The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sights and sounds from Election Night

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--> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically.



A little dash of red and a little dash of blue, mix in a sprinkle of frustration and what do you get? A wild Tuesday night:



Via The Hill’s Reid Wilson, “A record number of Virginia voters turned out to cast ballots in Tuesday’s elections, delivering a sharp rebuke to Democrats — and offering Republicans a preview of a path back to power ahead of next year’s midterm elections.”

“Those voters chose Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin (R), a former Carlyle Group chief executive who positioned himself alternatively as a nonthreatening suburban dad or a raging culture warrior, over former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), who tried to paint his rival as Donald TrumpDonald TrumpBiden heading to Kansas City to promote infrastructure package Trump calls Milley a 'f---ing idiot' over Afghanistan withdrawal First rally for far-right French candidate Zemmour prompts protests, violence MORE’s clone.” 

More analysis on yesterday’s elections:



Terry McAuliffe concedes: Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) formally conceded this morning, hours after Republican businessman Glenn Youngkin was projected to win.

Republicans are poised to sweep in Virginia: Including attorney general and the House of Delegates.  

Has New Jersey’s governor’s race been called?: Nope. It’s still too close to call. “With 84% of the vote in, Murphy was tied with Republican Jack Ciattarelli.” Where the race stands, from CNN:

Republicans are expanding the buffet: The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) added 13 Democratic House members to its list of targets. 

Live results from The Associated Press:  

Reaction from The New York Times’s Shane Goldmacher: “Credit where [it's] due: The NRCC releasing a list of 13 new House targets the morning after the election was very smart media narrative planning”

Happy post-election Wednesday! I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to  — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and  Facebook.

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  1. “A sharp rebuke for Biden” — Biden won Virginia in 2020, but his poll numbers have dipped.  
  2. “Democrats have a lot of work to do” — This is sending shockwaves through Democratic circles on what this means for 2022.
  3. “A new template for Republican victories” — Youngkin accepted Trump’s endorsement, but didn’t lean into the MAGA movement.
  4. “Culture wars keep getting hotter” — The vaccine mandate and how progressives want to teach American history were some of the biggest issues in the Virginia race.
  5. “Trump claims credit” — Trump thanked his base after Youngkin won.

More on each takeaway, from The Hill’s Niall Stanage:


This is a pretty interesting data point: The Hill’s Reid Wilson pointed out, “Terry McAuliffe got a higher vote share this year (48.55%) than he did in 2013, when he won VA GOV (47.8%). Big difference: No Libertarian candidate taking 6.5% of the vote this time around.” 

Before we knew Youngkin won: NBC’s Alex Seitz-Wald tweeted, “If Terry McAuliffe goes down, ‘I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach’ goes down as the most consequential gaffe since....???”


The vibe at the Youngkin victory party: “This is not a ‘Trumpy’ crowd at Youngkin. It feels like a Romney 2012 primary election night. I’ve seen precisely one MAGA hat. None of the vulgar slogans of rally or meme fame. It’s well-dressed, mostly older, mostly white folks sipping wine and IPAs.” (Via NBC’s Garrett Haake:

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzHospitals in underserved communities face huge cuts in reckless 'Build Back Better' plan To counter China, the Senate must confirm US ambassadors The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Congress avoids shutdown MORE (R-Texas) and his wife Heidi celebrated with the Youngkins: Photo:

*Covers eyes* 





Watch Youngkin’s remarks after winning:

How you know it’s an election night: Steve Kornacki wore his famous khakis!: 

Here’s a glimpse of Steve Kornacki’s notes




 From a McAuliffe supporter: “I did just see one @TerryMcAuliffe supporter with an entire bottle of Captain Morgan in his hand. So there’s that.” Via NewsNation Now’s Kellie Meyer)


Now you see it, now you don’t! *Poof* Now you see it again!:

House Democrats have readded paid family leave to their social spending bill.

How we know: Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiUS expected to announce diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics soon: report Pressure grows to remove Boebert from committees Lawmakers remember Bob Dole: 'Bona fide American hero' MORE (D-Calif.) announced the change in a letter this morning.

What now?: The House Rules Committee will meet later today to discuss the changes. Read Pelosi’s letter: 

Yes, but: “Pelosi stopped short of announcing a Rules Committee vote on the package, which would indicate that House leaders were poised to bring the bill to the floor for a vote.” 

