The most popular Tweets of all time.
Barack Obama wasn’t just the winner in the US Presidential Election Tuesday night. He also scored last night with the two most popular Tweets of all time.
The first Tweet had amassed over half a million Retweets by Wednesday morning. The second Tweet was close behind.
I am not a follower of President Obama, so I did not receive those Tweets myself. Instead, I heard about them while watching the election coverage on CNN Tuesday, and read about them today.
There aren’t many that I follow, and truth be told with everything else I’ve got going on I have difficulty keeping up with the ones I have. But it would have been pretty cool to receive those Tweets last night.
Another great thing about Election Day.
There was a lot that happened Tuesday night around the United States of America. Let’s not let one of the most important ones slip away without calling attention to it.
Four states had a referendum on their ballots for same-sex marriage. I put that in italics because it needs to stand out. It’s very important that it stand out.
While there might be some who say that the concept is wrong, or “what’s wrong with those four states?”, I say: What took so long?
Or, perhaps even better: Why only FOUR states?
The New York Times’ Erik Eckholm writes:
Gay rights advocates savored multiple victories on Wednesday, with the first election victories for same-sex marriage in Maine, Maryland and Minnesota, the election in Wisconsin of the nation’s first openly gay senator and the re-election of President Obama, who had taken a risk by endorsing same-sex marriage.
“It truly was a milestone year,” said Chad Griffin, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, which raised millions of dollars for this year’s campaigns. “We had success across the board and across the country.”
In what some called a clear sign that public opinion was shifting, voters in Maine and Maryland endorsed same-sex marriage, the first time that such rights have been approved at the ballot box. In Washington State, where ballots on a similar measure were still trickling in by mail, approval maintained a small lead. Supporters declared victory, saying they were confident that the margin would hold or increase.
While six states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage through judicial or legislative decisions, voters elsewhere had rejected it more than 30 times in a row until Tuesday.
Minnesota residents on Tuesday rejected a proposal to amend the State Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman; similar measures have been enshrined in the constitutions of 30 states. A state law barring same-sex marriage remains on the books in Minnesota, but with the defeat of the amendment, the door remains open to a change in the law by the Legislature or the courts.
In another sign of shifting attitudes, a drive by social conservatives in Iowa to unseat David S. Wiggins, one of seven State Supreme Court justices who voted unanimously in 2007 to legalize same-sex marriage, fell short. Only two years ago, three other justices who faced similar electoral challenges were voted out as conservatives, supported by out-of-state donations, argued that the court had overstepped its role.
Maine voters, who three years ago rejected a law to authorize same-sex marriage, also reversed themselves. With 85 percent of the ballots counted, the tally stood at 53.2 percent voting yes to 46.8 percent saying no.
Opponents of same-sex marriage, noting that they had been outspent three to one in the state ballot campaigns, vowed to carry on with what they call the defense of traditional marriage. “Though we are disappointed over these losses, we remain faithful to our mission and committed to the cause of preserving marriage as God designed it,” said Brian S. Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage.
“We knew long ago that we faced a difficult political landscape with the four marriage battles occurring in four of the deepest blue states in America,” Mr. Brown said in a written statement. “As our opponents built a huge financial advantage, the odds became even steeper.”
In Baltimore, supporters of the measure cheered Tuesday night for Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat who had strongly promoted it. Mr. O’Malley said that the people of the state had come together to say “that every child’s home deserves to be protected equally under the law.” With nearly all of the votes counted, the tally was 52.1 percent for same-sex marriage and 47.9 percent against it.
These four join Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and the District of Columbia in approval of same-sex marriages. Three of these–New Jersey, California and Oregon–give same-sex marriages all the state rights of heterosexual, more traditional unions. Another 12 states recognize “domestic partnerships” or “civil unions,” which is not at all the same thing.
To put this in perspective: in the past decade, 30 of 31 similar voting measures have failed, according to the nonpartisan Initiative & Referendum Institute of the University of Southern California.
Of re-election and election nights.
Like much of America, I watched the Election Night results. I chose CNN, which has been my choice for a couple of presidential election nights now.
Growing up, we watched NBC News with Chet Huntley and David Brinkley. As a child, I can remember how amusing it was to watch Brinkley, with his strange voices and vocal mannerisms. I recall thinking, “He acts like Mommy and Daddy do when they come home from parties,” by that I mean, inebriated. As the years went on I grew to especially appreciate him, and when he made the move to ABC News and was working with Ted Koppel the two of them were a joy to behold.
I also enjoyed Peter Jennings very much, and would sometimes flip over to Tom Brokaw. With all of them gone or off the air now, I started watching the network that was basically nothing until they exploded (ahem) on the scene with their coverage of the Gulf War in 1991.
This was the 11th election that I watched “with understanding.” I had many questions for my father growing up as to what all was involved–the Electoral College, the two-party system, why there were political conventions, what it meant for those of us in America and in free nations around the world to be able to vote. In 1972 I was old enough to understand on my own, so I count that as the first real election that I followed.
I’ve voted each time I was legally allowed to do so. I’ve seen the candidate I liked lose probably as much as I’ve celebrated a winner.
I was elated to see Barack Obama win re-election last night. I feel no need to apologize for my feelings on that. Still, this is a public forum and I mean no offense to anyone…or, to be a poor sport. It could just as easily have gone the other way.
And, as I have done for four decades, I stayed up afterwards and listened to what the analysts had to say about what had just happened. To me, that’s fascinating stuff.
Some people follow the Olympics every four years: Summer, Winter or both. The Election Night coverage is my Olympics. It also happens every four years.
There will be things that we can’t begin to dream or conceive of on Election Night 2016. Issues that we don’t even see on the horizon now that will play a big part then. New challenges for all of us, and especially the candidates.
I’m looking forward to it.