No doubt about it. It was an interesting night to be at the Board of Elections.
On an evening when it appears the shape and form of city government was changing right before our very eyes, it was neat to be at the epicenter of all the celebrating and tears and cheering and back slapping and giant bear hugs and happy disbelief among the first-time winners.
Leslie Ghiz saw me as she walked into the press room. I could not help myself and grinned from ear-to-ear. I was so happy for her and we gave each other a big hug and a kiss – not because I was rooting for her necessarily. It was just the moment, and journalist or not – you just feel happy for people who are just so rightfully happy for themselves. It was like few things I have experienced before – and never at the Board of Elections. You could have sliced the good karma in the room and served it up to outsiders like pumpkin pie.
Reporters, print and television alike, chatted among themselves and into TV cameras about how a new day seemed to be dawning in Cincinnati politics. Then you look around the room and see the new faces hugging the incumbents, then they shift quickly and start talking business with serious looks on their faces – staring fervently right into each others eyes, a glaze fixed on the future. You couldn’t help but feel a little hopeful.
There was a sense and chatter about how things look like they are going to be different than they have been in my memory and quite possibly the memory of many people in the room (I didn’t get around to asking Jim Tarbell – he’d know for sure). A new mayor, four new faces on City Council, even a radically different Cincinnati Public Schools school board. Wow. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens next.
[I took photos of part of the evening and recorded audio for Friday’s Cincinnati Advance Radio. We’ll be talking about the outcome of Tuesday’s election. Please tune in.]