Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice

Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice

Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice



By Kyle Beard and Alex Barrett
Valencia Voice

ORLANDO — The crowd was a mixture of tears and cheers as an announcement naming the 44th President of the United States boomed from the speakers.

At approximately 11 o’clock, Sen. Barack Obama was announced the projected victor against opponent Sen. John McCain after 21 long months of campaigning. Hundreds of cheering supporters and volunteers gathered together to celebrate a historic victory in downtown Orlando at the Orange County Regional History Center.

The evening kicked off with several local Democrats rallying together to offer their support and endorsements in favor of Obama. The first speaker was Senator Bill Nelson who, having nothing at stake during the Election Day race, spoke words of encouragement and gave thanks to all the volunteers and supporters of the Obama campaign. Following Nelson and declaring victories were Alan Grayson and Darren Soto respectively. Mayor Buddy Dyer also made an appearance to announce a new Sheriff, Jerry Demings.

The festivities continued inside the museum where Obama supporters partook in the drinking of spirits and hors d’oeuvres while viewing exhibits and discussing the coming victory. “I’m very excited to be part of history,” said Orlando Army veteran, Sergio Tuifarro. “I was amazed by McCain’s voting in the Senate concerning veteran benefits,” Tuifarro explained, mentioning in particular McCain’s opinion of the Montgomery G.I. Bill, a bill that pays veterans of the armed services and their families seeking to further their education.

The trend continued throughout the night as individuals who could be considered “typical” McCain supporters raised their voice in support of Obama. Some of the groups included Republicans for Obama and Veterans for Obama.

Ironically, the theme of the night was not “Change,” but equality. Voters of all colors, creeds and affiliations gathered together, seemingly oblivious of their differences in the spirit of the campaign. “Simply historical, monumental… powerful,” said Angelica Pineiro. “You feel that you’re a part of a major movement.”

Later, the crowd moved outside as the results began to pour in. Nancy Warlick, who first voted in 1960 for John F. Kennedy was thrilled by the hype. “I think there’s a great excitement around Barack Obama, just in the same way there was with JFK” Warlick explained when comparing the campaigns. “My husband and I spent 27 years in Africa, so this is particularly an exciting night and our friends there are really thrilled.” The feeling was mutual among the crowd as supporters around her wholeheartedly agreed.

As the evening drew to a crescendo, the crowd turned its attention to the stage, where a huge television screen showed a broadcast of McCain delivering his concession speech. In a honorable and sportsmanlike manner, McCain announced his dropping from the race to a deafening cry of victory as the attendees stomped, shouted and whistled.

(Adam Butterfield/ Valencia Voice)

“We have come to the end of a long journey. The American people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly,” he announced. “A little while ago, I had the honor of calling Senator Barack Obama to congratulate him. To congratulate him on being elected the next president of the country that we both love.” McCain continued on to thank all of his supporters and colleagues with the mention of Sarah Palin drawing boos from the Orlando crowd.

You can see more election night coverage at Valencia’s Flickr

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Valencia Voice Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *