Last night, I attended the DPO's Victory Ball at the Tiffany Center. I spoke to a number of the people attending and celebrating, and I asked them all the same two questions: What doe today mean to you? Why are you here tonight? Here are the replies:
I'm here to celebrate. Finally we have a President that we can trust. ... That's the #1 thing: that we can trust him. All through the campaign he's been very consistent in his message and in his Inauguration speech he was still on the same message.
It's a momentous occasion and I want to do things that will help me remember it better than just sitting at home ... being with other people and celebrating.
Former Secretary of State Bill Bradbury
I have to say that the best, best moment of today was when George and Laura Bush flew in the helicopter away from the U.S. Capital after the inauguration of our 44th President, Barack Obama. I think all of us feel so included and so exited about having somebody who will look at reality and deal with it! I was so happy to see those two, the Bushes, fly off and fly away. I think it's a bad memory for many of us.
I want to be with the friends that I spent this entire year with. ... I'm as excited as I was on Election night. I've been crying all day; I've been watching television, watching a lot of the stuff from DC and just burst into tears, calling all my friends and saying, "Can you believe we actually did this?"
I was in DC this past week, and I could have stayed; but I chose not to stay. It's very cold in DC, and it was going to be very difficult to get close to ... even though we had decent seats, we had reserved seats. But I would have had to wake up like at 2 in the morning to get that close, to get to the seats. So I decided ... i hung out with some people, I was able to celebrate a little in DC but I wanted to be back home, be in Oregon with my wife and we came here tonight because, for me, it just doesn't stop. We're here to support the Democratic Party. We've been celebrating Obama's victory for weeks, so tonight is again a celebration but also continued victory to 2010.
It's a huge deal because I'm still not used to the idea that when I say "the President" that's a good thing. I've been saying the words "the President" with such anger for the past 8 years that I've almost been spitting them out. I'm still wrapping my mind around the fact that when I say "the President" it's a happy thing, it's a good thing. ... I'm here because I want to be among people that I like and people who are like-minded and celebrate a great thing.
It means to me the Constitution works.
It means a whole new era. It means I didn't have to leave the country. A great day, a great night and a great victory.
It's a new beginning. It's something to celebrate because our country is going in a different direction and, in my opinion, a really positive and great direction. It's wonderful to be here, part of history, to celebrate that history. ... There's reason to smile today.
My name is Mr Huma. Can I buy you a drink? Off the record? I'm here to pay for drinks.
Today is really the beginning of a whole lot of work. What it means to me is that our collective level of service for Oregon needs to step up and needs to bring to light what hundreds of years of oppression to people of color has been, to several years of oppression to people who choose to love another person of the same sex, to complete and utter humility to the fact that Oregon is an incredible place to live, it's the best place to live, and our President is the right president for the time.
Today is the culminaiton of a lot of hard work. The last couple of years when I got involved in the process and decided to support Obama ... all my friends have put so much work into it. Even people who weren't as politically involved as I was, just all their care, all their love towards this moment and to have it pay off, is just a great return on our investment, our time and our caring.
State Rep Nick Kahl
I said today, to a couple of other people, that I feel, as a Democrat, I've been waiting for this moment my whole life. I can't describe it any better than that.
As a die-hard deaniac, the election of Barack Obama was the culmination of Dr Dean's improbable journey that landed, not him, but the skinny black guy with the funny name in the White House. I love that both Obama and Dean understand that this victory we won and the policy-legislative battles we face are in the hands of "we the people" and not the politicians. Not even the politician, Pres Obama.
God, I love seeing and saying that: President Obama.
My favorite sight of the day? The first time I saw the new Commander-in-Chief salute. As the father of a National Guardsman and a Coastie (Coast Guard), I now, at the very least, can be assured the person giving the orders they are sworn to follow will consider their lives and well-beings and not the connivings of Cheney.