“This is like a too long car ride home from the beach in a too tight bathing suit.” – “Ratherism” via Mike Allen on “Morning Joe”

THERE IS nothing like a “Ratherism.” It leads this white board hang out, which will be updated all day as everyone votes.

But before we get started on a long day we’ll spend together, the split screen here on the east coast includes our friends up north and the reality of their lives amid an exciting Election Day.


As to “Ratherisms”…

In my house, growing up with my big brother and political mentor, who ended up in the Missouri state senate, but also ran for Congress (he was a pro ERA, pro choice Republican in the Reagan era, so it didn’t turn out well), Larry was always quick with a home spun political quip. Before the modern era of social media and computers, what this meant was a politician reaching into the local pulse of the people he needed to vote for him and delivering a line that was meant to show a politician’s real guy-ness. A witticism that today is representative of a bygone era. Today, Larry and I text back and forth more than we talk on the phone! Today will be an exception. But it’s not Election Day unless I’m dishing it out with my big brother.

Dan Rather offered up another charmer today on “Morning Joe” when he was asked about the race on Election Day and President Obama’s chances.

“If he has a lead it’s as thin as turnip soup.” – Dan Rather.

I disagree, with caveats. Team Obama getting out their vote is the big issue. But if that happens, Mitt Romney can’t compete on demographics, whether it’s African Americans or Hispanics. Obama has an advantage with women, while Romney has the identical advantage with men, but they have settled to even numbers for both, so they may neutralize one another if the prognostications hold.

For Romney, seniors, who are always dependable, and white voters have to come out in huge numbers to neutralize the demographic disadvantage Romney has, which for Hispanics is even larger than John McCain’s, because Romney hasn’t brought in as many as McCain did in ’08.

What else to look for and when to focus on what’s happened in voting booths across the country?

At 7:00 p.m., look to Loudoun County in Virginia as a “leading indicator” of what’s happening. Additionally, Prince William County, Virginia will too.

Hamilton County in Ohio will be a tell as well.

Mike Allen on “Morning Joe” pointed to the youth voting totals.

So, it finally has begun. I’ve got to tell you, I just love Election Day!

As for all of you emailing me for comment, I just can’t get to everyone’s emails, so please jump into the comments.

Let’s have some fun.

As to the post-election spin, I’ve already written that Republicans and Mitt Romney can blame Sandy all they want, but there’s simply no there there. John Heilemann agrees.

More than a few Republicans are already blaming Sandy for the defeat that Romney is likely to suffer ““ but this is the purest bullshit, for the Republican’s post-Denver momentum had already stalled out well before the hurricane hit. What’s true, however, is that two or three weeks ago, Team Romney was fully convinced, and not entirely without reason, that victory was within their grasp. The reality now, though, is that this is no longer true. That Romney and his people have not yet completely wrapped their heads and hearts around this is unsurprising: In politics, as in life, the recognition of deep loss comes slowly and with no small degree of anguish before it takes hold fully. But, eventually, take hold it does. And if loss is to be Romney’s fate, the question for him will be how he handles it, for the ferocity of the reaction of many of his supporters ““ those who despise Obama with a passion so raw and burning it is hard to comprehend ““ will be breathtaking, and perhaps not a little scary. – John Heilemann

– From the Joe Biden pool report:

VPOTUS and the Biden women – Dr. Biden, daughter Ashley and granddaughters Naomi and Natalie – mingled and sat for breakfast at the Landmark Restaurant, a Greek diner at 3380 St. Claire Ave. In Cleveland.

Clientele mostly African American. Some good color, and the and the 2016 watch continues.

VP first entered the narrow diner side where you had a handful of patrons lined along the countertop, and also in booths toward back. “Can I get a picture with you?” VP asked one woman. Ashley took the picture.

Compliments one man on his “biceps” – said he looks like he played football. Man was wearing a T-shirt that said “King of the Jungle.”

VP also posed with a group of staff, including Mary Ulisses, who was celebrating a birthday. She announced to the pool: When you do the age, it’s 21.

VP talks to a young girl, asks if she voted. “You did!? So did my granddaughter.”

VP says he wants to get a cup of coffee.

Pool then moved into a larger dining room part of the restaurant.

The VP and family entered from the opposite end, and started greeting patrons booth by booth.

The first group included some teachers. “Oh you’re teachers!?” Dr. Biden said.

VP apologizes at the next booth for the commotion, saying he just came to get some spaghetti “and Joe Biden shows up.”

Turns around to two older gentlemen and VP observes that he also looks like he plays football. Points to his body man Fran Person, who he says played lineman at South Carolina.

“Every place we go we keep picking up teammates. I got you, man,” VP says.

Then, VP walks to a longer table with about 6 or 7 people, including what TV pooler Carrie Dann of NBC accurately describes as the number one Biden superfan, Twana Matthews. She says how thrilled she was to meet him, and proudly announces her full name, as well as “my fiance Andre.” Per VP staff, full name Andre McCray.

“This looks like a power table,” VP says.

Matthews tells VP she voted for him first thing, 6:30am. “You know 6:30 votes count more than 8:30 votes!” VP jokes.

They take a picture. Matthews struggling to contain excitement.

Another woman introduces her family, I believe she was Andre’s mom.

“I’m going to ask you one question, Mr. Biden. After Obama wins this election are you going to run?”

“Oh, I’m going to go back home and run for county council or something,” VP responds.

“You want some of my food?” Matthews asks. “That’s a generous woman.” VP responds.

