Oh Fuuuuuck Yeah

Yes we did.

I love living in New York, but this is maybe the night I’ve loved it most. Everyone is in the streets cheering. People are yelling “Yes We Can!” to strangers. I watched two girls hug on a street corner, and a smiled as a car full of cheering boys drove past me. Taxis are honking. Before the election was called for Obama, I was in my office in midtown working late, and every hour and a half or so, all the way up on the 30th floor, I would hear a huge swelling cheer from the street — and a quick click over to NBC would show that Obama had just won one state or another. I haven’t seen people this excited any other time in my life; I also haven’t ever heard a speech like the one Obama gave tonight. New Yorkers waited in two, three, and four-hour-long lines today to cast ballots overwhelmingly for a candidate we all knew was going to win our state. That’s an incredible show not only of patriotism and of support for this one man, but, to use a popular word this year, of hope.

My mom, a former Hillary Clinton supporter raised on the South side of Chicago, sent me two text messages tonight — one saying that she’s outside the house in our quiet, manicured suburb banging pots and pans to celebrate the victory of a south-side boy (she ended the text with “Only in America! The audacity of hope”), and another saying “This makes me proud to be an American again.”

In law school I studied for a semester in Hamburg, Germany, and lived with a pretty cool German dude. We keep in touch, and he sent me a message the other day to let me know that, at our little private (fairly conservative) northern German business law school, 1500 people turned up for an election party — the vast majority of them in support of Barack Obama. 1500 people. For Obama. In Germany. At one tiny school. I don’t even think 1500 people attend the school.

My best friend since I was 12 currently lives in rural Arizona with her husband, a former Marine. Her mother’s family was one of the first black families to live in our town. She was raised Jehovah’s Witness, and left the church a few years ago. This is the first election she voted in. She’s spent the past few weeks worrying that Obama had no chance — after all, we may have been raised in liberal Seattle, but now she lives in a place where the n-word is tossed around pretty freely and she’s the only Democrat in sight. She texted me intermittently throughout the night because, having never voted or followed an election before, she couldn’t really follow what all the conflicting and confusing results meant — so she wanted to know, “When can I be excited?” When they called the election for Obama, she was the first person I called, so that I could tell her as much as myself: “Now.”

Earlier we were talking about our states of mind. Right now, I feel nothing but pride.


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30 comments for “Oh Fuuuuuck Yeah

  1. November 5, 2008 at 2:25 am

    You know I didn’t realize how much I had emotionally invested in this election on until I saw it on the screen, CNN calls the election for Obama. The tears streamed down my face. They were tears I never expected to cry, for a man that isn’t even going to govern my country. At least for this tiny moment in history I felt some hope. For this tiny moment in history my blackness is not a weight a bear, but just another part of who no more significant than any other factor about me.

  2. November 5, 2008 at 2:28 am

    Congratulations to all Americans. This is indeed a day to celebrate.

  3. November 5, 2008 at 2:32 am

    A couple downers from this feminist about this election:

    1. news leaking from the Obama campaign gives a long list of MEN being considered for key cabinet positions: http://tinyurl.com/64le7f
    There will likely be no gender equity in an Obama cabinet
    I really hope Obama proves me wrong here

    2. I was watching the coverage and an Obama fan made a pretty honest statement that shows how this campaign is not about women, it is about men
    http://tinyurl.com/6fu2nn

  4. November 5, 2008 at 2:36 am

    I also had tears in my eyes during that speech. It was the first time that I have ever felt really proud of my country.

  5. ROXIE
    November 5, 2008 at 2:38 am

    My 73 year old grandmother was crying rivers. Saying to me she never thought she’d she see this in her lifetime.

    It’s been hours and I can’t stop smiling, screaming, and just being BLISSFUL! I don’t know if I can sleep or concentrate on anything tomorrow! I’m just amazed at every single second that passes me that I am here right now. Participated, witnessed. I can’t believe it! I believe it!

  6. November 5, 2008 at 3:05 am

    I must admit I was pretty happy until I looked at the ballot measures and how a lot if homophobic and pro-life ones were passing. Hopefully prop 8 will make a come back.

