• Seth Perlman/AP
  • Illinois comptroller Judy Baar Topinka: saying whatever the hell she wants

I was sitting next to state comptroller Judy Baar Topinka on election night, trying to act like a gentleman, when she muttered something like, “What the heck is going on with this thing?”

At first I thought she was talking about the election. Then I realized she was merely having a difficult time removing the microphone clip from her lapel.

There were good reasons for my mistake. We were on camera, part of a Google / NBC / Reader live webstream of the returns, and they were adding up to a series of losses for Topinka’s Republican colleagues, from the “bloodbath” in the General Assembly to the missed opportunity to get Barack Obama out of the White House.