For CNN, New Years Eve arrived on January 4. "Situation Room" anchor Wolf Blitzer literally counted down the seconds until the Democrats officially took control of Congress. However, when the Republican Revolution swept the GOP into power in 1994, the cable network did not display such a running tally. At 11:45am, Mr. Blitzer hosted a special edition of his program and explained the digital readout:
Wolf Blitzer: "Right now, we’re counting down to the power shift. Both the House and the Senate will be called to order at noon eastern. That’s when our countdown clock runs out and ceremonies ushering in the new era in Congress begin."
When the Republicans took control of the Congress on January 4, 1995, even though it was the first time in 40 years, CNN provided no such breathless countdown. The cable network simply featured interviews with their reporters and covered a press conference of incoming Speaker Newt Gingrich. Apparently, ticking off the seconds remaining until a shift in power occurs is something to be done only for "happy" occasions.