|Words and photo by F LoBuono|
From Iowa, running through New Hampshire, Long Island, Ohio, Virginia, Las Vegas, and ultimately here in New York, it was my duty, honor, and privilege to have witnessed this most challenging and historic campaign season. It culminated in every way last night at the Jacob Javits Center in midtown Manhattan.
And, I was there to witness it.
Beginning yesterday afternoon, I arrived at the Javits to join my crewmates in covering Hillary Clinton's election nights headquarters that were being created there. The stage and evening's festivities were scheduled for the brilliant, all-glass main hall of the exhibition center. I had been there with the crew for the previous two days preparing for this night. I can testify that no expense was spared in staging the event. It was to be a spectacular affair. And, the metaphor of having the evening potentially culminate in the election of this Nation's first female President under a proverbial glass ceiling was not lost on the thousands of technicians, reporters, and news crews that were descending on the place. Bleachers were created to hold hundreds of rabid supporters who would attend. Huge press risers were created for the journalists and crews there to observe the festivities. It was planned to be a joyous celebration. And, in the beginning, it felt like one.
A few hours later, it turned out to me like a funeral.
Of course, until the polls closed everything being reported was pure speculation. Still, the excitement level in the hall was high. Quite frankly, based on most polls, the majority of journalists were at least expecting a Clinton victory. It was also a spectacular late fall day. So, light was pouring into the hall, bathing it in an almost ethereal light, affirming their expectations. But, as the light changed, so did the mood. It was palpable. Everyone, not only the reporters, but their support staff as well could FEEL things begin to slip away from Clinton. Darkness fell on the Javits - and the Clinton dream.
By the time we had loaded our last case on the truck to return our gear to our broadcast center, the dawn had barely broken. The metaphor of going from light to dark, back to light again was a profound experience for me, and, I expect, others. Not only reporters, but technicians and the like, sensed that a new day had clearly dawned - physically and metaphorically. The meaning of which is a post for another day.
After a grueling 17-hour work day, my body aches and my mind is on fire. The prospect of a future is uncertain at best. Perhaps, that's as it should be. The American process, for better or worse, has worked once again. As is our tradition, THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN. At least, that is our hope. . .