By Merrill Lynn Hansen
Sunday, November 1
Dear Campaign Diary,
The presidential election is in two days, and I'm writing to you, because my kids think it will be healthier for me than yelling at the TV and calling them to talk about how much I hate Donald Trump. They've also pointed out to me that I've been posting comments on Facebook in all caps, with expletives, and multiple exclamation points. They are concerned that there are some very weird people on Facebook who might see what I am writing and find out where I live.
Trump came to Michigan two days ago and told his followers that their enemies are no longer limited to people who wear masks, his political opponents, the fake news media, and every person who has mailed in their ballots. Now they should hate doctors, because according to the President, whenever a patient with COVID-19 dies from cancer, pneumonia, or some other disease, the doctors report the cause of death as COVID-19. Per Trump, doctors earn $2,000 for every COVID-19 death they report. Several hours after the rally, I read a Facebook comment by a Trump supporter who claimed that he had a friend whose cousin’s husband broke every bone in his body in a motorcycle accident, but his doctor reported the cause of death as COVID-19.
The good news is that President Obama and Joe Biden campaigned in Flint and Detroit yesterday. Obama told the socially distanced crowd and the people in their cars that he thought Trump's obsession with having large super-spreader rallies might be because no one attended his birthday parties when he was young. I'm certain that every mental-health professional who heard that comment agreed. I felt a sense of relief knowing that Obama and Biden were here in Michigan. I wasn't able to listen to their entire speeches, but I felt the good vibes when they were here.
Oh no! I just heard Trump is coming back to Michigan, to host two more super-spreaders. I think the only reason he's coming back here is because he knows he's going to lose Michigan, and he wants to rile up his base so they'll breathe all over us Democrats here.
I'm feeling very anxious about the election.
My head hurts.
Monday, November 2
Dear Campaign Diary,
I fell asleep with the TV on last night, and as I was waking up, I heard Joe Scarborough say he didn't think there was any way Biden could win Florida tomorrow. C'mon! I thought that if Biden wins Florida, he will be the president-elect by the time I go to sleep tomorrow night. Oh, well, I'll check back later.
I tuned into the news throughout the day, and had trouble keeping track of how many times Trump said Biden and the Democrats are trying to steal the election. I found it even more difficult to keep track of how many times he said that Amy Coney Barrett (whom he refers to "the highest court in the nation") won't let that happen.
Trump keeps filing lawsuits to manipulate the outcome of the election, by preventing legally cast votes from being counted. Today, he filed a lawsuit to prevent 127,000 votes in Texas from being counted. His constitutional experts (sons Don Jr. and Eric) have advised him that if no votes are counted anywhere, he automatically remains in office. I wonder if the American taxpayers are paying for his lawsuits.
One of the pollsters I've watched before just mentioned Virginia and Colorado as a path to the presidency for Biden. Virginia and Colorado? He never mentioned them before. Nobody has. I forgot that Virginia and Colorado were states.
Trump is publicly trashing Dr. Fauci again. I hate Trump!
I think I'm getting an ulcer.
Election Day/ Tuesday November 3
Dear Campaign Diary,
I woke up this morning, and heard Joe Scarborough discussing Trump's texts trashing Lady Gaga and Jon Bon Jovi, who are ardent Biden supporters. Really? We're in the middle of a pandemic during the most important election in recent history, people are dying, the economy is terrible and Trump is complaining about Lady Gaga and Jon Bon Jovi? One of the thousands of reasons why I didn't vote for Trump is because he likes Ted Nugent.
I'm feeling a sense of gloom and doom. I keep remembering how excited I was on election night in 2016, until I realized that Hillary had lost. I'm preparing myself for a long night (a few long nights) that might not end well.
I checked in on cable news for a short while to hear various pollsters' forecasts regarding the presidential race. Today, they were in complete agreement: "Trump might win, or Biden might win.” Apparently, they haven't forgotten election night 2016 either.
I took a break for a while, and then got up enough courage to turn on the TV to watch the election night coverage. But there's too much information for me to process. "One of the difficulties Trump faces is his need to win at least some states that are leaning towards Biden. A win in Arizona could indicate Trump's chances are better than the polls suggest. However, there is reason for the Trump campaign to worry that some states that backed him in 2016 will opt for Biden this year.")
