Oh, sorry, am I yelling?

So. I went to Grant Park. Really glad I did — being with tens of thousands of other people screaming “WOOOOOOOOOO!” when Pennsylvania, then Ohio, then Iowa went blue was pretty fucking amazing. Even more amazing was the fact that I found Colleen and her lovely beau Brandon in the crowd, so I had company. (Al flatly refused to go anywhere near downtown.) 

However, I remain old and anti-crowd, and we were so far back that we were just going to have to watch Obama’s speech on the same Jumbotron we were watching CNN on. So, about 15 minutes before CNN called it, I decided to get out while the gettin’ was good. And I’m really glad about that, too. Got a cab instantly, which would so not have happened even half an hour later. I had to listen to McCain’s concession speech on Spillah’s TV via phone, but now I’m home on the couch, waiting to watch Obama’s speech on TV just like I would have at the park, only with Al, the dogs, 70,000 fewer people, and a flush toilet nearby. 

At a stoplight on Michigan Avenue, moments after the news became official, a car full of young African American guys pulled up next to my cab and started screaming and waving at us. I gave them a huge grin and a thumbs up, and the guy in the passenger seat threw back his head and laughed, then shouted, “MY PRESIDENT IS BLACK! MY PRESIDENT IS BLACK!” I had nothing to say but, “WOOOOOOOOO!” (Which kinda made the cab driver want to kill me.) (Update: Check this out!)

That’s the election-night moment I’m going to remember for the rest of my life, and that wouldn’t have happened if I’d stayed at the park. So glad I went, so glad I left when I did. 

Ooh, he’s speaking! Okay, shutting up now. Here are some crappy camera phone pics of me and Colleen and Colleen and Brandon. 


64 thoughts on “PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA!”

  1. FUCKING AMAZING!!! There are no words for the pride that is filling my heart. Even this old cynic is hopeful.

  2. i keep getting teary, and then i stuff the tears away because i won’t feel safe to hope until all the votes are in. i know everything is calling it for obama, but i won’t feel at peace until all the votes have been counted.

  3. This is fantastic! Congratulations from Australia where I watched Obama’s speech in the boardroom with colleagues, toasted the victory with champagne, and got teary, but I’m not embarassed by that, God damn it!

    Well done all you voters who got out there and made history.

  4. Oh, the party looks so awesome in Grant Park. It’s not the same watching here on TV in the California ‘burbs, especially with Prop 8 not looking so good.

    I’m an English woman living in Ireland and I almost feel like he’s my President too :D

  6. My face hurts too! From the sobbing while giggling for an hour and a half straight! My kitties are totally freaked out!

  7. This is so fantastic!

    And this is completely horrible, but even as I am excited and joyful, I am obsessively checking the various abortion and gay rights measures, some of which are not doing so well, and feeling despairing.

    What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I be happy for the win instead of worrying immediately about the next thing?

    ok, not raining on the parade any longer. MY PRESIDENT IS BLACK!!!

  8. Now THAT was a speech. Even my roommate’s 14 year old son was impressed. He did kind of laugh at me for crying my fool face off when I saw Jesse Jackson crying in the crowd.

    My heart is full.

  9. My daughter and I are soooo full of happiness all the way over here in Canada! It feels like we’re living in a new world.. already.

    I love the MY PRESIDENT IS BLACK moment!

    That moment when all four of them were up on stage.. Obama and Biden and their wives, and they had that group hug, and then, just seeing them standing there.. it was like seeing the future, and that the future will be different!

    Thank you, my American friends, for making this happen!

  10. I have never been so proud of my country. I watched at a party with white people, people of color, queer people, straight people, children of immigrants, grad students, working people. When Obama talked about being president of people of all races, sexualities, and abilities, I lost my shit. We all screamed and cried and toasted champagne. It’s a new world.

  11. I will gladly admit to tears, Seeing him up there with his wife knowing that this is indeed a historic moment that we were all witnessing tears were shed. Tears that flowed even more freely seeing Jesse Jackson’s tears and knowing that my feelings couldn’t rival even one tenth what he must be feeling.

    Then reading your experience Kate… well “MY PRESIDENT IS BLACK”… shoot that just started it all up again.

