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Home » Culture and Criticism

Yes We KECHONK!

Submitted by on November 5, 2008 – 2:19 AM187 Comments


In lieu of the regular Vine, a few words of advice: remember when this happened, and how awesome it felt. Remember that you, the Nation, have improved the lives of tens of thousands of people. Community action works; just ask that guy up top there.

Tough day for American progressives, but don't give up. Thank reader Greg for the photo hilarity, donate to the Fall Classic, and try not to freak out. Or freak out in the comments. We're here for you.

November 3, 2010

We ran upstairs right before eleven so we wouldn't miss the West Coast returns, but instead of telling us who won what state, CNN just blurted it out: Obama is our next president. It took a second, but then, bedlam.

Right now, two hours later, I can still hear intermittent honking and cheering outside. Total strangers gave me thumbs-ups and congrats as I walked home. I can't describe the feeling; I can't believe it's true. I barely remember what it's like to feel like the country's leadership cares about me or anything I believe in, or to think the guy I voted for isn't just the lesser of two evils.

And President-Elect Obama immediately repaid my faith by 1) beginning his speech precisely on time, 2) thanking his supporters and giving the voters the credit without sounding obsequious or fake, and 3) immediately saying that this is just the first of many steps we all need to take together…"this is not over," in effect. That speech, like so many of his speeches, is rhetorically a lot harder to do than it might seem, never mind convincingly, and he did it.

Also awesome: the crowds totally bugging out at the White House, Frank Lautenberg running for Senate in Jersey and winning despite being old enough to remember when the Senate had an outhouse, and Joe Biden's mom. And Joe Biden. And Prop 8 going down (fingers crossed!). And, when it really counted, America. Good job, guys.

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187 Comments »

  • Fiona says:

    I am so proud!

  • The Hoobie says:

    Omigod omigod omigod! I'm more speechless with happiness than I thought it would be! It's just so hard for this beaten-down Donkey to comprehend that not only did we WIN, but we did so all throughout the country, with generous margins, and with a profoundly intelligent, transcendent candidate who I think is the only president who could possibly meet this moment.

    I feel like wrapping myself in the flag tomorrow. Spontaneously breaking out into "God Bless America." I don't know what to do with myself!

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Christina says:

    What an amazing night! I watched the results from a crowded bar in the East Village – all these happy New Yorkers screaming with joy and hugging each other like crazy brought tears to my eyes. Can't believe we get to look forward to President Obama and Vice President Biden – YES WE DID!!!!

  • Nev says:

    Aiiiiiieeeeeee!!

    Woooo to the friggin' HOOOOO! So soooooo rapt for you guys, can't even describe it.

    We also watched Obama's acceptance speech live in the office kitchen here in Melbourne, standing in awe of his words and the enormity of his historical victory…and I welled up, the big ole' stupid softie I am. But I blinked it back because, dammit, I can't cry in the office!! :D

    Obama Obama bo-bama
    Banana-fana fo-fama
    Fee-fi-mo-mama
    Obama! :D

    We Aussies salute you for the most fanbloodytastic president selection ever… Change? Yes we can, yes we kechonk!!

  • Kate says:

    Sars, I live near Union Square and the sporadic shouts of "Yes We Can" even now, two hours later, are the sweetest lullaby I have ever heard. I am amazed, inspired and thrilled. I have felt all these things when the Yankees won the World Series but never due to the result of a presidential election. And while I am afriad it might be blasphemous to say so, never this strong. I have renewed faith in my country and my fellow citizens. I was afraid to hope and now I have it – hope.

  • Lauren says:

    Oh, to piggyback my last comment: Not to mention–my mom campaigned for Joe Biden in Delaware in 1972.

    It's a happy house. :)

  • Shannon says:

    It was absolutely nuts here in Oregon- we were waiting for the clock to count down to 8pm to see how our state voted, and instead of hearing those results we saw the "Barack Obama Elected 44th President of the United States." It took a few seconds to realize it wasn't a mistake, and then there was all kinds of screaming and jumping and carrying on. His speech was just amazing, I am so proud to have voted for a man that can bring us all together like that!

  • alivicwil says:

    Yes, you did, America!

    I am so proud of you.

    Australia thanks you

  • Jess in Michigan says:

    I screamed with glee when I saw the results on the CNN webpage.