Steve Kornacki is trying to explain everything to me. No really--he's looking right at me. He's got his Magic Board and his calculator, and somehow he gets the number of votes that have been counted; he punches them into his calculator; then he changes his Magic Board, looks at me again, turns and writes the percentage of votes that Trump or Biden is leading by. Then, he looks into the camera, directly at me, the way my son does, when he's trying to explain something to me, and gives up and says, "Don't worry about it, Mom, I'll explain it all to you later."
One Republican Senate seat flips to Democrat. Yay!
One Democratic Senate seat flips to Republican. Shit!
I just heard a pundit say that Trump has worked very hard at making himself repulsive to women. I don't think he had to work too hard at that.
I’m not sure if it's my imagination, but I think Trump is winning every southern state where his supporters’ parents are brothers and sisters. (I know I'm being mean, Dear Diary, but I can't help it.)
Oy! Michigan might not report until Friday.
Steve Kornacki just said that the Trump and Biden campaigns view Florida and Texas as "going for Trump.” (BREATHE!)
Thank goodness. James Carville just said that "the first thing is, every Democrat, just put the razor blades and Ambien back in the medicine cabinet. We're going to be fine." I'm going to trust him, and put the razor blades away, but I'd take the Ambien if I had any.
I think I have an irregular heartbeat.
Wednesday, November 4
Dear Campaign Diary,
I woke up this a.m. and heard Joe Scarborough say that he thought Biden was going to win, because Wayne County, Michigan has thousands of votes that haven't been counted. His panel of guests all thought Biden would carry Arizona and Wisconsin. But as I was falling back to sleep, I heard that around 2:30 a.m., Trump told his supporters (followers) at the White House, that he wanted the counting of all votes to stop, because he had already won the election. He accused Biden of cheating because "they're finding Biden's ballots everywhere.” Where is "everywhere"? I checked under my bed and pillow to see if I could find any, but there weren't any there.
I saw an official on TV this afternoon say it would take a "state trooper to get him to stop counting legal ballots,” unless he is directed to do so by the Secretary of State. I don't know who he was, or where he was from, but every attorney general in the key states Trump is illegally claiming he won have said the same thing.
The Post Office has been sued because it hasn't been timely in delivering ballots to certain states that were postmarked prior to election day, Of course, these are the ballots that Trump doesn't want counted. I'm sure it's just a coincidence that the mail delays in certain key states, began as soon as Trump's Republican megadonor friend, Louis DeJoy, was appointed Postmaster General by the Trump-appointed Republican Board of Governors.
Rumors are flying that Trump has ordered Bill Barr to appoint a special counsel to investigate Hunter and Joe Biden. I think that he wants Rudy Giuliani as special counsel.)
Trump is demanding a recall if it's close in Wisconsin.
Biden says he doesn't need Pennsylvania or North Carolina. Steve Kornacki says the Carolinas are trending towards Trump. (I'll never listen to James Taylor sing "Carolina" again.)
TRUMP SAID HE HEREBY CLAIMS MICHIGAN!!!! I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS!! WE DECIDE IF HE CAN HAVE US!! HE CAN'T JUST CLAIM US!! STEVE, TELL TRUMP HE CAN'T CLAIM US!!
I just heard that the latest controversy is Sharpiegate! What the hell is Sharpiegate and what does it have to with who's winning the presidential campaign? Does the possible historic shift of Arizona from a red state to a blue state depend upon the claim of one woman who said her vote for Trump was thrown out by the Secretary of State because she voted with a Sharpie that was provided to voters by poll workers?
Talk to me Steve!!!!
Pennsylvania might go to Biden!
Arizona might go to Trump!
WHAT happened to Georgia?
I think I have acid reflux.
Thursday, November 5
Dear Campaign Diary,
I woke up this morning, turned on the television, and learned that Donald Trump is still our President. He's never leaving. The Biden campaign is calm and steady. They said they are confident that Biden is going to win. The Trump campaign says Trump has already been reelected. I don't know why I turn the TV on.
had a self-imposed news blackout this afternoon, because I had to meet with a client and be pleasant, even though I suspect that he's a Trump supporter. Whenever he comes to the office, he always says he forgot his mask in the car, and I have to give him one to wear.
