If you went just one step out of your home on election Tuesday, there was hardly any chance you could miss or forget the fact that it was a Tuesday not like any other. This day was important and everyone with a voice (and a voter registration) should come out to change the future of the country.
Polling places were all over, even in churches. What seems a little obscure for Europeans who are not used to churches mingling in political business is perfectly normal to Americans. Especially the young came out of the closet to raise their voice and make the change happen that America needs after eight years of disasters.
The anxiety about the outcome was thus high and everyone wanted to know: "Who did you cast your ballot for?"
After watching early results at home, we left about 7:30 and at 207 vs. 134 electoral votes. Destination was the Merian Hotel downtonw where the State Democrats were having their party. On the bus a black guy was talking on his cellphone and kept us posted with the latest news. He had jsut gotten off the phone when it rang again. His mouth opened wide: “Are you freakin' kiddin' me? They called it?” A moment later he got up and exclaimes the news: “Senator Obama has just been elected President of the United States” - the bus started to cheer.
Walking on the way to the Westin, he was still expressing his joy on the phone: “Man, they’re gonna have to paint the White House black now!”
On the big screens at the party we watched McCain declare defeat at his "invitation only party" and Obama's speech to the masses of people in Chicago. People were crying, dancing, drinking and celebrating in Chicago and Seattle alike. Obama made clear that this was not the cahnge yet, but now, finally, the possibility for change was there!
From there, we took the party to the streets where honking car torsos roamed. The area of 1st Ave and Pike Street - the heart of Seattle - was completely jammed. The heart was beating with people dancing and celebrating to the sound of African drums and music.
The police mainly stood by and blocked out incoming traffic. I had last seen this kind of celebration at the World Soccer Cup. The whole scene had, however, a certain revolutionary air about it. From the waterfront, the mass started moving through the downtown area, lead by a man wrapped in the American flag shouting "Yes, we can!" through his megaphone.It was a historic moment and it felt amazing to be right in the middle of it!