Thursday, November 6, 2008
Amassed around an elevated big-screen TV like the faithful on a Sunday, a crowd of about 200 people packed the Ol’ Factory Café on Nov. 4. They were mostly white, smartly clothed, a touch boho– and elated.
After a long, vigorous battle, Barack Obama had just been elected the 44th president of the United States.
“This is a revolution,” Chris Matthews announced on TV, to which the crowd cheered and high-fived.
Still, some managed a few jeers during John McCain’s concession speech. When the cameras panned over to McCain’s vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, one woman stood on tip-toe: “I want to see her face. I want to see her be a man about it.”
Becca Cass, 18, grew up in a Republican family but couldn’t wait to vote for Obama. “We needed change,” said the Carmel Valley resident, “we needed something different. And McCain is too old. Outdated.”
Kira Godbe of Carmel said her mother, Elizabeth Leeper, introduced her to politics during the campaign of Adlai Stevenson. “I supported Hillary, but I voted for Obama in the primaries because I felt the surge.”
Linda Roston, 49, and her friend Nellie West, 29, are from Seaside. Roston’s son-in-law is serving in Iraq, and Roston said her daughter wants her husband back. “People at the polls [today] knew what they wanted.”
After listing his accomplishments in the face of “a lot of adversity,” West said she could “feel [Obama’s] heart through the TV.”
Cheers erupted again when Obama appeared with his family on stage in Chicago. After basking for a moment, the soon-to-be First Family departed and left the president-elect to speak to America. The Ol’ Factory crowd became reverently silent. Some eyes welled with tears.
A 28-year-old woman, who is registered as a Green, said an old man in the voting booth next to her asked her, in Spanish, for help voting. He couldn’t read. He asked her to help him identify Barrack Obama, which she did. When she read the names of the state senate candidates to him, he asked which one belonged to Obama’s party– and voted accordingly.
“I didn’t care who he voted for,” she said. “It was nice to see someone that cared so much.”