When the clock strikes 270 electoral votes Tuesday, lace up your sneakers and head east. It only comes once every four years, but the GW tradition of running to the White House after a U.S. presidential election race is finally upon us. Most students will only experience this quadrennial tradition once during their undergraduate careers, so they should make the most of the – dare I say it – “only at GW” experience.
But what does one actually do to prepare for the big run or once they get to the party at the big house on Pennsylvania Ave.? No matter which candidate you’re supporting, here’s how to make the most of election night at the White House.
1. Dress for success
Break out your t-shirts, hats and sassy buttons with the campaigns’ best slogans: “Nasty women,” “bad hombres” and “basket of deplorables” seem appropriate for election night. To channel your inner Hillary Clinton, throw on the nearest colored pant suit or tape 33,000 emails to yourself. If you really want to get into character, there are plenty of Trump and Clinton masks available, but remember that this isn’t “The Purge: Election Year.”
2. Borrow your party’s playlist
Pack headphones or portable speakers to play your candidate’s curated campaign music selection. The Clinton camp has an official playlist on Spotify that includes songs like “Confident” and “Fight Song.” Although Trump’s team hasn’t published an official soundtrack, The Washington Post has collected a list of songs that are played at his rallies, including “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “It’s The End of the World.” It’s time to bust out those tunes and have a dance party on Pennsylvania Avenue.
3. Create campaign signs
If “Stronger Together” and “Make America Great Again” lawn signs aren’t your speed, you can go homemade and create your own slogan. If the creative juices aren’t flowing, get some inspiration from Hillary Clinton’s 85 proposed campaign slogans recently uncovered by WikiLeaks. My personal favorites are “Because your time is now” and “Everyday Americans need a champion.” For die-hard supporters, carry around a lifesize cardboard cutout of your candidate to introduce him or her to their new digs.
4. Have your cake and eat it too
It wouldn’t be a party without cake. The tradition of eating cake on election night is one that dates back to the 1800’s when New Englanders would share a yeasty bread with fruit and nuts after going to the polls together. Since that doesn’t seem very appetizing, toting a Baked and Wired cupcake to the White House is fine, too.
5. Don’t be a sore loser
Accept the results of the election – period. If you’re thinking about protesting at the White House because your candidate lost, keep it classy. If you opt for a political chant remember to be respectful. Let’s not relive the “No Clue” cheers as heard at the Democratic National Convention or “Jew-S-A” from a recent Trump rally. And by the way, no matter who wins, you cannot claim refugee status and move to Canada – they don’t want you, anyway.
6. Toast to a new era
In George Washington’s day, candidates would hold huge parties offering drinks near the polls to schmooze the voters. In 1758, a young Washington running for election to the House of Burgesses spent his entire campaign budget on 160 gallons of liquor – needless to say, he won. Drink responsibly, and keep in mind that public intoxication and underage drinking is illegal, even on election night. For those under 21, Whole Foods has a nice selection of sparkling Cold Duck. So fill up your flasks and get moving to the White House. Cheers!
7. Show your school spirit
The run to the White House isn’t just for GW students, even though our campus is only a few blocks away. Students from Georgetown, Howard and American universities also honor this D.C. tradition – though their Ubers will arrive much later. You could even rally with the GW fight song to see how many Colonials raise high the buff and blue with you. This is an opportunity for Republican and Democratic students alike to come together and celebrate the beginning of a new presidency and bury the hatchet after a long season of campaigning.
Sydney Erhardt, a sophomore majoring in international affairs, is a Hatchet opinions writer. Want to respond to this piece? Submit a letter to the editor.