2:00 AM EDT: Candy Crowley just leaned over from her pundit table to yell at the pundits at the other pundit table. I didn't know that was allowed! Now they are babbling about Sarah Palin -- I cannot stand it. MSNBC is waiting patiently for Harry Reid to deliver what I'm sure will be a stirring speech. Fox is playing a Republican victory speech montage. Meanwhile a reporting error in Colorado is getting a lot of play, but no one is talking about the very weird reporting error in Minnesota that made gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton briefly look like he was cruising to an easy election. Megyn Kelly is already referring to "Speaker Boehner." Bret Baier was reallllly impressed with Boehner's wonderful, emotional speech. Roland Martin is getting pissy. Harry Reid has finally wandered out.
Here's Carl Paladino's "concession speech," in which he threatens Andrew Cuomo with a baseball bat:
Hah, Fox cuts to Reid way, way late -- they had a bunch of gold commercials to fit in. Reid is just not very good at delivering these inspiring platitudes. And Fox cuts away from Reid for Britt Hume to talk.
That's it for me. More tomorrow. GOOD NIGHT, AMERICA. NICE WORK, EVERYONE. For further election analysis please read Kathryn Jean Lopez talk about Harry Reid on Twitter.
1:05 AM EDT: Alaska closes. We won't know what's going to happen then for a while. Pat Caddell and Frank Luntz are not convincing me to un-mute Fox.
Earlier, Kasich explained campaigning: If you're just negative, you can't win. But if you're negative and people are angry, you win!
Meanwhile, Chris Matthews is talking about guys who go to NFL games, from Scranton, and how they are going back to Republicans. He is delivering his Senate campaign strategy, actually. Babbling about making jobs. Steel and subway trains.
Matthews: "DO I HAVE TO MAKE THIS CASE LOUDER? I WILL MAKE IT LOUDER."
And John Kerry wrote this, I guess because dude doesn't care anymore.
12:25 AM EDT: CNN goes to Nikki Haley as Fox cuts away from her to call Illinois for Mark Kirk. "What a rebuke to the president," Karl Rove says. Because Barack Obama is why this flawed candidate barely lost to another horribly flawed candidate to replace a hilariously flawed interim senator appointed by Rod Blagojevich.
Way to go, Obama -- you just got rebuked.
Fox so thrilled about Kirk and divided government that they're ignoring Pat Toomey victory speech. MSNBC cuts to Sestak. (Chris Matthews is positive this seat woulda been his, by the way.) Sestak's kids are adorable -- perhaps little girl should've made more campaign appearances.
"This country's run by the good people that run it, and the bad people, too." -- Chris Matthews.
12:15 AM EDT: Giuliani on Fox: "We'll find out tomorrow if the president is an ideologue, or a pragmatist. I've never known!" Yes, I'm looking forward to learning this as well, and I'm glad Rudy has kept an open mind about it up till now.
Oh, and apparently, this happened:
Tonight I learned that even when he is obviously gleeful, Charles Krauthammer still looks like some impossible combination of the world's smuggest and most miserable lizard puppet.
"A lot of our viewers will remember Jan Brewer," Wolf Blitzer says. (She is the governor of Arizona, as it said on the screen at the time.)
Fox still fantasizing about Democratic senators switching sides. Now switching to Nikki Haley acceptance speech because why not.
11:45 PM EDT: John Boehner will be brief, "because we've got work to do." Calling it: The Fox News "seat the new Congress now" campaign begins tomorrow. Thank god we've put guys who look like this back in charge. (That's the basic message of that "Mad Men" show, right? I've never watched it but I think it's about how shit was awesome back when guys who looked like John Boehner ran everything.)
Boehner also acknowledges that with great power comes great responsibility, because, like Spider-Man, he was once bitten by a radioactive carrot.
Oh, god, Boehner's crying. Where is Sharron Angle to tell him to man up? Ten minutes after the new Congress starts he'll be just as loathed as Nancy Pelosi, so I'm glad he's enjoying this moment.
11:40 PM EDT: Chris Matthews suggests Colin Powell for chief of staff. Old moderate Republicans are still univerally recognized as the wisest of god's creatures. (Other plus: He can make our case for war with Iran to the U.N., as David Broder has suggested.)
Olbermann to Ed Rendell: Governor, I just wanted to note, for the record, that you asked Rachel what she'd do about the chief of staff situation, and not Chris.