    Here where I am, everyone has taken to the streets and they've been celebrating for THREE HOURS. THREE HOURS, YOU GUYS, AND THEY SHOW NO SIGNS OF STOPPING. Hell, they even got out the marching band drums!

    This is the first time I've heard people sing the national anthem and yell "U-S-A!" with so much pride in a long time.

  • Mnerva says:

    I agree with Hoobie. I am speechlessly happy. And that that doesn't happen too often, let me tell you. I live in a TOTALLY red state, so having Obama win is just that much sweeter. Great, great night.

  • Alicia says:

    Brooklyn was an amazing place to be tonight! There was hooting and hollering all up and down my block as the announcement came in. It'll be strange to have some faith in the government again–strange and wonderful!

  • Lee says:

    I sat in my house tonight and cried because for the first time in a long time, I feel like the world and the country are going to be a better place. Now i need to go iron my Dem blue shirt to wear to work tomorrow here in DEEP RED state Alabama.

  • Emily in CO says:

    Delurking after a really long time to say that I cried throughout the entire speech, in a good way.
    Hope is the word of the day folks.

  • Kate says:

    And THAT'S what a mandate looks like, Mr. Bush!

  • Bev N says:

    i feel like i have been breating shallowly in fear for years and that now i can relax enough to exhale.

  • Soylent says:

    Aww, well done guys. I was watching CNN all day and could barely believe it was happening. My daughter even conveniently had an unusually long nap, just so I could watch the acceptance speech (she even chants Obama, but it comes out as Mamama).

    Here in Australia, we had our elections in November and after 11 years finally ousted John Howard, who as well as being Bush's BFF had been an expert in wedge politics and I remember that when I woke the next day, it just felt like there was a positive vibe in the world.

    So I imagine that while getting Bush out was one, thing, getting a man like Obama in is the icing on the cake, assuming the icing is made of Ferrero Rocher, gold and awesome.

  • Erin Kiley says:

    I am beyond thrilled. We have a president we care about who cares about us in return! Not only that, Obama got more young people to vote than any candidate in recent memory. If he had lost, the result might have been the most disillusioned electorate in history. I am proud of Obama for remembering that winning an election is not a happy ending. It is only the beginning.

    Now is the time for everyone who cared enough to vote to care enough to do more. Keep paying attention to the issues. Speak up at city council meetings. Write letters to the editor of the newspaper. Contact your representatives, state senators, congressmen, U.S. senators and even the president to tell them how you feel about issues up for the vote, or to be signed into law. As Alice Walker said (and President Elect Obama quoted), "We are the ones we have been waiting for." America, you have spoken. You have been heard. Never be silent again.

  • camelama says:

    I wasn't letting myself get excited, I thought. I wasn't letting myself hope. But when NBC called it (I happened to be on them at the moment), oh my stars and garters, I finally admitted to myself that I'd been hoping all along for this resolution.

    And I have to say – for the very first time EVER, I actually could sit and listen to McCain without cringing. His voice during his concession speech didn't set my nerve-ends into pain spasms. It was as if he finally just spoke *as himself* instead of as a candidate. Holy hannah.

    Also very first time I sat and listened to an entire political speech: Obama's speech. I just … I LOATHE hearing politicians speak. Anyone. Any party, any position, any speech. HATE. Like cats hate Roombas. But that speech… that speech. Wow.

  • Luxe says:

    Well done! You have finally managed to vote in an individual who actually wants to make America (and the world) a better place to live in. You did it, and the rest of the planet thanks you for it. GO OBAMA – let’s hope that he is all he promises to be.

    (from Luxe in the UK who woke up to fantastic news this morning).

  • Kathryn T. says:

    When the announcement came through, I sat down on the floor of the 1st District Dems in Washington and cried, and cried, and cried. I was so happy. My husband picked me up and we jumped up and down together, and my two-year old wittered nervously about saying "What happen? Mommy sad? Daddy sad? I hug! Big hug! Obama hug!" (We'd been talking so much about Obama, she decided his name was a sort of all-purpose good word.)

    We said "YES! Happy! Obama hug!" and picked her up and wept for joy.

  • Hari says:

    Congratulations US. We're all so chuffed for you on the other side of the pond!

  • Kerry says:

    I have an appointment in London today, and I was so scared that I was going to have to spend the day explaining to confused Brits why my country screwed up AGAIN.

