Scenes From the Todd Akin Campaign Watch Party
|Akin supporters begin to realize the evening may not be turning out as they'd planned.|
David Breed leans against the wall reading a thick paperback, A Mighty Fortress. "I've been to so many of these over the years," he explains. "I've been campaigning for Akin for thirteen years, since he moved from state congress to US Congress. This book is about Revolutionary War-fare combined with the space age. It's good."
At 9:10 p.m., Fox News projects victory for Claire McCaskill. One old man groans. His wife murmurs, "Oh, no." The room gets quiet. There are still sounds of chatter in the background, but individual mouths have stopped moving.
Fox reports that McCaskill had 55 percent of the vote, to Akin's 39 percent. Five agonizing minutes of Sarah Palin sharing her views of the election live from Wasilla later, Linda Becker, the Woman Who Stands With Akin, takes the stage.
"Even though you're seeing things up there on the screen about Claire McCaskill," she announces, "you should know that only twenty percent of the vote has come in and her lead has slipped from twenty percent to five percent."
The crowd cheers, but nobody looks very convinced.
Time drags by. On TV, Karl Rove gets to share his views on the election. The anchors promise that Peggy Noonan is next.
"The crowd needs to hear from Todd Akin," remarks an old woman named Betty. "Or at least somebody from the camp. Todd Akin himself won't come down until there's an announcement."
At 9:30, Peter Williams, the field representative for the St. Louis office of the Akin campaign, takes the stage to announce that Todd is on his way up. "I'm not sure what he wants to say," he says, but he urges everyone to move closer to the stage because Todd's a quiet guy. (A quiet guy whose inability to keep his big mouth shut probably cost him the election.)
Betty looks like she knows what Todd wants to say.