Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Where were you when Obama became president?

Well, I try to keep politics to a minimum here at That Austin Girl. (You know, to focus on pressing issues, like dance parties.)

I also know that not everyone who reads this blog is a Democrat, but hey! That's what makes our country great! That we can all have opinions and chime in.

So if you'll excuse me for a moment, I am STILL celebrating -

Obama won!!!!!!!

It's history! I had to hold back tears all day today!

Question: Where were you guys when Obama won?

I was downtown, y'all. And it was so much fun!

R., Nina, Sissel, Jason Silverpants and I were all at Mother Egan's, watching the returns come in. It was a loud, lively, drunk-in-a-good-way crowd, wit
h booing and cheering every time a state's results were announced. Because we have all been so well-educated by CNN's Magic Wall (how much do the anchors LOVE that thing, btw), we knew the ones to watch: Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio. But then, they're always the ones to watch.

First, they announced Pennsylvania. Then Florida. Then - OMG - Ohio! All for Obama!

I gathered up R. We started walking to The Driskill. We were a couple of blocks away, when all of a sudden -

Cars honking.

People screaming.

And a girl, out of nowhere, tearing down the street (um, THROU
GH the street - Sixth Street!), yelling, "where were YOU when Barack OBAMA was elected president?"

R. and I started running to The Driskill. When we got there, there were people pouring out, shouting and smiling and holding "Obama Biden 2008" signs high over their heads. We ran inside, up the stairs, and into one of the massive lobbies. And here is who we saw!

Two cute girls, right after the big announcement

This gentleman with the rad shirt, watching the screen

Above, three generations of Obama supporters!

Awaiting Obama's speech!

It was one of the most special nights of my life. I'm so happy I was in Austin for it!

(SPEAKING OF. Do you remember that blueberry-in-tomato-soup metaphor I made? It's no longer true! This election cycle, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, and DALLAS - WHAT! - all went blue!! Can you believe it?)

Anyway, I'm still riding an endorphin-wave today, and it was all I could do to not be completely distracted at work. Even now, when I think about his "Yes we can" speech, I feel my face start to mush up and tears wanting to come out. America, how does it feel to have a "rhetorician" as your president? It feels pretty good, doesn't it!!

But. Before we wrap things up - I just want to say one thing.

McCain gave one hell of a classy concession speech last night.

McCain supporters, I remember how I felt four years ago when Kerry lost. It was an emotional, awful day, with smeared mascara and wearing of black clothing. And do you know what one of your people did on that day? A conservative, a Bush supporter?

She gave me a hug. She saw me crying, and she embraced me.

Democrats, may we all be that loving.


Amy said...

Great message Tolly! I can't believe that Obama got 44% of the Texas vote -- very exciting! While I am THRILLED that Obama won, I agree McCain was incredibly gracious. I hope both sides will take to heart the messages from their leaders and focus on our commonalities to move the country forward. My favorite part of Obama's speech was his use of Lincoln's words: "We are not enemies, but friends...though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection."

McChris said...

I feel like splitting a hair and pointing out that Obama won't become president until he's inaugurated in January, so it's unlikely readers will know where they will be during the inauguration.

I know what you meant, but I mention this because I find the network projections epistemologically fraught, particularly after the 2000 projections that showed Gore winning. It's nice that the networks can reach a conclusion by the end of prime time, but it's really reaching to say Obama became president when your favorite network called it at 11pm EST.

Anyway, I was at Adam's house when NBC news called it Tuesday night.

That Austin Girl said...

Good point, McChris!

Anonymous said...

I got all choked up. I loved when he said his little girls deserve the puppy they're getting when they move into the white house. His speech was so well delivered. I know that if I were him- I would be crying my eyes out and unable to say anything articulately. I cant believe Dallas went blue- Texas rules! I have been beaming since the election.

Snowed In said...

McCain supporters, I remember how I felt four years ago when Kerry lost...

I just gotta say, this section was a very nice gesture toward those of us who voted the other way. Thank you.

lastnamehand said...

McCain gave one hell of a classy concession speech last night.

I can not agree.