  7. Marked Hoosier
    November 5, 2008 at 3:12 am

    Indiana just called for Obama on MSNBC. Indiana. INDIANA.

    Fuck yea. :)

  8. shah8
    November 5, 2008 at 4:03 am

    It’s a pretty decent post-coital mellow, ain’t it?

  9. November 5, 2008 at 5:34 am

    I told you so.

    I’ve been waiting four years (and my whole life) for this. Pretty sweet.

  10. November 5, 2008 at 6:25 am

    Good to go Bravo!
    I am also a former Jehovah’s Witness and voted too.

    Danny Haszard http://www.dannyhaszard.com

  11. November 5, 2008 at 8:21 am

    It was CLOSE in my home state! I am so glad I voted! YAY OBAMA!

  12. JPlum
    November 5, 2008 at 10:04 am

    I’m so proud of you guys! And I love the idea of your mom banging pots and pans! Makes me feel less silly about yelling ‘Woohoo!’, alone in my apartment in Canada.

  13. ElleBeMe
    November 5, 2008 at 10:13 am

    As a Virginia resident – I was never SO PROUD to see my state turn BLUE just before they called it for Obama. Not since LBJ has this state voted Democratic in the Presidential Election. And I am doubly proud that Obama made his last stop on the trail to the town in which I live, Manassas. Words fail me in how excited I am that he was here and the good people of Virginia voted for him.

    In local races extremist, republican politicians LOST on their liberal-bashing, anti-gay, anti-abortion, pro-God platforms. I am in awe. Just 8 years ago when I moved here the county and surrounding area was RED as far as one could see. Now, it is a whole new world.

    I wanted to run onto my deck after the announcement and scream to all my neighbors in earshot – WE DID IT – a NEW DAY HAS FINALLY COME!!!! But sticking around to watch Obama make his historic speech won out.

    And viewing the news this AM – The SD abortion ban failed, other anti-gay, anti-abortion initiatives failed throughout the nation. I remember crying 4 years ago in true sadness because of the destruction that would follow. I cry today out of happiness, because of the chance to RIGHT THE WRONG that has been done and begin anew in a positive direction.

    May we always remeber how close we came to losing it all, and keep that thought in our minds these next 4 years. Nothing is set – things can always change. But we have the knowledge to make sure we move forward – for we know how far the others can take us back.

  14. KaeLyn
    November 5, 2008 at 10:28 am

    I was at the Dem Party downtown in Rochester, NY. One of my FAVORITE women and politicians, Louise Slaughter, was about to take the stage to give her victory speech. Then, CNN announced on the big screen that Obama had won. It was pandemonium. Hugging and chanting and screaming. A veritable lovefest.

    I am not confident 100% about Obama’s ability to lead this country out of Iraq. I’m certainly not sure that we have elected a president that will represent feminist values, though I do think he was the best candidate for women’s rights. So I would not say I was a huge Obama fan, though I campaigned for him. But at that moment, when CNN put a big check mark next to Obama’s name, I was moved to tears. Unexpectedly. By the sheer magnitude of this moment in history. Everything has changed.

    I am incredibly proud of America for the first time in my adult life. And I cannot wait to see Michelle Obama as First Lady.

  15. MissAnnaThema
    November 5, 2008 at 10:31 am

    I sat in my red state apartment drinking champagne and crying all the way through Obama’s speech. It wasn’t my first election, but it was the first one where I helped elect my candidate.

    Best. Feeling. Ever.

  16. prefer not to say
    November 5, 2008 at 10:58 am

    Unapologetic Feminist — you raise good points, and they aren’t things we should lose sight of. I think what people are celebrating right now isn’t that all things are fixed forever, but more the sense that *something* that really started at a grassroots level worked its way up into the most prominent offices of the nation.

    Most of us know the struggle is still out there. Nobody is quitting their feminist outposts. Right now we’re celebrating that something got changed through the same means we try to use. And – for me personally at least — I am celebrating the victory of a president who I think will help keep the constitution intact. And that’s good news for all of us who are going to keep criticizing and fighting and trying to change things up even more.

