Party after the polls

Nov 042008
Authors: Madeline Novey

A deafening roar accompanied showers of tears and confetti inside the Clubhouse at CB & Potts Restaurant and Brewery Tuesday night as Democratic attendees celebrated President-elect Barack Obama’s victory over Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., at Party After the Polls, in what students and election officials agreed was one of the most epic and historical elections in America.

Amid tears of joy and shouts of whole-hearted relief that followed McCain’s concession, Democrats chanted, “Yes we can! Yes we can!” as they watched the continuously updating electoral vote count.

“It’s history, it’s history!” screamed Alexis Patterson, a senior international studies and Spanish major, jumping up and down in front of her friend Stephanie Randolph, who said through tears that she was too overwhelmed to comment.

Attendees celebrated the victory – a loss to some – clustered around tables and empty glasses, in view of the seven TVs.

The initial level and volume of excitement however, was outdone when the crowd chanted “Yes we can! Yes we can!” with clasped hands and uplifted eyes as they watched as Obama take the stage as President Elect for his acceptance speech.

Among the enduring cheers and the chatter from elated victors, some Republicans sat at tables in the background in what they described as a “defeated state,” watching the celebration unfold before their eyes.

Eric Fetherman, a fishery biology graduate student, said that overall the night and the election did not come as a “surprise” because it “seemed like the way things were going to go.”

“At the same time, they both seemed like good people, so it’s not a complete loss,” Fetherman added.

Party After the Polls, a non-partisan event coordinated by the Associated Students of CSU, was designed to celebrate the youth vote and participation in the 2008 election.

In what they said was a “long-time-coming” victory, the CSU Students for Barack Obama student organization celebrated the more than four months of “tireless” work they spent campaigning for the first African American president in history.

As Colorado turned blue on TV, members of the campaign jumped up in celebration, and said that the importance of Colorado’s victory nearly matched that of the national one.

“It’s breathtaking,” said Derek Rupp, a CSU Students for Barack Obama member. Rupp said he supported the president-elect in the hopes of bringing his brother and other soldiers home from the War in Iraq. “It’s been since 1992 since we’ve won Colorado, and it’s amazing that we were able to pull it off.”

Obama supporters said they were “overjoyed” by his success and historical win because it means change for the nation and a departure from the last eight years, which have been dominated by a Republican presidency.

As Obama’s electoral vote numbers continued to climb after the first historical announcement, Democrats excitedly chattered about the positive future they expect to come with the win and the true significance of their participation in the election.

“It’s amazing to watch this happen; it was historical” said Amber Ortiz, a junior microbiology major, who wiped away tears as she spoke. “On one side, we had a biracial man, and on the other, we had a woman, a token woman but a woman none the less. It was history.”

Senior Reporter Madeline Novey can be reached at

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