It may seem like the 2012 presidential election results came in much later in the night than those in the 2008 election, but in fact it was only 12 minutes later. In 2008, the networks — waiting until the polls closed in California — all announced simultaneously that Barack Obama had won the White House at 11 p.m. EST.
Last night, even though there was a lot of early night drama, most of the networks called it for Obama at 11:12 p.m.
As I monitored Fox News throughout the night — which continued to grow more and more somber, and all the key battleground states, one by one, began falling for the president — I was curious to see how Bret Baier, Megan Kelly and the commentators at Fox would discuss these developments.
What then happened was unprecedented: Karl Rove, a key factor in spending hundreds of millions of dollars in negative Obama ads in his role with the super PACS American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, refused to give in to the network's "decision desk," in his role as a commentator. Watch:
It was a bit crazy, and clearly unnerved the Fox News anchors, but you can't blame Rove for fighting the last fight. Some may have been reminded of Florida in 2000, but the episode was more reminiscent of eight years ago when the country waited late to get the results of Ohio (John Kerry didn't concede until 11 a.m. the following morning).
Mitt Romney was criticized for waiting more than an hour before calling President Obama to congratulate him and then give his concession speech, but it was the end of a long six-year long battle for him — so what's one more hour to see if there was any way he could thread the needle and somehow salvage the Buckeye State?
In any event, it made for a very late night. Romney gave his concession speech shortly before 1 a.m. from Boston, and Obama followed with his just after 1:30 a.m. EST, 12:30 a.m. from Chicago.