What, you were looking at CNN.com all Tuesday night? Why weren't you reading our staff blog, Navel Gazing? Here's what you missed from intrepid bloggers Gustavo Arellano and Luke Y. Thompson in Santa Ana and Derek Olson in Newport Beach:
4:30 p.m., The Quill, Santa Ana
"I didn't vote for a Democrat, I can tell you that!" a loud, hefty woman opines. "I don't want to see a ______ or a _______ get in!" [Those blanks are not euphemisms; she simply breathed hard rather than say the obvious.] "America's not ready for a woman president in these days."
What if it were you?
"It wouldn't be me. But Oprah's probably gonna run in four to eight years."
She would probably win, someone suggests.
"And then Ellen DeGeneres. She'd be worse!"
7:31 p.m., Obama Headquarters, Santa Ana
SanTana council members Michelle Martinez and David Benavides work their mobiles, as photographers snap away. Meanwhile, a skinny twentysomething chick wearing a knit cap lets out a deep sigh. "If I hear Hillary's name one more time . . . " she trails off. A Latino in a green Dodgers hat finishes the thought: "You'll scream."
7:47 p.m., Pangea, Santa Ana
Chris Prevatt stands inside Pangea with a smile and a hands-free cell phone. He's one of the guys behind the Liberal OC, the lefty component to Orange County's political blogosphere. The restaurant is hosting a poll-viewing party for Democrats, and Prevatt is going to report live from here while others file from across the county. "We'll have people posting the results live on our blog," Prevatt says. "This is gonna be a fun night."
9:13 p.m., Pangea, Santa Ana
"Ah, shit!" Phil Bacerra exclaims as he sees the early results for Santa Ana's Measure D term-limit extension. Measure D (D is for Developers) is currently winning by a nearly 60-40 margin, and the No on Measure D troops—Orange Juice bloggers Tish Leon and Thomas Anthony Gordon, among others—have arrived at Pangea and look glum.
Leon tries to muster a smile. "They say that the early results of a vote usually predict whether something will win or lose," she says. "But I talked to everyone I know, and they all voted no." She goes outside with her No on Measure D group, who stand, long-faced, around a laptop.
"I hate to sound like the eternal optimist," Bacerra says as he sees the results. But reality sets in. "Fuck!" he whispers. "Fuck!"
10:26 p.m., Classic Q's, Newport Beach
Ron Paul lost. Nooo! Well, let's do a shot for him anyway, says Huntington Beach supporter James Sugra, because there ain't no party like a Ron Paul party because a Ron Paul Party don't stop . . . to consider whether half the country still doesn't know who he is (three-quarters think he's crazy, and 90 percent don't read books).
But apparently a few—like this group of about 20 who have assembled at Classic Q's—watch YouTube, where we've been having our minds blown for the past year via MySpace bulletins from our crazy friends. Wait, the government doesn't print the money; it's actually a series of private banks? Wait, money is actually a meaningless piece of paper? The Rothschilds own everything, and 9/11 was faked? My brain is, like, exploding, man. Somebody give me a Fresca.
Sugra has a right to talk because on Nov. 5, Paul raised $4.3 million, the most money for a candidate in a single day in the history of the world.
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That money-raising question introduces some interesting options for the 72-year-old media darling (or leper, whatever): Can Ron Paul be the one to transcend party politics and become a movement in itself?
Subcomandante Allen Bartlett seems to think so. "How it will work out logistically, we're still not yet sure," he says. "But this is a revolution."
11:04 p.m., Pangea, Santa Ana
The Measure D gap has shrunk somewhat, but the No on Measure D crowd has already lapsed into gallows humor, sensing the impending passage of the initiative. "We already saw the bulldozers driving up Flower Street," Orange Juice blogger Thomas Anthony Gordon cracks. "By the time all the votes are in, [the historic] Logan [barrio] will just be a pile of timber!"
For more election-night fun, including video from Luke Y. Thompson and photos by Jack Gould, go to blogs.ocweekly.com/navelgazing.