He then introduces the Biden women. Matthews wants to take a picture with them now. And VP takes it on her smartphone.

She then asks the women if they want some of her food too. Dr. Biden politely declines, says they’re ordering something.

VP then says to fiance Andre: “You’ve got your hands full. You are a lucky man. We both married up.”

As VP moves on, Matthews cheers: “Biden! Biden!”

Pool asked VP if he saw the Romney and Ryan planes on tarmac, and if he had a message for them.

“When we landed they said they were there. That’s good,” he answered.

The bicep guy had come back over during this and posed for a photo with the VP. “I got him, too man.” VP says. “I just want to make something clear: I never looked that good.”

VP then greets a woman who says she came back from school in New York to vote. He asks where in NY. She said Staten Island. “I made it through Sandy.”

“Oh gosh. Oh man, you got hit.” Then says to her: “I’m going up there on Friday.” This has not been announced, and per staff the date/location have not been confirmed. Says to her: when I come, “don’t pretend you don’t know me.”

Pool then asked if he had spoken with POTUS. “I haven’t. I will. I’m going to talk to him soon — not soon, when we land in Chicago.”

VP then sits with his family at a table. On one side: Dr. Biden, Natalie and Ashley. On the other: Naomi and VP.

Then staffer, a daughter of the owner, tells VP how honored they are to have him at their restaurant. Her mom has owned it for 22 years and is living American dream, having come here from Greece. VP gets up to speak to the mother, dropping Paul Sarbanes’ name and saying he had just been to Greece.

– Fox News alternate reality: Black Panther alert!

11:00 a.m. – Interviews today for Obama, via pool report:

WHO: Des Moines, IA
KWWL: Cedar Rapids, IA
WTMJ: Milwaukee, WI
WKYC: Cleveland, OH
WKRC, Cincinnati, OH
WFOR: Miami, FL
WTVT: Tampa, FL
WJLA: Washington, DC
KMGH: Denver, CO
KVVU: Las Vegas, NV

– From one pool report earlier today, Obama doing some campaigning, too:

Pool entered OFA field office at Harper Ave and Hyde Park Blvd at 8:56 am. Much applausefrom the staffers for Potus, who is dressed in a blue suit, white shirt and a striped blue, white and gray tie.

Potus takes off his jacket, places it on a chair and says, “Let’s get busy, we’ve got to round up some votes.”

Potus sitsdown next to a woman in a yellowish green shirt and picks up an old school,non-smart flip-style cell phone. Four other people sit at his table. They keep doing work as he makes calls.

“Hi is this Annie? This is Barack Obama.”

The caller may not have known who it was.

“This is Barack Obama. You know, the president?”

Caller is from Wisconsin.

“She was very nice to me even though she initially didn’t know who I was,” Obama said when the call ended.

Second call. Also to Wisconsin.

“Hi is this Karen? Karen this is Barack Obama. I’m calling to say thank you for working so hard.”

Third call. Pool has been moved back and it is harder to hear Potus.

Potus points to pool. “Hey did you guys vote?”

Mixed response.

“Good,” Potus said.

Fourth call.

“Hey May (or Maeve, it was hard to hear by now)…”

Fifth call.

“Hey Donna can you hear me? This is Barack Obama how you doing?”

He thanks her for her work as a neighborhood team leader.

“With all the work you guys are doing I’m sure were going to win Wisconsin.”

Potus turns to press.

“I’ve got one more and then I’ve got something for you,” he said.

Sixth call.

“Hi is this Jill? This is Barack Obama. This is your president. You’re working so hard I had to say thanks. No, it is. I’m calling some of our best volunteers up in Madison.”

Jill apparently puts someone else on the phone and Potus again says hello.

“You guys are out there just tearing it up,” he says. “Proud of you guys.”

Potus stands and turns to press.

“Listen, I just want to say how grateful Michelle and I am for all the families and all the communities who have welcomed us into their homes, in some cases, into their neighborhoods and have in some cases worked so hard on our behalf.”

“The great thing about these campaigns is after all the TV ads and all the fundraising and all the debates and all the electioneering, it comes down to this. One day and these incredible folks who are working so hard, making phone calls, making sure that people go out to vote. So I just want to say thank you to the Americanpeople. It’s a source of great optimism for me whenever I come to Election Day because I end up having so much confidence in the decency and goodness and wisdom of the very folks who are working so hard trying to move their own small piece of this country forward.”

“I also want to say to Governor Romney, congratulations on a spirited campaign. I know that his supporters are just as engaged and just as enthusiastic and working just as hard today. We feel confident we’ve got the votes to win that it’s going to depend ultimately on whether those votes turn out. And so I would encourageeverybody on all sides just to make sure that you exercise this precious right that you have that people fought so hard for, for us to have.”

“I’m looking forward to the results. And I expect that we’ll have a good night. But no matter what happens, I just want to say how much I appreciate everybody who has supported me, everybody who has worked so hard on my behalf. And again, I want to congratulate Gov. Romney and his team for a hard-fought race as well. OK?”

As reporters were being ushered from the room after remarks, POTUS returned to the phonetable, picked up a Starbucks cup and took a drink. It was not his cup. “That’s coffee, not tea,” he said. “I thought that was my tea.” Then he joked with the volunteer who owned the cup. “You don’t have a cold do you?”

CNN: Romney breaks with Election Day tradition for candidates, ad campaign stops.

10:30 a.m. – Chris Jansing reports it will be a “cash bar” at Mitt Romney’s post-election party.