I know it might seem silly, but I am having a difficult time holding back tears, after having just heard some of the speech Trump gave at the White House tonight. He accused "his opponents" of "trying to steal the election" and every secretary of state, attorney general, poll worker and mail-in voter of being corrupt and conspiring to rig the election in states that he "claims" are his. It was democracy that allowed this man to become our president, and it is democracy that should decide whether he is reelected. I have never thought that he loved our country or respected the office of the presidency. To add insult to injury, he had notes, which indicated his enablers participated in the preparation of the most historic speech of Trump's presidency, and it was ugly.
Sharpiegate in Arizona is over! People love filling out their ballots with Sharpies. I suspect that same day voters who fill out their ballots in person using a Sharpie are Trump voters, and designated poll watchers from the Republican Party are making sure those ballots are counted, or Trump will take the matter to the Supreme Court.
All eyes are still on Pennsylvania! If Biden wins Pennsylvania, he's going to be our next President! But, I'm concerned about the Secretary of State of Pennsylvania. She's under a lot of pressure, because Trump doesn't want provisional ballots counted. Actually, he doesn't want any possible Biden votes counted, and he has been to court several times to stop the counting. When the Secretary of State was asked if she has security for the people counting the votes, she didn't say, "Oh, we don't worry about things like that. Everything is fine." I’m not saying that Trump is going to have a bad reaction if he loses Pennsylvania, but I keep remembering that during the 2016 campaign, he said he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue, and not lose any voters. If I lived in Pennsylvania, I'd be concerned that the geographic location for such a shooting hadn't changed from Fifth Avenue to somewhere in Pennsylvania.
Steve Kornacki says Trump may do well with the remaining mail-in ballots in Georgia, but the outstanding votes in the "bubbles" in Pennsylvania, are likely for Biden. I've watched election results for years, and I don't remember there ever being bubbles anywhere.
Supposedly, the most heavily secured location in the country is where Biden lives. Reports are that Biden is preparing for the possibility that he will win Pennsylvania. One pundit said Biden was "ready to celebrate tonight, and then get to work.”
Oh no--.Steve just crunched the numbers; talked about bubbles that haven't come in yet and said it will be hours before we know anything. I'm worried about him. If he announces that Biden won Pennsylvania, Trump will probably sue him for rigging his Magic Board.
I think there's something wrong with my eyes. I have double vision when I try to read the captions on the screen: BBREAKING NNEWS! TTOO CCLOSE TTO CCALL.
Friday, November 5
Dear Campaign Diary.
I just woke up, and I'm not going to turn on the TV. I'll get too upset if I hear that Donald Trump claimed Pennsylvania and doesn't have to give it back.
I rushed home from work tonight to turn on the TV. I missed Steve and his Magic Board and calculator. For the first time since I was ten, I like math. Steve is teaching me how to calculate percentages. I'm certain Biden is going to win Pennsylvania tonight.
Words I never want to hear Steve say again: "Too close to call."
Finally, despite all of the Trump lawsuits, the votes are still being counted in the remaining key states. Joe Biden just spoke to the American public. He was no longer campaigning for our votes. Instead, he thanked the 74 million people who voted for him and asked us all to be patient.
Steve just crunched some more numbers in his head; wrote some percentages on the Board and turned and looked directly into the camera so I could see him. He knows Biden is going to win Pennsylvania tomorrow, and now, I know.
I feel calm
Saturday, November 7
Dear Campaign Diary,
I JUST WITNESSED HISTORY!
At approximately 11:20 a.m., IT WAS ANNOUNCED THAT JOE BIDEN IS GOING TO BE THE 46TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES! OF AMERICA!
COVID-19 IS spiking all around the country, and that played a major part in why the President-Elect received 74 million votes; more votes than any presidential candidate in history. People trust that he and our new Vice President-Elect, Kamala Harris, our first black female vice-president, are going to do everything they can, to heal our country, physically, emotionally, and economically.
I don't think Donald Trump is ever going to acknowledge and respect the will of the people, and the integrity of democracy. I have no doubt, that is why he lost.
I feel great!
C'mon Diary. Let's go out to my car and honk the horn!
Merrill Hansen is a legal assistant, living in West Bloomfield, Michigan. She describes herself as a frustrated writer, who wishes she could be Nora Ephron (when she was alive), if only for a day. She is a news-, political- and FB-junkie, a combination that requires a constant reminder that she needs to take deep cleansing breaths when responding to people who don't agree with her.