    This is history … and the future will be an interesting place to experience now :D

    Congrats President Elect Obama, Do us proud!

  12. I have never been so proud of this country or so proud to have voted today!

    Honestly, we stated drinking hours ago, just in case…so I was ready to be so happy on this historic moment.

    The Hawaii polls were closed literally one minute when Obama’s election was announced.

    I will never forget that as long as I live!



    Now, while we’re at it, can we get all the Oborg from the primaries who were on Hillary Clinton’s ass to drop out to give her a GIANT apology? They said she was ruining Obama’s chances of getting elected, and it turns out just the opposite was true — she sharpened him up for what was coming, just like I said she was doing.

    You guys’ll have to drink for me, though. I still have to work tonight, boo hiss!

  14. I saw that huge scene in Chicago, wow, amazing. I’m with you on the crowds, though, I watched it all from a living room party. My city is kinda quiet tonight, Prop 8 (gay marriage) looks like it’s failing, which will put a damper on people’s happiness locally.

    Hopefully this country will start undoing some of the damage of the last 8 (20?) years. I’ve never been happy about an election result, at least not for president.

  15. We didn’t even expect it to be called as early as it was. We were taking a break from election coverage, watching The Daily Show, planning to tune back in to the election in a few minutes… when all of a sudden, “PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA” was all over the screen. There was this moment of, “Are they serious?” before the hugging and crying started.

    Also the drinking. Well, I knew I was gonna be hungover tomorrow, either way. At least now it’s a good hangover.

    OH MY GOD, this actually happened.

  16. I just got into work (it’s just about 8am here in the UK) and found out… I feel like crying and he’s not even my President!

    Awesome day – congratulations America! xxxx

  17. I arrived towards the end of McCain’s speech and got to see all of Obama’s. It made a difference for me, being where everyone was screaming or clapping at the appropriate points, but I can also appreciate the urge to go home.

    We did have a fun bus ride back, though–Barbara Flynn Currie, who’s awesome, was on the bus with us!

  18. I cried too, especially during the speech. I’m not even a crier. We, too, had a “My President is BLACK!” moment. Some young African-Americans were leaving the bar where we watched the returns come in. I, too, “WOOOOO”-ed, because we were at the outdoor patio.
    I finally feel hope for our country.

  19. I still thought McCain would get it, but am I glad that he didn’t. I really believe so many people in America just got fed up with eight years of bullshit and are ready for something different. So yeah, I’m truly happy and grateful, especially because I get to live through a positive historic moment that will be remembered for years to come. And like people in other countries, I hope his election will begin the long process of healing and repairing worldwide wounds opened up by the current administration.

    When Obama started talking, and mentioned black, white, Hispanic, Native American, Asian, gay, lesbian, disabled and non-disabled, I wondered if Kate had slipped him a note or something. :-) I did think of her and other FA bloggers during that part!

    On a happy local note, the resolution to bring slots to Maryland passed. While it’s not as crucial or important to human decency like Prop 8, our state desperately needs to pump in money, and the last thing this economy needs is more taxes and budget cuts.

  20. Last night touched many people in many different ways. Each and every one of us will have a memory that will stay with us for the rest of our lives!

  21. The only moment I can imagine feeling more pride in my country will be when I hear these words:

    “I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States of America …”

  22. Jmars, I just teared up reading that.

    Holy crap. It still hasn’t quite sunk in yet – I think I’m going to be laughing and crying at various times for at least a few more days before I manage to accept that yes, he won, there honestly isn’t the remotest chance that McCain could still squeak out an upset or mess with the machines or disenfranchise voters, it’s over, he won, omgwtfbbq MY PRESIDENT IS BLACK!

    And some day I will tell my grandchildren that I VOLUNTEERED FOR OBAMA’S CAMPAIGN. I helped, in the small way that I could, to get him elected. And it’s over. We did it. WE DID IT.

    … I think part of the reason it hasn’t quite sunk in yet, is because, well, now what? What do I do with my time now that I’m not going to be spending every spare second at the Obama office?

  23. YEAH!!!!!!!!!

    I somehow got to sleep last night, but not after going in to my 4 y.o.’s room and gently shaking him awake.

