The streets of Washington, DC were a merry din last night as Barack Obama supporters ventured outside to celebrate his victory. DCist's Sommer Mathis has pretty much captured the mood perfectly:
I'm still processing what happened last night. One minute, I was gathered in a living room with friends, watching election returns come in. The next minute, Barack Obama had been declared the winner, his moving acceptance speech was over, and I was in the middle of the intersection at 14th and U Streets NW with thousands of other D.C. residents, yelling, singing, high-fiving and hugging total strangers.
Car horns honked throughout the city. People climbed on top of street lamps, newspaper boxes and bus shelters. As we moved from U Street, which eventually filled with people and cars all the way from 10th to 15th Street, and headed south to the White House, the celebration didn't slow down. Down 14th street to Thomas Circle, everyone hooted and hollered. They stood up through their sunroofs to cheer on passersby on the sidewalk. They danced. They played drums. They honked and honked and honked.
Washington, D.C.'s majority Democrat, majority black population flooded the streets with noise. Inside the crowd, a highly diverse makeup was evident. I saw Asians, South Asians, Latinos, Native Americans, whites and blacks coming together in the crowd to cheer the election of this country's first African-American president.
This wasn't the kind of aggressive crowd a big city can sometimes get in the aftermath of a major sports championship. Washington was joyous. In those early morning hours, there was nothing but love between neighbors. At the very site of the worst of the 1968 riots, there was dancing instead.
One of the largest celebrations took place outside the White House, where thousands gathered to revel, singing both the National Anthem, and, of course, "Kiss Him Goodbye" -- dedicated to our current president. Liz Glover ventured down to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to capture the scene, and found a mixture of jubilation, skepticism, but mostly...yes...hope.
Here, the crowd lifts up a chorus of "Kiss Him Goodbye," while a happy drunk dude explains how he didn't vote for "eight years of neo-con lies" but does enjoy reading the Huffington Post "six times a day." Then, some more articulate people show up, only to followed by some Nader supporters, who prefer only parties where they get to congratulate themselves. Ralph Nader...man...that's the biggest fairy tale there is.
And finally, we encountered some folks from George Mason University who want everyone to know that this is about love, apparently, and drum circles.
Election night in Washington, DC!
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