Olbermann: "We're gonna take a break."
Matthews: "Let's take a half-hour break!"
Michael Steele is on Fox repeating "the firing of Nancy Pelosi" over and over again. Also this election sends a message to people "in the halls of power, wherever those are."
Roland Martin and Donna Brazile look really sick of listening to Erick Erickson. At some point while I was watching MSNBC Mad Hatter Wolf Blitzer shouted "CHANGE PLACES!" and now Spitzer's in the middle of the table.
11:30 PM EDT: Olbermann cuts away from New York loser Carl Paladino, "at the risk" of missing "some story about a drunken sailor." Joe Trippi is now pretty sure that Obama will lose Pennsylvania in 2012. Karl Rove says the Great Lakes states will all have Republican governors, ignoring some of the states on the Great Lakes that will not have Republican governors. (Like Minnesota -- where I think Mark Dayton will take it -- and New York.)
On Fox, Karl Rove -- who really wants to help Democrats keep the Senate -- is advising Democrats to abandon the president and, I guess, just be Republicans.
11:15 PM EDT: Useful corrective to the forthcoming media narrative about Obama voters turning against him, from the Times: "Tonight, just 46 percent of those who voted said they cast a ballot for Mr. Obama in 2008." You may recall that a majority of the electorate voted for Barack Obama. So is this "Obama turning moderate independents against him" or is this the usual trouble turning out younger, poorer, more liberal voters in the midterms? (And would a more liberal agenda on financial reform and healthcare have increased the number of these angry voters?) But, whatever, whatever Evan Bayh will say tomorrow is right, the Democrats must immediately raise the retirement age, to fix The Deficit.
Only CNN goes with Cuomo's victory speech. (Mike Huckabee is on Fox -- I assume he's dropping some homespun wisdom about Christmas.) Andrew apparently slammed Paladino but I was listening to everyone on MSNBC commiserate about Russ Feingold at the time.
On Fox they are explaining that Democrats were warned that advancing their agenda would cause them seats, and also if the GOP wins the House but not the Senate that will be good for the GOP because then Democrats will stall their "pro-growth agenda" leading directly to Obama's defeat in 2012. Up next, Rudy Giuliani!
10:25 PM EDT: Michele Bachmann has a 4-point plan: keep the taxes the way they are, repeal the healthcare, and I missed the other ones. I think they were "
And that was a very memorable interview! Chris Matthews to Michele Bachmann: "Are you hypnotized?" Bachmann: "I think the American people are the ones who are finally speaking tonight, they are coming out of their nightmare." Matthews: "Thank you Congresswoman Bachmann, who appears to be in a trance."
Not sure why the Bachmann people agreed to this -- though I imagine it was under the condition that not a single other member of the MSNBC panel was allowed to speak to her.
Oh hey, Cantor's on now. This is a Republican victory lap on MSNBC -- they're trolling liberals. Maddow trying to corner Cantor on tax cuts versus deficit rhetoric. It's not working. Though it led to Eric Cantor saying: "There's no tax cuts. Nobody's gettin' a tax cut." Good thing they didn't run on that!
And they move on to Lawrence O'Donnell who asks Cantor about voting to raise the debt ceiling.
The fact that all of you made Cantor look like a tool who refuses to admit that Republicans can't live up to their empty rhetoric on the deficit does not actually mean that you won, guys. He just went on your network to upset your viewers.
Who will be the next Republican hotshot to join the "MSNBC salt in the wounds tour '10"? I hope Ed interviews Boehner!
(Meanwhile, Geraldine Ferraro and Sarah Palin are hanging out on Fox, because why not.)
10:10 PM EDT MSNBC is now having a policy debate. This is the one night of the year that horse-race coverage is more useful and important than a substantive policy debate. Oh, wait, good, here comes Ed.
10:00 PM EDT: I have now seen ads for TLC's upcoming Sarah Palin reality show on all three cable news channels. Meanwhile, Oklahoma has basically seceded from the Soviet Muslim nation that they imagine they're living in.
Joe Trippi, on Fox, looks like a sad man. But he points out that Republicans have "let three or four" Senate seats "that they could've won" go, by nominating crazies. They quickly move on to Juan Williams babbling about The Tea Parties. He fails at making any sort of point.
