U.S. election celebrations, Vancouver-style [photos]
"Four more years!" chant ecstatic Americans and Canadians
Tang and over 300 other people stood, sat, and mingled at Ceili's Irish Pub, where the Democrats Abroad was holding its official election party. By 8 pm the pub was packed full of Americans and Canadians, young and old. Almost everyone at the pub was cheering for Obama.
Maureen Harwood, a grandmother originally from Chicago who moved to Vancouver 30 years ago, said that she had been organizing for this night since January.
"I feel great, I feel confident," she said when asked about how she felt. At that moment she was interrupted by raucous cheering as Obama was the projected winner in Iowa, a swing state.
Harwood excused herself to throw her arms up and cheer with the rest of the room.
"We did it!" a man yelled.
"Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!" people chanted, pounding on wooden tables with their fists and stomping their feet.
Sam Eifling, an Arkansas native and journalist based in Vancouver, was hugging and cheering with everyone in the room.
"I was really worried for awhile. I was telling a bunch of Canadians I think it would've said a lot of dark things about the American character if we had elected Mitt Romney," he said. "Blatant race baiting is not going to work in the future, blatant gay bashing is not going to work."
"Everything they had worked for four years, it would've been a waste. I'm so excited it didn't come to that," added Georgia native Hassan Arshad, also a journalist based in Vancouver.
Brandi Smith, an American from Maine, sat at a table with six of her friends watching the coverage and sipping beers.
"I never thought he wouldn't win, and it got a little close at one point," Smith said once the cheering died down in the room.
"If Romney had won—probably seek refugee in Canada for the next four years. His level of conservativeness is above and beyond anything I could comprehend," she said.
Meanwhile, Harwood shared a group hug with her fellow Democrats Abroad Michael Tedesco and David Katz.
Tedesco, a father of two who moved to Vancouver at the beginning of 2008, said that a lot was at stake in this election. After Obama was projected to win a second term, he looked serene.
"One word: relieved, yeah—relieved," he said about how he felt at that moment. "It's been a stressful year, if you will, going back to the Republican primaries. Certainly I felt that President Obama has done all the right things. I don't think he's made any major mistakes, he's been on a good track.
The Pittsburgh native said that his entire family is excited.
"My wife's texting me, and I've got lots of Facebook comments," he said, scrolling through his text messages and Facebook newsfeed. His plans for the rest of the night was to go home and relax, he said.
"He's got a difficult job ahead of him. I would've been extremely disappointed if people wouldn't have allowed him an opportunity to finish what he started."