Continuing my octennial tradition, I spent part of Election Night at the Ralph Nader party inside the National Press Club before taking a post-victory stroll around the White House. At Nader HQ, I had a very pleasant conversation with a Hit & Run-reading Nader-backer about Milton Friedman's ideas on the negative income tax.
The front of the White House, like indeed much of Washington D.C. right now, is a very big, very joyous young-people party. It's like Del Playa on a Friday, only starring every model who ever appeared in a Benetton ad. I saw two different two-man brass bands perform enthusiastically received versions of "When the Saints Go Marching In," which is a statement either about Hurricane Katrina, or about the limited repetoire of happy white dudes with trombones.
Unlike in 2000, the crowd outside was much more celebratory, much less shouting angry taunts in the direction of the presidential bedroom, for whatever little that's worth. It's a bit startling to have people roll down their windows and yell "O-ba-ma!" at you, but they seemed pleasant enough. Not for the first time, I wonder what it must feel like to vote for the winning team.