Tuesday night, I was at a pro-Obama election party in Park Slope. It was a long, emotional and amazing evening! Here are some highlights.
7:40 PM We’ve been watching the TV since 6:30. A few predictions, but nothing much else. I’m a nervous wreck. Vermont goes to Obama, Kentucky to McCain, and they have three and eight electoral votes, respectfully.
9:20 PM Obama’s campaign strategist describes the situation as all signs good. The crowd in Grant Park, Chicago swells into the thousands. A member of the crowd holds up a poster, Yes We Did.
9:24 PM ABC breaks into a commercial break with a “Special Report” and projects Ohio will go to Obama—the room goes nuts!
9:51 PM McCain’s electoral votes jump to 130 and the mood of the room grows subdued.
11:00 PM Polls on the West Coast close. A moment later, the words “Obama Elected President” scroll across the bottom of the TV as the announcer repeats it. Everyone is freaking out. I’m in shock for a moment, then start jumping up and down and screaming. People are hugging each other, a few crying. Onscreen Tally: Obama 388, McCain 155
11:20 PM McCain gives a decent, respectful concession speech. His supporting crowd is dour and boos during his speech.
11:40 PM Obama at last walks out on the stage at Grant Park and delivers a stirring but sober speech. It is an awe-inspiring moment that makes me teary.
1:05 AM We arrive back in our Fort Greene neighborhood and come upon an impromptu celebratory street party. A couple hundred people have gathered on a corner and spill out into the street, chanting, cheering and dancing, police mostly benignly directing traffic. We stand for a minute and join in with the cheers. I’ve never seen a sight like this in Brooklyn, before.
1:25 AM Just outside our apartment, a woman passing by us says, almost under her breath, “Yes we can.”
Whether you’re celebrating or mourning the outcome, learn more about the president-elect or electoral process by checking out a book from your library. Yes, you can!