The Blog

Waiting for a Concession

8:54 PM, Nov 4, 2008 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
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Phoenix, Arizona -- A somber mood here at the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix, where Republicans, dressed in their best Indian summer cocktail attire, are gathering to hear John McCain concede to Barack Obama. Jim Woolsey was seated below a mounted television in a crowded bar when Fox News projected Obama as the winner of Ohio. The crowd let out an audible gasp and lots of head-shaking ensued.

Fifteen minutes later, after many of those seated on an outside patio had ordered another round of drinks (if you are drinking beer, you are drinking a Budweiser product) an effusive young McCain supporter was watching an outdoor television with strange attentiveness. Someone asked him what he was doing. "I'm waiting for them to reverse Ohio," he said with misplaced optimism.

McCain advisers I've talked to have been matter-of-fact about the situation. They're plainly disappointed, but they're sad about it in much the way that one might expect at the loss of a loved one after a long illness. It was certainly expected.