Brit Hume says Obama inspired many people, and his wave was a positive endorsement. But this wave is mostly about being mad and rejecting things, angrily, though Republicans haven't earned a victory. (Karl Rove disagrees because voters love Republicans.)
And congratulations to John McCain and Tweein' Chuck Grassley!
Candy Crowley says we'll hear "the Rubio message" from everyone else tomorrow -- America's Greatest and Largest Political Team on Television agrees that Marco Rubio is perfect, in every way. And Tim Pawlenty is looking impossibly smug on Fox right now.
9:45 PM EDT: Unrelated headlines: Vitter returning to Senate! Rubio wins three-way! Rubio also announces that the United States is the single greatest country in the history of mankind -- although despite it's incredible greatness, it is apparently extremely fragile, as two years of moderate Democratic rule is enough to send it straight to hell.
Rubio knows America is great not because he read it in a book, but because he's seen it with his eyes.
CNN gives up on Rubio and cuts to commercial while Fox and MSNBC stay with it. Whoops, MSNBC goes to O'Donnell concession speech as Olbermann says "get your popcorn." (No one is going with Chuck Schumer's acceptance speech, which is obvious proof of media bias.)
O'Donnell is not wearing her ladybug costume -- probably why she lost, actually -- and she comes out by announcing "we have won." Breaking...? (Fox is ignoring her and having Hannity chat with Doug Schoen instead.) O'Donnell also says she instructed Chris Coons to watch her 30-minute infomercial. (I know you already "won," Christine, but it is too late to convince your opponent to vote for you.)
O'Donnell: "We've got a lot of food, we've got the room the whole night." As a friend points out, this would be the best episode of "Party Down" ever.
9:15 PM EDT: In a hilarious mixup, Joe Perry is now governor of Texas and Rick Perry is touring with Aerosmith and feuding with Steven Tyler.
Meanwhile, Rand Paul victory speech! Oh god those were Rand Paul's kids playing Dad's victory party? They look a little bit like the sort of young men who pay tribute to a certain aquatic religious figure, if you know what I mean.
This is an EPIC victory speech from Rand Paul. The theme is how if the Senate is so Deliberative, why don't they Deliberate on HOW FUCKIN' AWESOME AMERICA IS. The other theme is that government cannot create jobs or prosperity, and no benevolent leaders will help us -- he will go to the United States Senate and demand that they stop attempting to make things better, for anyone, in the name of liberty.
"I will ask the Senate, respectfully, to deliberate upon this: Do we wish to live free, or be enslaved by debt?" And the Senate will say, "You're a freshman junior senator from the minority party, go to hell."
9:00 PM EDT: 2012 presidential contenders named so far, tonight: Evan Bayh, Marco Rubio. Anything is possible when you have to spend hours of airtime explaining easily explainable things in new and interesting ways!
Reader Casey notes that everyone on the MSNBC panel (especially Larry O'Donnell and "even Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Eugene Robinson") seems to be intentionally baiting Rachel Maddow by a) praising Bayh and b) blaming the unions and the primary for Lincoln's loss.
Palin on Fox explaining that Democratic victory in West Virginia is repudiation of Barack Obama and his agenda. Palin: Christine O'Donnel's defeat is "not a surprise"! Palin goes on to ask that Karl Rove look at the "exit polls" that show that Mike Castle "would've lost to Christine."
Oh, New York's in. "Carl Paladino showed early promise," Bret Baier inexplicably claims, but sadly he couldn't eat enough Democrats to gain an advantage over his opponent, Mr. Sandra Lee.
8:40 PM EDT: Richard Blumenthal will go to the Senate -- or at least years from now he'll claim he served in the U.S. Senate. Linda McMahon will go back to killing wrestlers. Perriello loses in Virginia, which proves that President Obama will be a one-term president -- he should probably hand over the keys to the teleprompter to Hillary, right now.
While Fox focuses on Perriello, MSNBC much more interested in Manchin in West Virginia. And Fox moves on to Alan Grayson losing! O'Reilly on Alan: "I've seen lowlifes -- never lower than him. Except for the criminals." (I'm going to assume by criminals" he means Ollie North and Glenn Beck.)
(Electable Blanche Lincoln has lost and no one in the world misses her. Here's former White House staffer Kal Penn celebrating.)
Michael Steele just finished defending his tenure on CNN and has moved on to MSNBC.
