If Obama wins... a few predictions

After a long night of vote counting, erroneous predictions in several states and television anchors holding off until sunrise to declare a winner, we woke up the day after the election to find the United States had elected its first African American president. So what happens next? Here are a few guesses—and a few hopes.

The Republican Party requests a recount in Wisconsin, where Barack Obama defeated John McCain by less than 2,000 votes. Lawyers for both presidential campaigns set up shop in Madison and Milwaukee to wage court battles. Exit polls show the majority of voters who were supporters of Sen. Hillary Clinton voted for Obama and women voted 2-1 for the Illinois senator.

Over at the Governor’s Mansion, Jim Doyle quietly makes a packing list as he places and fields phone calls about possible employment in the Obama administration. He is careful to make no public statements, as Tommy Thompson did in 2000 when he said he wanted to be Transportation Secretary for George W. Bush (he ended up running the Department of Health and Human Services).

Even prominent Republicans lobby Obama for jobs; California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger reiterates his earlier offer to become the newly-elected president’s “energy czar.”

Barack shoots up the list of popular baby names in the United States and Kenya.

In light of the nation’s ongoing economic crisis, Obama announces the cancellation of all inaugural balls; donors who would have footed the bill for the parties are asked to contribute those millions to a fund to help veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Republicans start plotting for 2012—Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist are early favorites, along with McCain’s running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

McCain moves to reclaim his “straight talk” reputation and reteams with Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold to back legislation banning warrantless wiretapping here in the United States.

Sasha and Malia Obama bring home the dog their parents promised to get them after the election. Internet polls favor the following names for the Labradoodle puppy: Hope, Maverick, Aloha or Penny (for Pennsylvania, the state that put Obama over the top to win the White House).

After more than two long months on the campaign trail, Vice President-elect Joe Biden takes the train back home to Wilmington, Delaware.

Jenny Price is a Madison native who covered the state Capitol for the Associated Press and has written about Wisconsin politics since 1999. E-mail her at jenny.price@gmail.com.

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