Tuesday saw Obama shirts, buttons, hats, sweatshirts, signs, and magnets take over. Nary a Republican supporter was to be found. I suspect they were in hiding as usual around this school. But the mood was very pensive. I think we realized that the election would be over soon, yet we were (or I was, at least), running over possible scenarios: Would Obama and Rossi win? What if McCain grabs Ohio and Pennsylvania? Florida? Palin as vice president? Maybe Drudge was right after all?
Students and teachers were testy, cranky, and generally pessimistic. We’re elitist Seattleites who distrust any state that isn’t touching an ocean, and generally consider our red-state cousins as Republican peons. We’ve seen elections in our grasp before… only to have it wretched away by some suspect voter registration issues in a swing state or a politically-charged and unusual supreme court decision.
As classes got out, we filed to different parties, turned on MSNBC, and waited. With disbelief in our eyes we saw Pennsylvania go for Obama, and then Ohio, and Virginia, and Nevada. Then we added up the electoral votes, and saw that California+Washington would push past the mythical 270 which had eluded us for the previous two elections. Stunned at what was happening–even thought deep down we knew it would happen–the networks called the election for a democrat, and then McCain gave his concession speech. The rest of the night was a blur of jubilation, partying and eating. My phone lit up with calls and texts from friends who were trying to confirm they weren’t dreaming.
After everyone left and Eddy had gone to bed, I sat in my living room with the projector still on MSNBC looking at results on my laptop. Outside students, parents, and homeless were singing happy songs while wandering the streets drunk and happy. I didn’t want to go to bed–I wanted to let it sink in.
Today the mood on campus was different. No more Obama shirts were seen, but almost everyone had a little bounce in their step, they were looking up instead of down, and people were smiling again. I think they’re in disbelief–and that’s because I’m sure it still hasn’t hit yet.
Savour this moment.