Tonight was pretty darn beautiful in Madison. I was REALLY scared before the results started coming in, as I think a lot of us were. Here are some highlights:
My coworkers who didn’t have to work (like I had to) went to Genna’s to see the election pan out. They were giving free blue jello shots to everyone in the bar for each state Obama won. They ran out before he was declared the winner (not from u underestimating him, but under estimating how many people would show up to the bar). The bar exploded with cheers when Iowa was declared blue.
I had 3 sorority girls in my cab going to a restaurant for one of their birthdays. They were very excited to see that Obama was ahead, but you could tell one of them didn’t want to admit she voted republican because the two other girls that were more popular than her voted Obama and were very vocal about it.
Probably more than half the bars in Madison were hosting campaign parties. None of them were offering specials to McCain supporters. Several were offering 30% off if you had an Obama Something on. All of them were pretty full for a tuesday.
WORT, the local public radio station run by volunteers, were excited to announce that CNN, NBC, CBS and other major stations had declared Obama as the winner. Then they went on to say “This is early in the process, though, so it MIGHT change, but probably not…” Then 2 minutes later, “FOX just declared Obama the winner, and if FOX admits it, that’s huge!”
From there the celebrations started small. College kids ran around campus in twos and threes with arms up and yelling cheers to each other. Then parades started breaking out. PARADES. AT TEN O’CLOCK AT NIGHT WITHOUT PRIOR ORGANIZING. State street was impassable for a while. I hear the parade ended on the top of Bascom Mall with the national anthem.
About 30 people the ages of about 25-50 partied in the middle of East Johnson just 1 block east of Baldwin in the median… for an hour. A whole flipping hour, from 10 to 11 pm. They were drinking beer and dancing and waving at the heavy traffic and a lot of cars honked and cheered back at them. This is a residential area without any bars nearby. Neighbors just decided they wanted to all celebrate together in the middle of the road.
I’m sure there’s a lot more stories, but my job is unique enough that I got to see more than 1 thing happen in the city tonight, and it was pretty magical. I love Madison even more than I did before, and I can’t WAIT until the current Bozo is out of office.