Allegheny County is Pittsburgh

Allegheny County is Pittsburgh, which is home to the Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates.  Fulton County is Atlanta, which is where two seasons of 60 Days In were filmed. Maricopa County is Arizona, where the citizens sing, “At the copa, Maricopa County”.

Allegheny County is Pittsburgh, which is home to the…Allegheny County is Pittsburgh…Allegheny County…Allegheny…

Sorry, I seem to be short-circuiting again. I need my assistant to bring me some banana pudding.

I don’t seem to have an assistant.

Last week, we had a new Bachelorette and a new President in the span of 48 hours. To say I needed to sit down would be an understatement. Not as much as Chris Harrison needed a seat, but still. What a week.

Two hundred years from now when they have speakers in the sky, so the world can hear one person speak (what a nightmare), they’ll have an announcer – probably from the Buffer family – do the full boxing/MMA/wrestling introduction for a new President (and Bachelorette, because that series will still be going strong).

“The winner AND NEWWWW President of the United States, Joseph R. Biden.”

The “R” stands for Robinette, by the way. I found this out last Saturday. On Sunday, it was a question on Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? Coincidence? I think.

Anyway, I don’t know about you, but I’ve been hooked on U.S. Election Coverage.

“But Paul, you’re from Canada. Shouldn’t you be busy filling maple syrup bottles?”

Au contraire, I am from Earth. Also, Canada. I just wanted to say, “Au contraire”. And no, I missed the maple syrup field trip in Kindergarten. True story.

I first became interested in politics when I was in high school, thanks to my Media Studies class, though it might’ve been my English class. I can’t remember because both classes were in the same classroom with the same teacher, and I sat in the same seat.

The only difference was one was in Grade 11, and the other was in Grade 12.

Either way, it was 2008.

That was the first U.S. Election I “followed”. I watched the debates. I wrote about it for class. I flipped the channel to CNN more often than I ever have.

And ever since then, I’ve been pulled in by the made-for-TV spectacle that is Election Day in America. It’s as if the Super Bowl and annual Hot Dog Eating Contest had a child, who was really into politics. 

It’s not my place to get into the electoral process, or how strange it is that in a 48-month Presidency, 18 months (or thereabouts) are dedicated to the upcoming election. Nor am I going to get into the Electoral College, or how it’s not even a real post-secondary institution.

If anything, it should be an Electoral Collage. Just throwing that idea into the wind to see if it sticks to a lamp post.

Admittedly, my favourite thing about the Election is the “Magic Wall”, operated by John King on CNN. Other networks have their own version of the wall, which they name something else, but I hail to the King. 

It’s almost soothing, the way he navigates the map of the United States, clicking in and out of different states, highlighting a bunch of counties no one ever hears about until their votes are needed.

I learned so much, just by listening to him talk for hours, and hours, and then a few more hours. Teachers should follow his lead. I’m serious.

If they insist on using PowerPoint presentations to teach, they should get really into it, talk with urgency, and reiterate the most important points multiple times.

Scrap the, “Here’s a slide with four points on it, I’ll wait for you to copy it down so I can talk about it.” It’s 2020. Bring the John-King-on-Election-Night energy.

I’ve been meaning to take a blank map of the U.S. and see how many states I can label because, after last week, I like my odds of getting more than just a few correct. I already knew the general vicinity of the states, thanks to sports, but it feels like I’ve levelled up in terms of “geographical awareness”.

There are also a bunch of counties that I’ll never forget. If you couldn’t tell from my introduction, I’ve had, “Allegheny County is Pittsburgh” running through my mind on a regular basis. Sometimes, I mutter it to myself.

Have I been hypnotized? Am I in a trance? Do I need someone to snap their fingers at me? 

I should give a shoutout to Phil Mattingly, who I am classifying as King’s protege, just because he’s younger and comes on after midnight, so King can presumably reload his brain with information, or sleep.

Mattingly was equally impressive with his knowledge, delivery, and calm disposition. 

As the results started rolling in, I became aware of Steve Kornacki – the “Big Board” guru over at MSNBC. I don’t have MSNBC, but I do have a friend named Becky who, between her messages and tweets/retweets, introduced this new Election Day character to me.

You can read Becky’s blog post about Steve Kornacki HERE.

I like his style. It’s a frantic one, but it captures the essence of the evening. Between his rolled up sleeves and his khaki pants, you just know that something’s about to go down and he’s ready for it.

Hot food put out in catering? He’ll be right there, but only to grab-and-go because the Big Board needs him.

I say this with endearment: he reminds me of an adult-version of Gus Griswald – the kid from Recess – who is on his fourth all-nighter of the week, and is carrying the responsibility of a group project, solely on his shoulders.

He’s very relatable.

That being said, if there were a video game called, Election Party (kinda like Mario Party), and I had to pick a player, I’d pick John King. Not because I don’t respect Kornacki, but just because King has talked me through every election since 2008, so that’s where my loyal lies.

I have no clue what else I wanted to talk about.

Oh, right, the votes.

One of the things that still confuses me, is how the polls close and then five minutes later, they make a projection that it’s been won. I’m not suggesting any shenanigans, I’m just genuinely curious how they get the numbers so quickly. 

Are the early ballots already pre-counted and they just hold the number until they can release them? 

The election can be chaotically confusing at times, especially from my perspective. Maybe I just don’t know enough yet.

What I do know is that Canada has a third-party, non-partisan agency called Elections Canada, that conducts the federal election across the country. As a result, each province and territory isn’t left to fend for themselves, or come up with their own regulations.

It’s just one agency, running the whole the thing. It seems simple. Again, maybe I don’t know enough yet.

As I near the conclusion of this post, I must say that as someone who was voted, “Most Likely to be Prime Minister of Canada” in Grade 8, I can confirm that there is nothing I would want to do less than be the leader of a country.

Yes, I’ll come back and delete this blog post when I’m 58-years-old and making a run for office.

Sure, I might be able to get some really good things done that help a bunch of people, but no matter what, there will be millions of people who hate my guts, and once they vote me out, I can’t go anywhere without being noticed.

Do I want that? No. I already have enough strangers coming up to me to chat.

Which is why I am perfectly content with observing elections from the comfort of my own couch, even if it does leave me repeating the same phrases over and over again, wondering if they’ll ever where off.

Until next time, just remember: Allegheny County is Pittsburgh.

About Paul

I think of my blog as an all-you-can-read buffet. There's something for everyone and complimentary mints at the door as you leave.
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7 Responses to Allegheny County is Pittsburgh

  1. Bill says:

    We’re not the only ones to do early calls. I watched the CBC coverage of your last election, and I think they projected a minority Labor government before they were done with results from Ontario.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      I realize that and it confuses me just as much during our election. Surely, there’s a math component to it, but I’d love to know how they’re so confident so soon. I could probably Google this.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bill says:

        They must trust their polling a lot. Of course, during the last British election, they apparently release all their exit poll results at the same time, and based on those, they said Boris was going to get a majority. And if memory serves, the exit polls were almost exactly dead-on.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        That must have something to do with it. It’s just a weird juxtaposition on social media sometimes when there are tweets of, “If you’re in line, stay in line, even if the polls close”…and then moments after it closes there is already a projection. I guess those votes still count to the overall total of the state, but it must be weird standing in line waiting to vote, and your county has already been decided.


  2. Too funny! I was hypnotized by John King and the wall too!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: The week gone by — Nov. 15 – A Silly Place

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