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  18. November 5, 2008 at 11:35 am

    I live in North Carolina and Obama is ahead by 12,000 votes and it’s time to count the provisional ballots so keep hope alive. Race relations in this state and possibly country have moved forward and a state that elected Bush twice by a large majority has stepped up to the plate. Slowly and possibly tentatively but things will never be the same here again.

    Oh and we have our first woman Governor ever!!!

  19. November 5, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    anyone else catch the rally in chicago??

    probably the most amazing night of my life.

    the only way it couldve been better is if obama arrived by walking across lake michigan.

  20. November 5, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    If the US were a man, we’d all be like, “Yeah, we are vaguely relieved you chose baseline human decency. Hooray. Good on you. What now, you want a smegging cookie?”

  21. November 5, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    Bet you haven’t felt so good since Eliot Spitzer swept in with 70% of the vote. “Everything changes day one,” he said.

  22. November 5, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    Actually, no one was this excited for Spitzer, but I’m glad you’re continuing your campaign of posting here only to act like a dickwad and annoy people. And his downfall aside, Spitz was actually pretty good for New York. Patterson has been even better. So yeah, things did change, and they improved. And when Spitz fucked up, it was his own normalization of anti-corruption policies that took him down. I think that’s a good thing.

  23. November 5, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    Bet you haven’t felt so good since Eliot Spitzer swept in with 70% of the vote. “Everything changes day one,” he said.

    I actually blogged negatively about Tim Mahoney. I was happy to see Mark Foley go. That doesn’t excuse Mahoney’s unethical behavior. I read Instapundit defend torture and genocide. Glenn Reynolds harped on Democrat scandals, but accused progressive bloggers of being homophobic for attacking Gannon’s journalism credentials. I am so fucking tired of this hypocrisy.

  24. November 5, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    Time for another troll contest.

  25. November 5, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    It was his own normalization of anti-corruption that got him? I thought it was federal wiretaps investigating money laundering. They caught him at the end of eight years of prosecuting sex workers while patronizing them. That’s corruption, not anti-corruption.

    His own administration was the most corrupt in New York history. He used the state police to persecute political opponents, and then conspired with the Albany district attorney to cover up his involvement. I distinctly remember warning you of this In summer 2007, when you were praising his fake apology for “mistakes” that the subordinated he framed had made.

    Now that senator Schumer has vowed to use the government to regulate political speech as if it were pornography, you may get the police state you want. More than likely, though, Obama’s press honeymoon will end and his administration will collapse when all the skeletons emerge from his closet. And they will make Spitzer’s pale in comparison.

  26. November 6, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    I think that a lot of the comments here typify the sort of old attitude that doomed progressives until the midterm election. We all worked very hard to get Obama elected, and the focus on what we “can’t” do seems really out of line, especially given the tone of Jill’s post. Azundris, seriously, nobody is asking for a cookie, for god’s sake. What kind of mean, patronizing crap is that? Also, the Raving Athiest is a raving asshole. Basking in negativity is what held progressives back for so long. those of us who are feeling empowered because of Obama’s win are energized to bring about more change in future elections. Spewing a bunch of piss and vinegar about the impossibility of it all isn’t helping. I’m seriously embarrassed by the people who just came here to try to bring Jill down.

  27. November 6, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    My parents moved out of that suburb that your mom lives in a few months ago, but I e-mailed my mom to tell her that she missed out on the banging of pots and pans! She totally would have joined your mom (after she stopped bawling). I have the best picture in my head right now!

    It’s been a rough week in CA with the passing of prop 8, so thanks for sharing a story that made me smile.

  28. November 6, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    Jenny,

    You’ve misunderstood both Azundris’ comment and mine. Azundris was saying that Obama was so obviously the only decent choice that was a no-brainer to vote for him. I’m saying that Obama is as immoral and corrupt as Spitzer, and will quickly suffer the same disgraceful downfall.

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