My favorite night as a kid only came around once every four years. No, not leap year, thank god, I got a birthday every year like a normal kid. No, it was election night. My parents, though representing different sides of the political spectrum agreed about one thing, it was important to see democracy in action. I polled and caucused with my mom when I was tall enough to see the ballot on the smooth grey desk.
I watched the nightly news with Brian Williams and we discussed the Clinton sex scandal over dinner. There is no denying that politics was in my brain from a very early age. No matter how old I get election night always seems to get my blood pumping, the excitement surrounding the day, tricks me into thinking that democracy and my vote matter, and that maybe, just maybe, I can make a diffrence. Whether you are wit’ Mitt or Obama is your homeboy, or you are celebrating that this race is finally over, here are some helpful tips to throw a successful election day bash! Now, I think that is something we can all agree on.
Save the Good Stuff for the Inauguration:
Tonight is not the night to whip out you grandmothers vintage Noritake china and impress people with foie gras and your knowledge of French wine. Keep the food simple and non-partisan. I would suggest heavy appetizers and frankly, food that can easily be cleaned of your couch, like Buffalo Egg Rolls, Deviled Eggs and Sliders. This is the one night when your cooking isn’t the star of the show; let your big screen have the attention for once. By keeping the food hardy and simple it allows everyone to feel comfortable and focused on the ticker at the bottom of the screen, and not the order of their salad and dessert fork. I would suggest a tour of America for the ambitious chef with a large group, select a food from each region of the United States and have your guests guess. Or if you like to keep things simple, limit yourself to a few heavy appetizers and a variety of munchies clustered on your coffee table. Trust that you are a great chef even if you don’t get paid compliment after compliment when the glazed meatballs are passed around, there are greater things at stake, and after all, Iowa could be reporting.
Serve up a few Coke & Rumney’s and Bahamobama Mama’s:
Booze and politics go together, like, well… sex scandals and politics. Hand in hand and never the two shall part. If your friends are anything like mine, they always find their way immediately to the bar in any social setting. Depending on the diversity found in your guests, politics may be an awkward topic of discussion initially. Since you don’t want your soiree to be as tense as the last Presidential debate, I suggest serving up some delicious signature cocktails for the evening. If you know what your friends drink, rename a few of their favorites to be politically themed for the night, or put on your mixology hat and whip up a few new cocktails like the Baby Kisser and the Swing State, courtesy of Makers Mark and their genius Cocktail Party. Anyway you choose to bartend, make sure your friends are safe, nothing kills the buzz quicker than a DUI, or worse.
Deck out your Pad like it was Campaign HQ:
Stop by your local Obama and Romey office and pick up a yard sign from each, or if forethought and planning isn’t your style, steal one from someone’s yard under the cloak of darkness. Adhere both signs to separate parts of your living room and have a good old-fashioned game of “pin the sticker on the asshole.” Who ever gets closest to the logo on each respective sign, should receive a prize. It may be allowing the super republican winner to watch the Fox news election coverage for 10 minutes or an airplane size bottle of booze, do what you feel.
Everyone seems to enjoy pretending to be a political expert so, feel free to ask your guests to color in the Electoral College according to their predictions. Also, whoever is closest should be allowed to dance around your living room, screaming in jubilee, “Four More Years” or “My man, Mitt,” whatever the outcome may be.
Bearing all of these things in mind will allow you to have a fantastic viewing party without all of the concern, effort and anxiety that goes with hosting a dinner party. Make sure your focus is on your guests and the excitement unfolding on the television, rather than the dishes in your kitchen. They will be there in the morning, regardless of the winner, that much can be said for sure. Happy watching, rooting, and may the best man win (Sidebar: It will be a happy day for me when that gendered phrase can no longer be used). Enjoy this night, regardless of the outcome, because the 2016 election is bound to last even longer and be more annoying!