    But oh my God…we did it! I just wish I could have been there to see it instead of casting my vote from over here!

  • Ted says:

    Oh, I totally hear you about feeling a little weird at not having a government that you feel you're going to rail against. My best friend and I have been railing against Bush for the past 8 years, almost like a greeting ("fucking Bush" "yeah, fucking Bush"), and we knew how we'd react if McCain/Palin won (move to Toronto. no, seriously) but it took us a while to figure out what we would do should Obama/Biden win, and we finally came to the conclusion: we will celebrate, but retain our gloomy dispositions.

    I fell asleep to Michael Moore's Slacker Uprising and woke up to an army of text messages just saying "OBAMA WON!" – that was one awesome freakin' wakeup. Now all I have left is to watch the CT, AZ, and CA gay marriage BS questions/props.

  • Q says:

    I tried to call but my cell phone kept crapping out. What a night , what a night! I burst into tears when he won Ohio. I said this in a txt , but the world can look to America with wonder and awe again. Great job you guys. This makes me want to move to America. I want to live in a country that elects Obama as its president.

  • Jade says:

    Well as a girl watching CNN right now down in Aussieland I just have to say that I believe I speak for a great many of us when I say 'Good job you guys, we salute you!'

    Metaphorically of course :-)

  • F. McGee says:

    Prop 8 passed, and Prop 2 as well. I live in Florida, and my relationship doesn't count now, the hatred and intolerance toward anyone not in a traditional marriage has been codified. I feel like puking. Then I get happy about Obama, and then I feel like puking some more. I know there are other Floridians here – what are we going to do? Obama's election helps, Supreme Court appointees, etc., but we need Florida (and California) to tighten up. Let's get started, shall we?

  • Jacq says:

    So fantastic – thank you, America, from the rest of the world!

    I woke up with a jolt at 4am and thought 'they might know by now!' – so I headed downstairs, and the dog and I watched history being made. We saw both speeches, and I have to give props to the dignified way in which McCain handled his… you definitely get the feeling that he's a decent chap and has been completely mismanaged.

    But it was Obama's night, and his speech was awesome. My sappy favourite bit was when he described Michelle as 'my best friend for 16 years and the love of my life'.

    Like everybody, I know that America's and the world's problems won't disappear because of this election, but it is wonderful to think that the man leading the free world is actually intelligent and principled enough to give it a good shot.

  • Adrienne says:

    This is unbelievable! I'm so happy I'm STILL crying 8 hours later! Goooooobama!!!

  • MarieD says:

    I'm an American in Europe, so the election was handed to Obama at about 4 or 5 am our time, but I was up a couple of times during the night checking the news. I unfortunately missed Obama's speech. I'll have to find it online to watch because the parts I've seen on the news were so uplifiting. So happy to see all the celebrations and hear stories of people voting for the first time in decades, or the first time ever… It feels good to hope again after the last 8 years.

  • Kate says:

    Joe Biden's mom was *almost* the best part of that night — aside from President-Elect Obama's speech :)

  • BSD says:

    JaJe and I took it in very quietly last night, to the point that I actually passed out at 10:30 PM. I think it was all the wine we were drinking. Thankfully, JaJe woke me just as the West Coast returns were about to come in, though I knew that the election was over after Obama took Pennsylvania and Ohio. Still, a wonderful evening and a future that, though still scary, looms a bit brighter for many this morning.

  • Jaime says:

    Sars, Professor Frink was at that party outside the White House. I couldn't be more jealous!

  • BSD says:

    Actually, the main highlight for me last evening was a series of text messages between me and my friend Brian………FROM IRELAND! 2:00 AM in the morning in Dublin and he's texting me with excitement from a pub, watching the returns with a bunch of friends.

    My favorite text from him: "Do you think Franken is going 2 do it in MN?" An entire ocean away, and he's asking me about Al Franken's chances in Minnesota. If that doesn't tell you about the world's thoughts towards America, and that they still look to us as that "shining city on the hill," then I can't help you.

  • Nik says:

    That speech gave me chills. And I had to giggle when he told his girls they earned their new puppy! I love to think of them hanging out as a family more than 2 years ago, with the kids whining for a puppy and Obama saying (thinking he is a long shot) "If I win, you girls can have a puppy".
    Of course I dont know that is the scenario but I think it is fun to imagine :)

    Yay America!!!!!! Now let's get to work!

