Are you having “fun” tonight? John King sure is. Over on CNN, the chief national correspondent is manning the map on the “magic wall” and telling anchor Wolf Blitzer how “fun” things like the count in Florida are. “This is why elections are fun,” he said at one point, talking with Blitzer about the continually changing results in Florida, in his trademark rapid-fire delivery. “It’s a lot of fun,” he reminded Blitzer later on.
King has also had “fun” identifying state colors on the map. At one point in the night, he told Democrats to “take a picture” while analyzing an early map that showed battleground states such as Florida, Georgia, and Texas as blue. “Look at that,” he exclaimed as he noted each state’s color. “This is all real,” he has assured viewers. “These are real votes.” Later, he marveled at a map on which early returns showed Texas, Kansas, and Missouri as blue. “That would be something,” he said. “In a few more hours, when we’re a few more espressos in, that would be something.”
Update, November 4, 12:15 a.m.: It’s been a few more hours, we’ve had a few more espressos, the map looks noticeably different, and John King hasn’t mentioned how much fun he’s having in a while. He is still just as fascinated with his two (two!) map boards, though. “People watching at home: Look at that!” he said, noting Virginia’s unusual red tint. (CNN eventually called Virginia for Biden.)
Along with that light choreography, King took to other calming activities as the night went on, like counting (to 270) and drawing (well, by accident).
As the night has gone on, however, he has become a bit less trusting of his beloved maps. “Maps can be deceptive,” he noted, as he began discussing the lack of early- and mail-ballot results in certain counties. “Just be careful,” he implored us. He also turned to sports, saying of the count in states like Pennsylvania, “If this is a baseball game, this is the second or third inning.” So as we hit the wee hours of November 4 and John King is still, somehow, at the magic wall, his refrain to us is also ours to him:
Update, November 4, 2:05 a.m.: Nearing 2 a.m. ET, King was still going strong, but his magic wall had started to revolt. After he took off the colors to zone in on some Georgia counties, he couldn’t bring them back, leaving us with an oddly soothing blank electoral map.
“Maps can be deceptive,” indeed. Otherwise, King has been going about business as usual. “For people at home who have been watching all night long, this is getting a bit redundant,” he admitted at one point. But as the man himself is still reminding us, “We have votes to count.”