The Late Movies: 20 Years of Presidential Victory and Concession Speeches

Last night, Americans watched as Barack Obama won his second term as president. Watching that speech, I was reminded that we see both victory speeches and concession speeches every four years. And, you guessed it, YouTube has lots of them. Tonight, let's go back twenty years to Bill Clinton's first (surprisingly brief!) acceptance speech, then roll through all the rest.

Clinton - 1992

Live from Little Rock. Everyone looks so young here, especially Al Gore. My favorite part? The crowd's chants of "Hillary" around the five-minute mark. Also interesting: George H.W. Bush's concession (starts in the middle of the clip).

Clinton - 1996

Again from Little Rock. After a lengthy speech from Gore, Clinton is only introduced at the very end of this clip; if you want to see Clinton's speech without the Gore context, check the next two segments. Overall, Clinton's speech is vastly longer and more detailed than his 1992 address. He repeatedly hammers on central themes including faith, the economy, education, and the environment. See also: Dole's concession.

The second section is below. An applause break for Bob Dole happens around the nine-minute mark, and a shout-out to Jack Kemp. Close to the end of this clip: "We have work to do to give all of our children the gift of an education. To make sure every eight-year-old can read, every twelve-year-old can log on to the Internet, and yes, every single eighteen-year-old in this country willing to work for it can have a college education." I am glad to know that getting net access for tweens was such a high presidential priority!

And here's the conclusion:

Bush - 2000

As we all remember, the 2000 election involved a lengthy recount in Florida, so there were no traditional victory or concession speeches on election night. 36 days later, Al Gore conceded, then an hour later, Bush declared victory in Austin, Texas:

Bush - 2004

Cheney does a nice introduction, then Bush hams it up a bit: "Laura's the love of my life. [Crowd hoots and cheers.] Well, I'm glad you love her too!" Also: Kerry's concession.

Obama - 2008

This was the most emotional one for me, and apparently for all the people in the crowd. This still makes me tear up, especially the shots of the hopeful onlookers. Seeing Jesse Jackson cry is particularly powerful. Also: McCain's concession.

Obama - 2012

Any candidate playing Stevie Wonder as intro music gets my vote. Note: there's somebody in the crowd taking pictures with an iPad like a dork. Sign of the times, I guess. Also: Romney's concession. Another interesting tidbit is Romney's 2008 Republican primary concession in which he says that universal private health care is his first priority.

Watch a Rogue Pet Dog Interrupt a Russian News Anchor on Air

Last week, a Russian news broadcast briefly went to the dogs after its host was startled by a surprise co-anchor: a friendly black canine that wandered on set, announced its presence with a loud bark, and climbed onto her desk.


As TODAY reports, Mir24 TV anchor Ilona Linarte went off script for a few minutes, telling viewers "I've got a dog here. What is this dog doing in the studio?" After the initial shock wore off, she gave her furry guest a tepid welcome, patting its head as she gently pushed it off the desk. ("I actually prefer cats,'' Linarte remarked. "I'm a cat lady.")

Linarte’s query was answered when the TV station announced that the dog had accompanied another show’s guest on set, and somehow got loose. That said, rogue animals have a proud tradition of crashing live news broadcasts around the world, so we’re assuming this won’t be the last time a news anchor is upstaged by an adorable guest star (some of which have better hair than them).

[h/t TODAY]

Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Image credit: SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 1.0
SpaceX Is Sending Two Private Citizens Around the Moon
Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Image credit: SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 1.0
Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Image credit: SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 1.0

Two members of the public are set to take an historic trip around the Moon, according to an announcement from SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. As The Verge reports, the anonymous private citizens have already placed substantial deposits on the commercial space flight.

The private spacecraft company SpaceX revealed on Monday that the Falcon Heavy rocket will be launching with its Crew Dragon spacecraft in late 2018. The mission will consist of a circumnavigation of the Moon, passing over the body’s surface before traveling farther into space and returning to Earth. In total, the trip will cover 300,000 to 400,000 miles and take a week to complete.

A noteworthy part of the plan is the human cargo that will be on board. Instead of professional astronauts, the craft will carry two paying customers into space. The passengers, who’ve yet to be named, will both need to pass several fitness tests before they're permitted to make the journey. According to The Verge, Musk said the customers are “very serious” and that the cost of the trip is “comparable” to that of a crewed mission to the International Space Station. The goal for SpaceX is to eventually send one or two commercial flights into space each year, which could account for 10 to 20 percent of the company’s earnings.

[h/t The Verge]


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