1:58 a.m. November 7, 2012

In Conclusion

It’s a beautiful night in Las Vegas. I’m sitting on the wraparound terrace of NSFWCORP’s suite at The Cosmopolitan, breathing the cool desert air and staring down onto the lights of The Strip. After a day flying coach, this is decidedly more like it.

I feel like I’ve made it – and not just because I’m chilling in a luxury suite. I’ve also made it to my final destination after a sprint through Miami, Cleveland and Charlotte. And our team has neared the end of a 24-hour marathon session of writing, audio, and illustration the likes of which humanity has never seen. And did I mention I’m chilling in a luxury suite?

This is the last dispatch from the NSFWCORP madness we’ve called 24 Hours in America. Editor-in-Chief Paul Carr was going to write it, but he's currently wrapping up his tenth straight hour of audio hosting duties. So it falls to me, your humble Political Correspondent, to wrap this thing into a tidy bow. I will attempt to do so with a story, told in breathtaking historical present tense:

After arriving in Vegas tonight, I head out to the Mandalay Bay, site of the Nevada Democratic Party’s election party. Intern Chris had already visited the Republican Party party, graciously leaving the fun one to me. I soon learn that 40% of this Democratic party involves cheering or jeering at the news, which is playing on large screens next to the stage. 45% is about drinking and chatting with friends. And about 15% is listening to speeches, either on the news or in the room itself. A few highlights from the night:

  • Mitt Romney beginning his concession speech on television minutes after Congresswoman-elect Dina Titus begins hers in the room. The crowd starts booing, and someone cuts the TV feed until Titus is finished.

  • The feeling that, were I not happily married, this would be a very easy place to pick up women.
  • The woman wearing the holographic Democratic donkey glasses, next to the man wearing both those glasses and a jacket with a sparkly Obama head.
  • The relative decibel levels of cheers for the results of various ballot initiatives that pop up on the screen. Nevada Democrats really like gay marriage. But they LOVE marijuana.
  • Thinking that the man in the beard wearing a visor low over his eyes could be Zack Galifianakis. Realizing that it is indeed him, and that he’s with Ed Helms, too.
The lowlight:
  • Discovering that the cash bar charges $5 for a bottle of water. Come on, guys. What kind of socialist redistributionist paradise is this, anyway?
Price gauging aside, the point is that I feel extremely lucky to have had these experiences. Over the last 24 hours, across four swing states, I’ve been able to throw myself into the election headfirst. And my work has been but a fraction of the amazing coverage produced and supported by the rest of the NSFWCORP election team. Thanks for the opportunity, America. It’s been fun spending the day with you.