I appreciate those who picked up my slack and covered meetings while I recharged my batteries after the election. Though exciting, politics can be draining. When Election Day lasts more than a week, even those who crave the stomach-churning adrenaline tend to get tired.
I saw George W. Bush declared the winner in 2000, only to head to class the next morning with the contest still in doubt. Excitement buzzed around the political science department as the election and subsequent court cases shaped that year’s lesson plans, in real time. The opportunity to observe an election that close was exciting. I suppose the naivete of youth can’t be overstated, however with age comes experience, an appreciation for sleep and a yearning for calmer election nights in the future.
This election did not fit that desired mold. Like many, I understood that absentee and mail-in ballots would be among the last counted. It was unlikely that a winner would be declared early in the night, still, I waited watching nearly every moment, catching every state projection. I finally crawled into bed after the sun came up Wednesday. The drone of the television was accompanied at least for a few hours by snoring.
Joe Biden was projected to become the President-Elect on Nov. 7. He’ll most likely finish with a tally of 306 electoral votes, the same number that President Trump received in 2016. Biden’s margin in the popular vote isn’t known as legally cast ballots are still being counted, final certification of results is expected in the coming days. While some remain hopeful that multiple court challenges might change the outcome, Biden’s temporary title of President-Elect isn’t likely to change until next January.
After the Keystone State’s projection, profound fatigue set in. I caught a nap and prepared myself for the resumption of my regularly scheduled life. Instead of vote counts. I was able to concentrate on college football.
In what many consider the game of the year thus far, top ranked Clemson lost to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in South Bend, Indiana. The double overtime thriller lived up to the billing. To many, it was just another game, but it was special. That Saturday evening was the first time in nearly three decades that Notre Dame played the nation’s number one team at home. I exalted the Irish to that victory as I had done hundreds of times before, in between cheering, yelling and using body English to will the ball and players from the beginning, I remembered a similar game that also caught the nation’s attention.
In November of 1993, my Grandpa and I watched as Notre Dame defeated the then number one Florida State Seminoles. It was a great memory shared on a couch as I recovered from an operation. We didn’t always agree politically but we shared love for Notre Dame.
I looked to the sky two Saturdays ago, hoping that my grandfather, a middle-class Depression-Era Catholic Democrat enjoyed every result from Saturday, Nov. 7.