An Ode To Steve Kornacki & His Khakis

Photo: Courtesy of MSNBC.
Everyone who follows politics — and many people who normally don’t — has been glued to the ongoing election coverage since Tuesday. We’ve been obsessively refreshing our maps as we watch new ballots and electoral votes come in, stress-eating and drinking, and engaging in weirdo anxiety-induced behaviors like forgetting what a shower is, going to bed at 5 a.m., and putting up Christmas decorations just to feel like there’s one good thing to look forward to despite the chaos around us. 
Amid Trump’s threats to contest the election and general uncertainty and malaise, we are not only looking for someone to tell us the facts straight, but also to soothe us. Since their job is to get you to keep watching, not to inspire any sense of calm (or even always to impart accurate information), the usual cable-news pundits are out of the question — has Wolf Blitzer ever made anyone feel better about anything? Enter one Steve Kornacki: MSNBC’s bespectacled, khaki-wearing, Diet Coke-pounding resident election-map wizard. As never-ending hours and days pass without a clear result, Kornacki’s county-by-county forecasts have been a much-needed oasis of reason. 
What, exactly, makes Kornacki’s coverage so appealing? It’s entirely fact-based, completely free of breathless and hyperbolic punditry, and it makes us As we’ve stayed up late nights waiting (and waiting) for new states to call their results and inch ever-closer to 270, the tireless (seriously, he doesn’t sleep) Kornacki taps his way through his touchscreen electoral map, analyzing votes and calmly crunching the latest numbers. That steady, knowledgeable confidence — plus his little "human" moments, like his smile when the camera catches him off-guard or when the MSNBC “Kornacki Cam” finds him texting — is enough to develop, dare we say it, an election crush.
Okay, sure, part of it is probably cable news-induced Stockholm Syndrome. But can you think of anyone else with whom you’d rather stay up to figure out wtf is going on with the outstanding ballots in Georgia? And is there anyone you would rather celebrate with at 4 a.m. when the Milwaukee ballots finally come in, making sweet victory in Wisconsin possible? And, uh, Vulture recently noticed that when he’s facing the board, “either his butt looks especially good or we’re just slowly being driven mad,” and we have not fact-checked that, but we will as soon as we have a chance.
It doesn’t hurt, either, that Kornacki, with his rolled-up button-down sleeves and Gap khakis in Palomino Brown, projects an aura of trustworthy, West Wing-era nerdiness that makes many people feel like logic and reason can prevail during this absolutely batshit, science-averse time. Kornacki is who you want to be stuck with in an elevator or on a sinking ship, and not only because he’s cute, but because he will actually hatch a brilliant plan to get out of there. That’s why we obsessively watch his “hits,” hoping he will help get us off this particular sinking ship.

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