    “Sweetie? I just wanted to let you know Obama won.”

    “Obama… won…?”

    “Yep. Obama won.”

    Whereupon he got a big grin and then instantly fell back asleep.

    We were staying at the Essex Inn – right across from Grant Park – this past weekend for the American Academy of Religion annual meeting. Monday morning, as we were checking out, Obama people were checking in. I’ll remember that for as long as I’ve still got my mental faculties, I think.

    This morning, reading the coverage, I lost it when I read this from the <a href=”http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/04/AR2008110403575_2.html?hpid=topnews”.WaPo:

    “On a chain link fence erected by inaugural construction crews, someone hung the sign: ‘Welcome Home Malia and Sasha!'”


    Stayed up until 6 in the morning watching CNN with friends (I’m in the GMT+1 time zone). We opened a bottle of “champagne” (cheap apple cider) when the election was called for Obama!


  25. I stayed up ’till 6 am to see Obama’s speech as well, cursing the fact that the rest of the house was asleep so I couldn’t clap and cheer out loud. :D

  26. Wow, had too much to drink last night. I couldn’t be happier nationally, and I am thrilled that CA, SD, and CO all rejected abortion restrictions/conception laws, but I am bummed that prop 8 passed, which is a gay marriage ban. I wonder what happens to all who married already? I don’t understand why anybody would be against gay MARRIAGE. I know a lot of folks who are against marriage for anybody, but that’s different. We’ll get there, hopefully a much smarter President will inspire a more intelligent country.

  27. I cried through the whole speech.

    I finally went to bed around 1am and teared up again before I fell asleep. Every time I think about the image of Jesse Jackson standing in Grant Park, surrounded by hundreds of thousands of celebrating people, with tears on his face, I get choked up all over again.

    I’m sitting here going in late to work because I wanted to read all my usual political blogs and haunts before I left. There was celebrating here in the streets in my tiny little nowhere town in West Virginia, even though the state went to McCain, because we’re a college town full of young voters who were Obama supporters.

    I’m disappointed in California and some other results, but I still have to keep reminding myself this isn’t a dream or a fiction.

    And I echo what a friend of mine said last night after Obama’s victory speech: Please God, keep him safe. Please.


  28. SO exciting. Good call getting out of there early Kate, my coworker said his friends didn’t get home until 3am, they had to walk from Grant Park to Lakeview.

    I totally cried when they called it on the Daily Show. And then they made me laugh.

  29. Yay! I’m so glad you went-at least for a little while. I kinda wished I was out somewhere celebrating, but it was fun to watch the results tick in with the kids.


  30. my coworker said his friends didn’t get home until 3am, they had to walk from Grant Park to Lakeview.

    GAH. That’s exactly what I was afraid of! So glad I let old and crotchety Kate talk some sense into young and excited Kate.

  31. [i]And I echo what a friend of mine said last night after Obama’s victory speech: Please God, keep him safe. Please. [/i]

    Yes, I feel the exact same way. That, and I’m very disappointed in California, Arizona and Florida with regard to gay marriage.

  32. Kate, I’d say the Essex Inn was okay. I’m more or less glad we stayed there. Here’s my rundown of pros and cons.

    Good points:
    1. Affordable for the location.

    2. Kicky retro decor that makes you feel like you’re about to run into Hercule Poirot on the elevator.

    3. pool with a fun glass roof.

    4. nice views.

    Bad points:
    1. hotel restaurant is several notches down from Denny’s.

    2. Almost no control over room temperature. In the fall/winter you can *only* warm your room, and in the spring/simmer you can *only* cool your room. Which stinks if, for example, you’re staying there on a very unseasonably warm day in November and your 11th floor room feels like a furnace. You’re basically SOL and just have to roast.

    3. Conflicting information from hotel staff taking reservations. The king suite and the family suite adjoin; no they don’t; yes they do; no they don’t… There are no minifridges in the room; yes there are; no there aren’t; yes there are, etc. (Incidentally, our rooms had mini-fridges, which was great! But we’d heard there would be no fridges so we had brought along cans of evaporated milk for the 1 y.o. In fairness, they did remodel recently, so I think the staff is kind of getting their bearings.)

