Yashwant Raj: Shooting hoops with Obama | india | Hindustan Times
  • Monday, Jun 18, 2018
  •   °C  
Today in New Delhi, India
Jun 18, 2018-Monday
New Delhi
  • Humidity
  • Wind

Yashwant Raj: Shooting hoops with Obama

Yashwant Raj tracks the US elections from ground zero.

india Updated: Nov 07, 2012 03:26 IST
Yashwant Raj

Shooting hoops with Obama

Guess what President Barack Obama is doing right now?

Sitting in a corner, brooding about his prospects? Watching TV? Calling campaign official about voter turnout?

He is playing basketball with friends, administration colleagues and aides.

His campaign calls it an election day tradition.

Obama is a basketball enthusiast ducking out for a game every now and then. But on election day? And why not!

Obama congratulates Romney for running a “spirited campaign”

President Barack Obama seems to be in a hurry to wrap things up and get on with the presidency. He congratulate Republican Mitt Romney on running a “spirited campaign” talking to reporters at a campaign office in Chicago. Was he being patronizing?

Check for yourself. This is what he said: “I also want to say to Governor Romney, congratulations on a spirited campaign. I know that his supporters are just as engaged and just as enthusiastic and working just as hard today. We feel confident we’ve got the votes to win that it’s going to depend ultimately on whether those votes turn out. And so I would encourage everybody on all sides just to make sure that you exercise this precious right that you have that people fought so hard for, for us to have.”

“I’m looking forward to the results. And I expect that we’ll have a good night. But no matter what happens, I just want to say how much I appreciate everybody who has supported me, everybody who has worked so hard on my behalf. And again, I want to congratulate Gov. Romney and his team for a hard-fought race as well. OK?”

Voting is not easy

“Really?” The voter sounded incredulous. “Two and a half hours?” She turned around and left, saying, “I will come back.” Don’t know if she did.

Voting is not easy. And people have had to wait for hours to cast their vote. The queue at a polling center in Fairfax county in battleground state Virginia looked at least 100 meters long.

In some parts of Florida, voters have had to wait for four hours -- the ballot there is specially long and daunting with many local issues being voted on also.
“We are asking voters to study some of these issues on the ballot before arriving at the polling center,” said Carol Coryell, adding, “that will cut waiting time.”

Chance non-encounter

Vice president Joe Biden and his family made an unscheduled stop in Cleveland in the mother of battleground states Ohio on their their way to Chicago to be with President Obama.

When they landed, they found two campaign planes belonging to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan parked on one side.

The vice-president, turns out, wanted to have breakfast at a local greek restaurant. When asked if he knew Romney and Ryan were around, he said, “When we landed they said they were there. That's good.”

But no, he had no message for them.

Romney and Ryan broke from the tradition of not campaigning election day to make last minute dash to Ohio. The vice-presidential candidate had a few more stops to do.