...what do I do with my time now, if I'm not checking pollster.com every hour? Heh.
Okay, a few impressions from Election Eve.
I met up with Obama Guy at one of the bigger watch parties downtown. Yes, despite the fact that I live in the Reddest State in the Country (and if you think I'm not depressed by that, well...you must be new here), there are a few of us here who are...in our left minds. Heh. (I refer to us now as the 33%ers.) It was nothing like being in Grant Park or Times Square, mind you, but there were at least 200-300 people there, and they were ready to party.
It got really exciting when the first East Coast returns started to come in, and then less so as the red states took the lead for a while, and then...well, was there not just the LONGEST span of time where NOTHING happened? At one point I remarked to Obama Guy that I needed SOME state to be called, somewhere, anywhere, or I was going to explode. Fortunately we had beer and pizza (thanks, generous guy named Mark who had the pizza delivered for us) to distract us a bit. Then it seemed like it just happened out of nowhere, really, didn't it? No itemized list of the states that had been called, just suddenly..."Barack Obama Projected Winner." And then pandemonium, of course. Hugging and crying and screaming.
We did a little dancing to "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" and I believe there was a conga line formed at one point. There was a lifetime cut-out of Barack onstage, and I was really hoping that someone might send him out crowd-surfing, but I was disappointed. Heh.
It didn't really feel completely real to me, until I saw John McCain pop up on the screen to give his concession speech, which I found very eloquent and gracious, and reminiscent of McCain v.2000. I will be honest and admit that the room did break into some light booing once--when he mentioned his running mate. Someone parroted Barack's diplomatic response to booing at his rallies: "Barack would say don't boo, just vote." To which, I confess, I responded "We already voted. We get to boo a little bit now!" (Sorry, I just CAN'T STAND that woman. And apparently I am not alone.) I might feel bad about this, except for the slight audible booing (more than once) from McCain's own crowd during his speech. Moving on.
It was time for the man himself to speak.
The most moving thing for me was watching the faces of the middle-aged and older African-Americans near me, as they cried along with Oprah and Jesse Jackson. Plenty of us paler folks were teary, too, of course...but knowing that some of these people lived through segregation in a truly personal way and were now seeing something most of them never thought would happen in their lifetimes...wow.
And, may I just say...Joe the Who now? Let's hear it for 106-year-old Ann Nixon Cooper! (I read an interview with her today, and, may I just point out that Barack's campaign called to let her know that he would be mentioning her prominently in his speech, and didn't just spring it on her like a certain someone did to a certain "plumber.")
I think my personal favorite moment was when a black woman nearby shared that her teen-aged son (hovering behind her all "oh man, don't embarrass me, Mom") had just told her that he couldn't wait to tell his own kids about it someday, and Mom gave the kid a look and said "now, let's not be in any hurry to start on those kids, okay?" Hee!
All in all, it was a beautiful night. A good night to be both a Democrat and a democrat.
So, I feel you wondering, did the beauty and emotion of the evening sweep over me and Obama Guy and carry us off in a blaze of passion? Well, no. We had a good time, I like him, there was a hug and a kiss on the cheek before we parted ways, but I'm not sure either of us is feeling particularly romantic at this point. I think we should try going out on a real, non-election-related date and see if we have anything left to talk about.