McCain's speech, though grounded in the reality of his loss, was oddly focused on race and the significance of the victory for african-americans (invocation of Booker T Washington? What's up with that?). This coming from the guy that voted against a national MLK holiday and was a strong supporter of the racist Arizona governor Mecham. McCain's speech was bizarre and sounded to me more like excuse making and justification for his loss.

Yes, Obama is a black candidate. But that is not the reason why 64,413,006 (current count) Americans elected him.

I did breathe a sigh of relief that the man actually accepted that he lost, so for that I was grateful.

Laura said...

With a load of strangers that quickly became my friends at a small party in Travis Heights. Amazing how such events can bond you to people you just met!

and yes, I remember too what it felt like when Kerry lost last election. So, I understand the extreme disappointment of those that don't always agree politically with me. It actually inspired me to call my Republican friends and tell them how much I care about them even though we disagree!

Crumbs said...

hey - unrelated, but I think it needs to be investigated. check out this craig's list posting. I mean, I think they are trying to make the A in A-Team stand for Austin. It's hysterical and I'm too new in town to share it with anyone else.

Breyonce said...

I was at a small house party, and we were watching The Daily Show coverage of the election at the moment Jon Stewart announced that Obama had won. It was kind of surreal, and it seemed so sudden. Stewart seemed a bit awestruck himself. Then we all just burst out yelling and cheering, like, REALLY? THIS IS IT, IT'S OVER?? THIS. JUST. HAPPENED. It was a very nice feeling.

I really liked Obama up until that point, but after watching his acceptance speech, I kinda fell in love with him a little bit.

That Austin Girl said...

Hi Jen!! Move to Austin!!!!

Lastnamehand - you know, that's an interesting interpretation. I guess I didn't think of it that way. Voting against MLK Day - you're right, that's messed up. But I took his speech as an acknowledgment of a cultural milestone, and not excuse-making.

You make another good point though, about the 64,413,006 that voted for Barack, for reasons other than his skin color. (Like me, I voted b/c he's hot!!!! Kidding kidding....)

That Austin Girl said...

Laura! I think it's so awesome that you called your Republican friends to tell them that you care about them!!! You go girl. That's EXACTLY what this country needs right now.

Annie in Austin said...

We stayed home so it's fun to see your post and photos from cool Austin places.

I really expected the count to take a long time - couldn't believe it was only 10PM when Brian Williams/NBC said there'd once again be children in the White House.

After a few minutes of toasting we called our out-of-state kids and got emotional all over again.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Anonymous said...

I was hopping around from different election parties, but when he hit 207 votes, being the CNN crack addict that I am, I snuck home, so that I could hear everything, I know I'm a dork. But I did take a picture on my flat screen of when CNN called it for Obama, priceless!

Laura said...

Thought you might find this link interesting -

thelizness said...

i was with w. at his place on enfield, and when it was announced, we could hear all the madness from downtown--cars honking and a dull roar of thousands of people cheering. it was pretty awesome. i kind of regret not being out and about in it all, but it was still an awesome moment.
i have to say, though, that it was strange and surreal, too. i just remember all of the sudden seeing a static image of Obama pop up on the screen with the words, "Barack Obama elected 44th president of the Unites States," and sitting there silently for a few seconds, thinking, "well, that seems a little premature"--not getting that it was over, that it was being called. it's like, history happened and it took me a few seconds to even realize it. w. and i just sat there, staring at the screen, then looking at each other with equally confused expressions, then suddenly, it all became real, it all sank in. what a night.

Anonymous said...

i was sooo happy that night when obama became president elect! it was so nice to feel hopeful again. i am out of the country now but when i come back and obama is president i think it will feel very different and good. and i do remember how sad, disappointed and utterly shocked i was when bush won for the second time 4 years ago. i find it hard to to feel sympathy for the republicans that were disappointed because we've had a conservative president for 8 years straight and things haven't been very good; liberals have waited for this moment for a long time. but i have friends who happen to be republican and if one of them had been crying i would have given them a hug... i agree, mccain gave a good speech, quite humbling for me to hear coming from him, even tho he did focus a bit too much on the fact that obama is african-american.

Anonymous said...

i wanted to add ( i posted the comment before this one)- im a little sad i was not in the u.s. amidst all the madness and celebration when obama was elected. i was in the apartment watching cnn international. still it was awesome. and yes, very surreal at first. still kind of is.