thing on CNN. Who was that guy in glasses screaming hysterically into the camera? So, after I knew Obama was the man, I told El that I was heading to bed to get 1 more hour of sleep before starting the working day slog.
"Why?" He asked clearly confused "Obama has just become president of the US and you are heading back to sleep?"
Of course El is 4 hours behind me so I'm pretty sure he hit the sack soon after..Obama or not.
Post US elections, everyone is saying that the Bradley Effect indeed had no effect. Well, according to the BBC, less than 50% of Caucasian Americans voted for Obama. Mmm.. it could have been that the Bradly effect may have played a role but it was actually the non-white vote this time around that tipped the scale in Obama's favour.

I must say, what fascinated me the most with these elections were the weird predictors. I'm sure everyone has heard some of them:
  1. Whoever wins Ohio wins the election
  2. If McCain loses Pennsylvania he loses the election
  3. The Washington Redskins Monday night Football game predicts the election results


The "Redskins Effect" is by far my favorite. It is basically that the outcome of the Washington Redskins American football home game played on the Monday night just before a US election correctly predicts the outcome of the election and has done so since 1936! If the Washington Redskins lose at home on the Monday, then the incumbent party will also lose the elections on Tuesday. If the Redskins win, then the incumbents also win. Alas...McCain must have known he was finished when the Redskins lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers the day before the historic election. To add insult to injury for poor John McCain, the Steelers are from one of the states he had to win in order to secure the election. Of course, one wonders why the team playing the redskins could not just be bought off by the incumbent government to throw the game! Wouldn't that just be easier? DISCLAIMER: Abena does not endorse match-fixing or election cheating of any sort!

Wednesday November 5th 2008 was spent by all Africans everywhere basking in the glory of Obama's victory. It was a good day to be African. On the streets of Accra, little booklets called "Obama: My story" were being sold in traffic and there were a number of Obama t-shirts all over town.
Alas, Thursday has come and reality has sunk in. Being leader of the so-called free-world is not easy and Obama faces a mammoth task up ahead. There is already talk about him not being able to live up to expectations given all the promises for change he made. Indeed, America's obsession with appearance has already caught up with the Obama family as Michelle Obama's dress choice for the Tuesday night election has already been scrutinized all over the blogosphere. *Alas*, it is not easy being the most famous person in the world right now.

6 comments:

Nana Yaw Asiedu said...

Hey, great wrap-up. You got me with the bit about Michelle's dress. I was criticising it the very moment before I got to your blog. Amazing!

Abena said...

*That is really interesting*.. Just goes to show that her shocking black-red fireball combo just can't go by quietly without comment! Okay, it could have been worse...

novisi said...

hi,
the prediction markers are interesting really... the 'Redskins Effect" does it for me too...

as for Michele's choice of dress, i thought she looked STRIKING (for the NIGHT)...like say, out of the blue...else, I must have missed exactly what was wrong with that choice...

cheers!

Abena said...

*LOL* Novisi, I think 'Striking' really says it all. To be honest, I think her dress choice was extremely bold and shows that she is not quite going to fit into the typical U.S. first lady mold. She will be more Hillary than Laura and perhaps even more sassy!

Charlotte Mutesha said...

Not trying to COMPLETLY be just whoring my blog, but thought you might like to check this out...I documented my day on Nov. 4 from 7 a.m., through the rally, to the wee early morning hours of the 5th. ;) Text, videos, pictures.

http://domininet.blogspot.com/2008/11/election-day-in-life.html

Abena said...

Thanks Charlotte! Will check it out...Always love to learn new perspectives!