Here’s my excellent Election Night adventure.
A few days before Election Day Nation editor Roane Carey called and asked me to prepare a few cover ideas. The Nation goes to press on Tuesday as a rule, but this week would be an exception. My cover would be due on Weds morning. We all strongly suspected a decisive win for Obama but had to prepare for other possibilities. So here’s the process leading up to midnight. All Sandy related:
1. Obama walks across the waves with a clueless Thurston Howell Romney below. This was felt by Roane and me to be off the beam. Nobody thought Obama walked on water anymore! And also, ahem, Romney doesn't drink!!!
Next I came up with the idea of him rowing to safety on Chris Christie’s belly. As Sandy was still the big story, this made sense and was the working idea up till about midnight Tues-Weds.
Here’s progress on two elements that were ready to make it into the final:
The Christie Float:
Thurston Romney III:
For the “Romney Wins” idea, he’s the cloud in the sky causing the money sh*tstorm drowning Obama. Luckily, not used.
There was even an idea in case the results were in Rovian-limbo (or Limbaugh). Again, whew!
At midnight I came back to the studio and called Roane and said that I thought we needed to dump Christie. At that hour, the moment of stunning victory, who was thinking of Christie? I suggested we lose him and go with a more simple and perhaps elegant solution, where the wave is gracefully returning Obama to the White House. Luckily Roane was up late and this was approved by 1 AM.
I was shooting for a 10 AM finish. Went down for bagel at 7:30 and got an email from him: “Is this ready now?”. Uchhhhh. Still conscious, but barely, I said: we need 10:00!!! I sent a progress photo of where I was. He was cool with 10. It all worked out. I’d have to say the hardest part of the whole thing was lying on the couch in the studio, waiting for word that neither Roane, nor Katrina vanden Heuvel, nor Milton Glaser, nor Sue Walsh wanted any changes. Staying in twilight, not sleeping too hard. How do you do that? Anyway, everyone liked this and off it went . . . on time, and is the current Nation cover. Thanks to all of the above. Especially Roane. It was a great night for the US, the world and this happy artist. Even that bagel was excellent.