  • K. says:

    CHAOS. My mom called me crying. My dad called me and just said, "We did it." I called everyone I know and we all just screamed at each other. People were screaming out of their windows. And then he spoke, and I know this is corny, but I really felt he was speaking to me – when he thanked volunteers, I really felt I'd accomplished something with the calling and the registering and the data entry. It's so cool to think that the voters I registered got out there and pulled the lever and made this happen. And I started crying, because I was so hopeful. I'm 28, so this is the third presidential election I've voted in, and on the Wednesdays after the other two I've just felt like … sighing. Today, I feel nothing but hope. I've consciously felt like a part of history twice in my life: on 9/11 (I envisioned telling future generations, "I was in college in Manhattan that day, and they canceled class …") and yesterday.

  • jive turkey says:

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I've never been so excited or happy for our country.

  • Driver B says:

    I am almost as disappointed this morning as I was excited last night, because Prop 8 is still up in the air, with the homophobes having a slight lead. GAH!!!! I'm going to hope that the absentee ballots will fix it, but I'm really worried.

    Also, perhaps Norcal should become its own damn state. 8 out of 9 counties there voted overwhelmingly in support of gay people, and I really don't want my best friend from college and her partner and their new baby to have to move back to Massachusetts.

  • Julie says:

    I live just outside Chicago proper, and the second the election was called, I heard fireworks going off outside. I felt like I wanted to at least shoot off a few bottlerockets, if it wouldn't wake my kids. I'm very proud of us as a nation (although I'm not thrilled with California at the moment).

    I was checking some of the international papers last night (London Guardian, etc.) and the general sentiment seems to be "Jeez, *finally*, you guys! Well done."

  • Marissa says:

    Prop 8 looks like it might not go down after all. :P The ballot initiatives are really the only bitterness for me in an otherwise sweetacular 24 hours.

  • Marissa says:

    I don't know why that sticky-out tongue face looks happy!! Clarification: I am angry, sad, and disappointed. Not . . . whatever that face is.

  • Lee Mickle says:

    YAYYYYYY!!!

  • Cyntada says:

    Hee! Sars just said, "This is not over."

    I recall another election day-after when more than a few readers from this forum flocked to a site called http://www.thisisnotover.com.

    The link's dead now. It's a brand new day. Oh, and? Highest voter turnout since 1908 or something like that. My GRANDMOTHER was born that year, and we just celebrated her 100th birthday, God bless her.

    Good job, Nation. Once again.

  • Alison E says:

    So happy you guys. SO HAPPY.

  • ferretrick says:

    Its been so long….I'm a little weepy this morning.

  • Elizabeth says:

    HOOOOOORAYYYYY! I can't even tell you how many times I've gotten choked up today. IT IS A WONDERFUL DAY!!!!!!!

  • Emerson says:

    So big I don't know how to react. Right before the polls closed on the West Coast, I had that punch-in-the-gut amazement, and then CNN called it, everyone started screaming (at the Doubletree in Wilmington, Delaware), and I had no idea what to do. Now that it's not last night, will hugging strangers at Wawa land me in jail?

  • Jeanne says:

    This is the first presidential election that I voted in that went my way, and so quickly too! I'm so used to disappointment that I'm still in shock the next day. And all the props in Massachusetts went my way too!

    And my condolences to the Californianans who voted against prop 8, that sucks guys. I just thank God a prop like that has never made it onto the ballot here.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    @Cyntada: The domain expired last week. I didn't mention it because I didn't want to jinx anything.

    Fact is, though, apparently this ISN'T over. I can't believe Props 2 and 8 passed, I really can't. Maybe someone could explain to me what the objection is, without using euphemisms, because I fail to see how reserving that institution for hets protects or serves anyone on either side. I just don't get it. Do social conservatives think that, if they make enough discouraging laws, GLBT people will stop existing?

    @Q: Email me.

  • Hannah says:

    I gotta say, even though my hometown of Sarasota didn't quiiiiiite go for Obama (we were up 200 votes when I went to bed, but alas), it's still pretty impressive that it was as close here as it was. And maybe my hometown didn't go that way, but my home state sure showed up. Go Florida!

  • Kida says:

    I wept real tears of joy and relief when NBC called the race at 11 PM. For the first time in eight years, I know what it feels like to have hope.

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