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Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: A fading memory – politicians who concede graciously

Editor’s Notebook: A fading memory – politicians who concede graciously

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My toodlings around Al Gore’s amazing Internet over the weekend happened to bring me, as I sure it brought all the other cool kids, to WRC-TV’s coverage of the 1980 Election Night. For research purposes.

(Ah, a young Jim Vance … those were the days!)

The point in this case being that, around 11 p.m., long after it was clear that Ronnie Reagan was trouncing poor Jimmy Carter, the station went to the concession speech of U.S. Rep. Joseph Fisher (D-10th), the former Arlington County Board member who had arrived in Congress during the Watergate election of 1974 by knocking off venerable incumbent Republican Joel Broyhill.

Fisher found himself brought into office courtesy of a wave election, and six years later taken out by one, as Frank Wolf, on his second try, defeated him in 1980 and would hold onto the 10th District seat for a long, long time.


Unlike too many of today’s politicians, of all stripes, who complain about rigged elections and act churlish when things don’t go their way, Fisher was philosophical in his remarks.

“We win with class, we lose with class,” he told the throngs of supporters, not hurling any invective but accepting the judgment of voters.

That’s the way most politicians rolled back those 42 years ago: you take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and then you have … the facts of [political] life. And you accepted them.

Today? Well, don’t get me started.

AN ASIDE FROM A GRIZZLED MEDIA VETERAN: It used to enrage me (as many things did) and now just amuses me (as many things do) that people think Election Day is a good time to e-mail over a run-of-the-mill press release about something that could have held a few days, a week, or maybe forever before passing it along

Ya think we’re not busy on Election Day? Would it kill you to hold off for 24 hours?

— Scott McCaffrey

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