I’ve voted in eight presidential elections, and I’ve never been as excited about any of them as I was yesterday. Not even close. At times in the past, it’s felt like I was supporting the lesser of two evils, or the best of an uninspiring lot. Yesterday, I was thrilled to vote for a candidate who reflects my values in almost every way. From a foreign policy that values diplomacy and international cooperation over unnecessary war, to more reasonable economic and healthcare policies, to protecting the environment, to securing human rights (women’s rights, gay rights, reproductive rights), I believe that Barack Obama will be able to make real progress and deliver meaningful reform. He has intelligence and integrity. To say I feel hopeful is an understatement.
So I went to the polls yesterday at 7 a.m. feeling downright giddy. Considering the national polls, I was expecting to find at least a few Spotsylvanians feeling equally chipper. Not so, at least not at Chancellor Elementary School. From the looks of those glum people, you’d have thought they were on line to view the casket at a funeral. Okay, maybe it was too early in the morning, or maybe they just wanted to get the task over with so they could get to work on time, but I was disappointed that I didn’t see even one person with a broad smile or a spring in the step. Maybe what one worker manning the Democratic table told me is true, that this is the most Republican area of Spotsylvania, already a thoroughly Republican county.
So by the evening, I was looking to spend some time watching election returns with a happy group. I started the evening at Kybecca’s wine bar (my first visit since they’ve opened the indoor bar), where people were enjoying themselves, but in a pretty muted way. Probably the email promising a respectful atmosphere where all viewpoints would be welcome had something to do with that. And between 7 and 7:45 pm, there really wasn’t that much in the way of returns to get too worked up over. With only 2 states counted, the night was young.
But by 8, I was looking for a little partisan merriment, so headed over to Foster’s Grille in Stafford to hang out with the Stafford Democrats. Now that was a great party, with whooping and hollering over every tiny Democratic gain. I’ve never gone to an election returns party before, but now I know where to find a good one. Thanks, Stafford Dems, for letting this Spotsylvanian get in on the fun.
These photos say it all: