Friday, November 7, 2008

Victory Night Party

I only went to one party Election Night. I spent most of the day doing poll work. Then came dinner. I made it to the party around 9 PM.

The first person I recognized was Terry Lierman, former chair of the
Maryland Democratic Party, now Chief of Staff for Majority Steny Hoyer.
We exchanged a few friendly words. He left for a party in Annapolis.

I wandered around, saw people lined up for free food. Since I had dinner, I skipped the food. I did buy a glass of wine for $4 + $1 tip.
I ran into a few people from the Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt
Democratic Club (Greenbelt). One of them offered to watch my coat and
extraneous camera gear while I went around and took photographs.

The first real conversation I had was with Paul Pinsky. We're both
runners. I mentioned doing the Marine Corps Marathon back in 1996. He
seemed impressed. He's only done 5Ks and 10Ks. I mentioned that was my
usual length for a race. I joked about doing another marathon
eventually. Paul's a very friendly guy. One important thing in
politics for Paul is livable communities. I asked Paul if he was going
up to the big party in Baltimore. He reported that he planned to leave
the Prince George's County party after about an hour and go home and watch the
rest of the returns there.

Every time Obama won another state a cheer went up from the crowd. Lots
of people said this change was a long time coming.

I got into one lengthy (well, lengthy for the setting) conversation with
a middle aged African American man. I brought up the party in Baltimore
with him as well and said both our Senators -- Mikulski and Cardin --
would be at that party. He told me how both of them made frequent
appearances at labor events. I told him how I got involved with the
Mikulski reelection campaign in 2004 because of my interest in space
exploration. I said Senator Mikulski held views similar to mine. She
strongly supports NASA, but speaks up when NASA screws up. I also
mentioned how the report of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board showed all sorts of problems that some of us who had worked at NASA had
noticed years before. I did add that Senator Cardin was also proving to
be a thoughtful legislator on science and tech issues. We both
wholeheartedly agreed that both senators were fine people. We hoped
they would stay in office for many more years.

Around 10 PM I decided to forget the Baltimore party. It was 45 minutes
away. Home was only 8 minutes. Staying at the Prince George's County
seemed more sensible. I stayed around awhile longer. Somebody bought
lots of pizza for the crowd. I had a small slice.

Most people were really excited about the results. When it became
evident that Obama was going to win a major victory we all became
excited. When results of various state contests were announced we
cheered every Democratic victory. I really cheered when I found out Kay
Hagan had beat Elizabeth Dole in North Carolina.

I left after 11 PM. I wanted to be home at a decent hour. I saw both
McCain's concession speech and Obama's acceptance speech at home.

It was a truly exciting evening. I'm glad I was able to be a small part
of it.

I've posted all my photos here.