So it’s not ~totally~ resolved. 

Doesn’t Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinTrump haunts Biden vaccine mandate in courts IRS data proves Trump tax cuts benefited middle, working-class Americans most Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Dems press drillers over methane leaks MORE (D-W.Va.) oppose this?: He hasn’t been supportive of including paid family leave in the bill so far. 

What we know, via The Hill’s Mike Lillis:




(From Republican operative Logan Dobson)


Shots shots shots shots shots, shots, everybody:

Via The Washington Post’s Lena G. Sun and Katie Shepherd, “Pediatricians are preparing to administer the nation’s first coronavirus children’s vaccine as early as Wednesday after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed off Tuesday night on giving the Pfizer-BioNTech shots to millions of kids ages 5 to 11.”  


Via The New York Times’s Tara Parker-Pope:


Via CNN’s Faye Chiu:  


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 46,176,578

U.S. death toll: 748,814

Breakdown of the numbers:


Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 424 million shots have been given. 

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 1.44 million doses

For context: The U.S. population is roughly 331 million. 

Breakdown of the numbers:



This is pretty wild — QAnon supporters believed JFK and JFK Jr. would reappear yesterday:

Hundreds of QAnon believers showed up in Dallas, Texas, yesterday, where they believed former President John F. Kennedy and his deceased son John F. Kennedy Jr. would reappear.

What they believed would happen: “They forecast the president’s son John F. Kennedy Jr., who has been dead for over 20 years, would appear at that spot, emerging from anonymity to become Donald Trump’s vice president when the former president is reinstated.” More from The Washington Post’s Meryl Kornfield: 

When it was supposed to happen: Around 1:30 p.m. EDT yesterday

When they didn’t appear, what did the crowd think happened?: Some thought they would instead reappear at a Rolling Stones concert that evening.

The theory expanded past the Kennedys: “they then began to add on other dead celebrities, convinced that they, too, would appear, having faked their deaths to avoid the deep state. They began to pick out random people they encountered in the Dallas area as celebrities in disguise, claiming one man was comedian Robin Williams and another comedian Richard Pryor.” More from The Daily Beast’s Will Sommer:



The crowd was not pleased with the local news crew: Video from Protean Magazine’s Steven Moncelli:


One minute before the expected return of JFK Jr.





Photo of the crowd gathering the night before the expected return:

Wow: “The QAnon people are walking up to random people they think are dead celebrities in Dallas today and introducing themselves. So far they have seen ‘Robin Williams’ and ‘Dale Earnhardt.’" (Via NBC’s Ben Collins)

CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan described the event












The House and Senate are in. President BidenJoe BidenChina eyes military base on Africa's Atlantic coast: report Biden orders flags be flown at half-staff through Dec. 9 to honor Dole Biden heading to Kansas City to promote infrastructure package MORE and Vice President Harris are in Washington, D.C.

11 a.m. EDT: Two Senate confirmation votes. The Senate’s full agenda today:

1 p.m. EDT: President Biden and Vice President Harris receive the President’s Daily Brief.

2:15 p.m. EDT: A cloture vote on the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021.

3 – 5 p.m. EDT: The House votes. The House’s full agenda today:

5:15 p.m. EDT: Two confirmation votes in the Senate.



10 a.m. EDT: The Supreme Court hears oral arguments in a major gun-related case. Livestream:

1:45 p.m. EDT: The White House COVID-19 Response Team holds a press briefing. Livestream: 

2 p.m. EDT: State Department Spokesman Ned Price holds a press briefing. Livestream: 

2:30 p.m. EDT: Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell holds a news conference. Livestream:


Today is National Sandwich Day

Zoos are bribing animals with M&Ms to get them vaccinated — and honestly, I get why it works:

Via The Washington Post’s Matt Blitz, “How zoos persuade animals to get the coronavirus vaccine. (M&Ms and ice cream help.)”

From the Oakland, Calif. zoo’s Alex Herman: “For all of our large, exotic cats — that’s lions, tigers and mountain lions — they’re being positively reinforced with goat’s milk sprayed in their mouths …  The bears got ice cream and whipped cream. To get the chimp to stay still, we gave her marshmallows and M&M’s. 

The full story:

And because you read this far, here’s a dog with an incredible slo-mo reaction: