4am on the Wednesday after the Indiana primary
Yesterday, resident Republican Andy Qunell came on the air with me to tell about he and his son meeting Trump in South Bend on Monday night. I pointed out to him that at the exact moment he was chatting with "The Donald," I was getting turned away from the Century Center by a policeman who looked curiously like John Candy in "Vacation."
"Sorry, JED, park's closed. Moose out front shoulda told you."
Andy left WJOB at 7:37 to go to Edison School in Hammond to appear live on Fox 32 out of Chicago at 8am. The Calumet Region was crawling with Chicago news stations yesterday, which, as the three or four of you know, was primary election day. Andy did a good job on the telly. I watched it on Youtube. He said that by this point in the primary process, the presidential races are usually determined. Indiana is usually just a formality.
Not this time, baby. Baby Blue. Donald Trump all but clinched the Republican nomination when Sen. Ted Cruz suspended his campaign right after the Indiana polls closed. It was buy that time evident that he got his butt kicked. Also, upstart Socialist Bernie Sanders, on the strength of college students and young people coming out in droves, beat the establishment candidate, Hillary Clinton. Go figure.
It is interesting to note that Hillary won Lake County 53 to 47 percent or so. Why? It's not that unions are coming out for Hillary in numbers (because of NAFTA and TPP), and it's not like Hillary had a huge ground game around here.
Nope. Maybe it has to do with Hillary at least showing up in this corner of the state. As I noted to the three or four of you before, not one of the four candidates came to northwest Indana for a public rally. The only one who came at all was Hillary, and she did it in a closed ceremony at a steel fabricator. Media and luminaries only.
But at least she came. And let that be a lesson to any candidate statewide in Indiana - just come. We've developed this poor-me attitude that we don't get attention from the powers-that-be in Indianapolis, Chicago, Washington... and if you give us any attention at all, we reward it...
Strike another match, go start anew
It's all over now, Baby Blue
I don't know why that Bob Dylan song is going through my head. Maybe it's because I'm up early listening to the rain and taking a big sigh of relief. This political season has beaten me up. I am not knowledgeable or even that interested in the political goings-on. I watch the game as I would a soccer match or hockey game. I kinda know what's going on, but what's really cool is when players run into each other and make each other bleed.
The presidential campaigns will strike another match, go start anew somewhere else. The Chicago TV stations will drive back downtown. Yesterday, the guy from channel 2 stood outside the Trump headquarters in Griffith, Ind., next to a bar called "Lucille's" and made a bad joke using "y'all"... as if we're Alabama and not Indiana. Brad, that's his name, also made a joke about come on down and enjoy the dollar Coronas. These jokes are a little bit funny... but they're also representative of the snobbishness about our slobbishness here in Indiana.
... Several times yesterday someone said to me - "It must be a late night for you tonight, JED." Or, as one guy said, "I'll bet you're busier today than one-legged man at a shit-kicking contest."
Not really. As a matter of fact, after doing four and a half hours of live radio yesterday, I worked on technical stuff with Christina Cortez and met with the staff. We talked at length about how to price our video feed. There's a lot of different ways to do it. I'm on the fence about if I should go to a conference next week in New York City called "Streaming Media East" about how to stream video. I don't know if it's a waste of time or just what I need to build our own TV network down here in northwest Indiana, y'all.
Primary and election days are really no big deal for me, as local radio guy. Most of the work is done beforehand and on election day I did yesterday what I do most of them - I went to El Taco Real for lunch and sat with the owner, Ray Garcia Sr. We talked about respect. Ray the viejo says that when you walk in a room, it's incumbent upon you to come up to those who are there and say hello. The person sitting when you walk in the room does not have that responsibility. It's your responsibility.
So when Congressman Pete Visclosky and his aide, Mark Lopez, walked into the restaurant and did not make a beeline for this proud viejo, he took note. I've been dealing with proud older Mexicans for a long time and if you want to navigate these dangerous waters, you better pay close attention to the protocol.
... Dave Kusiak, Matt Reardon and Kevin Pastrick hosted election night on WJOB. Christina produced.... and I stopped by for some to the free House of Pizza on my way to nephew Jack's baseball game at Community Park. Jack plays third base and looks like it. He's stocky and a little bit mean looking. So are Kusiak and Reardon, for that matter. Kevin Pastrick... he's a little more svelte. All three of them did a great job breaking down the local, statewide and national races in Indiana.
One local race of note: upstart wife of the mayor, Marissa McDermott, upset a sitting judge who was endorsed by the head of the Lake County Democratic party, Sheriff John Buncich. I don't know what this means. I'll let callers decide that. I'm just a little surprised. That's all.
Also, a friend to the station for a number of years, Indiana attorney general Greg Zoeller, lost his bid to be the Republican nominee for Congress in a district along the Ohio River. Zoeller came in third. I am not surprised by this. I have joked several times with Zoeller on the air that e's too normal and straightforward for the political game. Evidently there may be some truth to this. He expressed dismay that one of the candidates would go on Indianapolis TV and say awful things about him. It's part of the game, Greg, get used to it. Don't stop being you.
It's now 4:36am on the Wednesday after the historic primary election. Indiana mattered. That's what's historic about it. And Chicago came down here to look down at us, again. And a balding Jewish guy and a would-be balding red-haired guy won the presidential primaries. And when I get to the station, there'll be a huge mess of pizza boxes, spilled Diet Pepsis, used napkins and an uncovered plate of meat from Big Frank's sausage. Something to look forward to. See you three or four and maybe three or four more on the radio in 45 minutes.