COLUMBUS — Democrats in Ohio delivered big.
The happy crowd broke out into high fives, fist bumps, group hugs and chants of “four more years!” As they learned, on a screen showing an MSNBC feed, that their home state pushed President Barack Obama over the top to 270 electoral votes, and a second term.
The crowd here, an unusual mix of union groups, gay and black supporters and out-of-state Obama volunteers who had come from as far away as California and New York to knock on doors for the president this week, celebrated the win together without awkwardness, helped on by a bar stocked with Budweiser and Blue Moon.
As the state was called for the president, a group of gay men, who rode out on an LGBT For Obama bus to canvas for the president last week, hugged and kissed one another, some of them getting to their knees in thanks. “We’re not going back!” one of them cried, happily.
The mood here, festive from the start, began to turn downright joyful earlier in the evening as Sen. Sherrod Brown, a union favorite, was reelected, and Democratic victories began to pile up across the country.
Fierce, growing union support for Democrats and President Obama, buoyed not only by the auto bailout but also by a Republican-lead attack on the state on organized labor, may have made the difference for Obama in Ohio.
“A few, very, very rich people wanted to rig the election for themselves,” Sen. Brown told the Ohio room, promising the crowd, filled with “Sherrod Brown” placards, that he would not stop fighting for working people.
One aide to Sen. Brown told The Daily that the Obama victory in Ohio was thanks to an old-school, hard-won, grind-out-the-vote effort by Democrats, and nothing more. “We worked very, very, very hard,” the aide said. “That’s all it is.”
The win in Massachusetts by Elizabeth Warren, who recaptured Ted Kennedy’s long-held senate seat after a brutal face-off with Republican Sen. Scott Brown, seemed particularly satisfying to the Ohio Democrats, who turned the volume up on the megatron earlier in the evening to listen to Elizabeth Warren victory speech, and cheered when she told a Boston crowd, “YOU built that.”
(image via) (KW)
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