  33. I stayed for the whole thing, took 300 pictures, cried like a baby, screamed like I was in a horror movie, danced in the streets, walked 750 miles right down Michigan Avenue. It was un-fucking-believable.

    I can’t believe I’m at the office.

  34. I have to say, I voted for Obama, because he is Obama. For his politics, and the direction I think he will take us.

    But the fact that we just elected the first non-white president is just extra fucking cool. I’m sure it feels like a much more personal victory to people of color, but even this white girl is shedding a few tears over the beauty of this historic moment. I’m really proud of my country for this.

    Now, can we work on overturning those anti-gay propositions? Cause that’s not cool.

  35. at 8:50 am pst, prop 8 and prop 4 still aren’t officially called (at least not on cnn.com) so i’m staying hopeful. prop 4 looks to lose (YEAY!!!!!) but prop 8 looks to pass. which is heartbreaking, since (to my knowledge) it’s retroactive so anyone married in those too few months has their marriage negated. but i’m with portlydyke in bitter hope. now there’s a whole big chunk of people with a very real shot at class action law suits and maybe some supreme court action. it is my hope that we see another loving v. virginia on a much larger scale. and it is my hope that everyone who was married in that summer of equality will be vindicated in the end.

  36. Tari, I can’t wait to see your pics! Good on you for getting there early, woman! We kept going through the checkpoints thinking, “Man, they’re really not making much of an effort to check our tickets or IDs, much less our bags — weird.” Then we got to the field, and I was like, “Okay, where’s the metal detector? Tari said there was one…” And then it hit us: the crowd was already so big that we posed absolutely no danger to Obama from our position, so nobody gave a rat’s ass if we had weapons.

    On the plus side, that did mean we got through the line a whole lot faster than you did. (Under an hour.) On the minus side, we were like 84 miles from the stage.

  37. Yeah, when I heard y’all didn’t have to go through the damn metal detector, I was displeased. I was up there, but still just in the middle of a sea of people, not by the stage or anything. All my pictures of Obama are off the damn jumbotron….and the rest are crowd shots…I’m not sure if I’ll have many worth looking at yet.

    I didn’t hurry at all. I moseyed, and made shitty comments at assholes who were trampling people trying to somehow speed up the crowd. Plus, it was like a party from one end of the Loop to the other.

  38. Up on the North Side of Chi, after the election was called, the streets were deserted and silent. I think everyone was tucked away at home savoring the victory or downtown celebrating. I feel like I missed out a little, but still I have this:

    MY PRESIDENT IS BLACK!!! Hooray for us all!

  39. Up on the North Side of Chi, after the election was called, the streets were deserted and silent.

    When I made it home to Rogers Park and off the el, I was greeted by a posse of cops on the platform, and another blocking off the street. Nobody else was around. Very confusing.

  40. When I made it home to Rogers Park and off the el, I was greeted by a posse of cops on the platform, and another blocking off the street. Nobody else was around. Very confusing.
    Huh, whu–? That is weird! I wonder where everyone was! I talked to my sister in Portland around the same time, and she said people were crowded in the streets, honking and yelling and hugging each other. I could hear it in the background!

    Actually, now that I think about it, there were so many house parties and public election-watching gatherings at various bars and stuff, maybe everyone was sequestered someplace special and didn’t feel like taking it to the streets unless they were downtown.

  41. And here in the UK, I’ve also been getting teary…’specially after that speech.

    Awesome, amazing, fantastic, and many of us here are really, really hoping that this is the fresh new start it feels like. For the USA and, yeah, the rest of us too.

  42. To be clear, the sexism is in Nate’s original post – the ogling picture that he posts “for kicks” – and a few follow-up comments.

    I tried to give him a feminist ass-whupping but it isn’t recognizing my blogger password for some reason.

  43. I am, for the first time in years, hopeful for the future of America. This is such an incredible thing.

    I feel so inspired by our country right now. I can’t remember the last time I was able to say that.

    I have some salad dressing in my fridge. By the time it expires, Obama will be prez.

    Too cool.

  44. I’ve never felt the pride in our country that I feel today. At the age of 30, I voted in my first election yesterday, and became a part of something amazing.

    My heart is floating on a river of hope.

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