8:20 PM EDT: Fox breaking story of people who don't call themselves Tea Partiers but still vote for Republicans wide open. Also: Florida Tea Party supporters went 84 percent for Marco Rubio and 89 percent of Kentucky Tea Party supporters voted for Rand Paul. (Who did the rest of those Tea Partiers vote for? Cleon Skousen?)
Then Fox said "ELECTION ALERT" and cut to some sort of wedding band playing at Rand Paul's headquarters. And then they went to commercial.
8:15 PM EDT: Joe Trippi and Juan Williams and Karl Rove is a weird panel. At least there are only three of them.
Wolf Blitzer: "Everyone remembers Christine O'Donnell..." like, from like 10 seconds ago, when you last heard about her. Meanwhile a bunch of incredibly safe incumbents have won. Karl Rove says Christine O'Donnell was "right on the issues" but also, he suggests, she was a weird lady who said crazy things.
Fox would like to just keep talking about Marco Rubio, rising star, self-made guy. When will he run for president? Juan Williams says he'll win the Hispanic vote! MSNBC is more interested in the Democrat who won Mike Castle's Delaware House seat. Keith Olbermann has said "bellwether" one hundred times. Bill O'Reilly says Arianna will hire Alan Grayson.
7:45 PM EDT: CBS calls Delaware for Chris Coons, because of Gawker, and sexism. World War II history enthusiast Rich Iott has lost, just as Rick Sanchez predicted.
Ohio and Florida gubernatorial races are neck-and-neck, with Rand Paul supporters stepping on all necks involved.
7:30 PM EDT: Wolf Blitzer is literally impossible to pay attention to. If Manchin wins, it is either evidence that there is or isn't a "wave," according to the CNN panel. Ed Schultz explains the West Virginia race: Manchin is well-liked in West Virginia, despite his "suffering a tragic loss of life." Man, a Republican hasn't lost to a dead guy since Ashcroft in 2000.
And, oh god, Chris Wallace has a little whiteboard. He does not have enough room on his little whiteboard to list the House races he is actually talking about. (Thoracic surgeon Larry Bucshon is leading in Indiana 8 -- good cycle for Tea Partiers with medical degrees.)
7:15 PM EDT: Hooray, Shep's on! Also Rand Paul and Dan Coats are Senators now. It is too early for David Gergen to make any definitive statements about anything. Eliot Spitzer is talking up a storm. Kathleen Parker has not yet said a word.
6:55 PM EDT: Juan Williams refers to John Boehner as a "compromising, deal-making leader" who is "willing to play ball." Howard Fineman reports that the Rand Paul people love Mitch McConnell. Charles Krauthammer announces that this Senate election is a "comeuppance" for "arrogance."
6:30 PM EDT: Sarah Palin has advice for Barack Obama -- oddly it is exactly the same advice that most reasonable centrist columnists will offer Obama tomorrow: Move to the center!
(Wolf is just doing his patented "randomly throwing it to people in different places and pretending to understand what they say and then throwing it to someone else for a while and then wandering over to a table full of pundits" thing.)
6:20 PM EDT: First Luke Russert sighting! Russert can confirm that John Boehner is at his apartment, right now. He closes by declaring John Boehner the probable speaker of the 113th Congress, which is the one after the next one. Up next on Fox: Governor Sarah Palin! (Wolf Blitzer has moved on to Yemen terror.)
6:10 PM EDT: Chris Matthews repeats his final word from the end of the 5 p.m. hour (subject: better words would've saved President Obama) at the beginning of the 6 p.m. hour on CNN. Why didn't Obama explain all his deficit-busting spending? It is true that Obama never explained that the deficit is massive in large part because revenues plummeted due to a massive global financial crisis, and we can't expect voters -- or Chris Matthews -- or understand things unless the president explains it slowly and clearly. ("All 435 House seats at stake tonight," CNN graphics claim. News, I'm sure, to the hundreds of safe incumbents.)
Keith Olbermann: "Chuck has the special numbers."
5:45 PM EDT: Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly have an amazing night planned for us. With "the touch screen" and "the Fox big board!" ABC News is planning good things, too. They even uninvited Andrew Breitbart from their election night coverage, which led, predictably, to a big tantrum (ACORN Soros Media Matters Soros etc.). CNN already has 400 people at a big table saying incredibly predictable things to Wolf Blitzer. Glenn Beck is predicting hyperinflation, after the break. First polls close in 15 minutes -- exit polls indicate that John Boehner is already our new President.