Bear Witness to Van Jones’ Election Night Emotional Roller Coaster

Election Night 2018 was a mixed bag that left both parties walking away feeling happy. Republicans blunted the so-called “blue wave” with big gains in the Senate and captured key governorships while Democrats flipped control of the House. During CNN’s Election Night in America, Tuesday, liberal activist and commentator Van Jones was a whirlwind of emotions as each development unfurled.

Early in the evening when it became painfully obvious the “blue wave” crashed against red breakers, Jones was deeply depressed. “This is heartbreaking, though. It's heartbreaking,” he declared before equating Democratic efforts to unseat Republicans to “antibodies” fighting off an “infestation of hatred and division”.

When CNN finally called that Democrats flipped the House, Jones’ emotional state did a 180-degree U-turn. “Van Jones, I don't know how many hours ago it was you said this was heartbreaking. Where is your head now,” joked host Anderson Cooper.

My heart has been restored,” Jones joyously proclaimed as he proceeded to sing the praises of the Democratic Party. “It is the end of one-party rule in the United States, thank God, and the beginning of a new Democratic Party, younger, browner, cooler, more women, more veterans. Can win in Michigan, can win in Pennsylvania, can win in Ohio.”

Jones adding, “It may not be a blue wave. It's a rainbow wave. It’s something happening out there and I'm happy about it.” “I can't deal with your mood swings,” deadpanned CNN commentator David Axelrod to the laughter of the rest of the panel. “Hey, listen man, it’s been a rollercoaster! It’s been a rollercoaster,” Jones exclaimed.

 

 

A short time later, Jones became resolute as he looked forward to Democrats getting things done in the House:

I hope and pray we will also start talking about the reason people went out there and fought for this dadgum victory. People were pounding on those doors in all those states where we won and last not just because we're mad at Donald Trump. This economy everyone is talking about is not working well for everybody. People can't see doctors can or can't go to college because they can’t pay for it. The rents are going up. People have real problems.

Another couple minutes later and Jones was back to being negative again as he conducted an autopsy of Democratic Party’s failure to take key gubernatorial races. “There was a test that I think a wing of the party was trying to run. And it was the idea that you could run a bold populist unabashedly progressive, multicultural, multi-racial candidacy and win,” he explained.

All five so far failed. That is a big development. That's a sobering development. Is it not possible to run those kind of races and win,” he drearily wondered.

Then, in about 30 minutes, he shifted his emotional gears to anger as attacked the GOP for allegedly gerrymandering districts:

I, first of all, I love Obama and hope he goes out more. But listen, we had a popular performance bigger than the tea party. The tea party 6.8 percent in terms of your margin. We had nine percent apparently tonight. The reason is, you gerrymandered the map so bad that even when we have a 9 percent victory we can't get all the seats.

CNN’s late-night election coverage was a wild emotional ride.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

CNN’s Election Night in America
November 6, 2018
11:03:30 p.m. Eastern

ANDERSON COOPER: All right, Wolf. Thanks very much. Back with the panel. Van Jones, I don't know how many hours ago it was you said this was heartbreaking. Where is your head now?

VAN JONES: My heart has been restored! It is the end of one-party rule in the United States, thank God, and the beginning of a new Democratic Party, younger, browner, cooler, more women, more veterans. Can win in Michigan, can win in Pennsylvania, can win in Ohio. We have the first Muslim women, first Native American women, the first black woman from Massachusetts, first Latina from Texas. It may not be a blue wave. It's a rainbow wave. It’s something happening out there and I'm happy about it.

DAVID AXELROD: I can't deal with your mood swings.

[Laughter]

JONES: Hey, listen man, it’s been a rollercoaster! It’s been a rollercoaster!

(…)

11:12:41 p.m. Eastern

JONES: Can I say something though? Fine, the Democrats are going to do mean stuff to Donald Trump and Donald Trump will make hay of it. You know what Democrats are also going to do? I hope and pray we will also start talking about the reason people went out there and fought for this dadgum victory. People were pounding on those doors in all those states where we won and last not just because we're mad at Donald Trump. This economy everyone is talking about is not working well for everybody. People can't see doctors can or can't go to college because they can’t pay for it. The rents are going up. People have real problems.

I’ll tell you what. If Democrats want to be worthy of what just happened, I think we've got to be able to -- listen, make Donald Trump and the Republicans in the Senate say no to a bunch of stuff that people need and then we're going to be… [crosstalk]

(…)

11:15:53 p.m. Eastern

COOPER: What do tonight's elections mean for the Democratic party?

JONES: First of all, let's not forget that even though Andrew Gillum wasn't able to make history and Stacey Abrams wasn’t about to make history, Jared Polis did make history as the first gay governor in Colorado. That's a big deal. A lot of things are positive.

Here's what did happen. There was a test that I think a wing of the party was trying to run. And it was the idea that you could run a bold populist unabashedly progressive, multicultural, multi-racial candidacy and win. That was the thesis of an Andrew Gillum, the thesis of a Stacey Abrams, a thesis of a Ben jealous in Maryland, a thesis of a Paulette Jordan in Idaho, and Beto in Texas. All five so far failed. That is a big development. That's a sobering development. Is it not possible to run those kind of races and win?

(…)

11:44:18 p.m. Eastern

JONES: I, first of all, I love Obama and hope he goes out more. But listen, we had a popular performance bigger than the tea party. The tea party 6.8 percent in terms of your margin. We had nine percent apparently tonight. The reason is, you gerrymandered the map so bad that even when we have a 9 percent victory we can't get all the seats.

(…)

NBDaily Campaigns & Elections 2018 Governors 2018 Congressional Political Groups Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Cable Television CNN Other CNN Video Anderson Cooper David Axelrod Van Jones Stacey Abrams

Sponsored Links