Cheers of “O-BA-MA! O-BA-MA!” rang out all across Washington D.C. as supporters of President-elect Barack Obama celebrated everywhere — from gatherings in people’s homes, to viewing parties at colleges and universities, restaurants and bars and large hotel auditoriums parties.
The Madison Hotel hosted the Washington Democratic Committee’s election viewing party. Throughout the night, Democratic congressional office workers, Obama campaign volunteers and residents partied in anticipation of the announcement of our next president. The atmosphere was confident, supporters like Jeff Canady of Washington’s public schools, said, “I knew months ago Obama would win.”
Once the official announcement was made, older supporters were especially emotional. Rosarind Oden, who lives in Ward 7, cried and proclaimed, “Never in my lifetime. Never in my lifetime. Never in my life.” Across town at Bus Boys and Poets, a popular restaurant and bar on 14th and V streets, the NAACP’s viewing party was just as jubilant. When the announcement was made, champagne bottles were popped and tears were flowing. People across cultural and age boundaries showed up in support of Barack Obama.
“We have a president who is a former community organizer, former civil rights leader,” said Ben Jealous, president of the NAACP. “We still have to make the mandate for our president to do great things.”Frederick Jean, a black French musician said, “I come from France originally and I am aware of the impact it has on the minorities in France, No matter what color you are, racism is now only an issue of the past.”
At the Hawk & Dove on Pennsylvania Avenue in southeast Washington Capitol Hill, party-goers viewed Tuesday’s historical presidential race from the District’s oldest Irish bar. “This is Capitol Hill,” Democrat Carly Palids, 23, said. “Everyone knows this is the place to be tonight because we will see the results of the election first hand here on the Hill.”Republican absentee voter Holly Traimer, 43, from Fairfax Va. said though she is naturally a Republican, she would be happy with President-elect Barack Obama.
“We are all Americans and that is the beauty of our country,” Traimer said. “I feel hood-winked by the last eight years and I am ready for a change in the way our country is being run.”
Many of the viewers expressed their dissatisfaction with America’s current presidency.
Independent Edward Peterson, 47, of Maryland said that this is the fourth straight presidential election he has participated in and never thought that he would see the day that a black man could possibly become the president of the United States of America.”As a black man tonight symbolizes change for me and this country,” Peterson said. That symbolism of change also reached students at Howard University. Cheers, screams, and cries of joy filled the campus of Howard University after CNN called the race for Obama. Students rejoiced in the most historical moment of their lifetime. Despite the rain, students roared, “My President is Black.”
Students jumped into the air and shouted. Some cried as they talked on their cell phones.