20 Wildest Reactions to Obama’s Victory

Susie Bright screamed naked. The Santa Cruz-based author belonged to a Facebook group called "I will walk out my front door naked as soon as Obama wins!"

America went a little crazy on Tuesday night, finding a diversity of wild and wonderful ways to celebrate or to protest Obama's historic victory.

Here's 20 of them.

1. Naked in the Streets

That "naked" Facebook group had 227 celebrating members — and on election day, their reports began rolling in. "Its dark and cold here in Vermont, but it felt great!"

"I did it too! In fact, I danced on the front porch, and yelled 'Whoo hoo!'"

"My partner and I went downstairs in our robes, dropped the robes and cracked up like a couple of giddy schoolgirls!"

And in Santa Cruz, Susie Bright reported that she "tore off my clothes and ran out on the front porch and screamed my head off."

2. Impeach Him Already!

Facebook users have already started another dissenting group called "Impeach Barack Obama." In fact, they've started 30 different groups with variations on the same title, with a total of over 9,000 members. But soon other users were joining a competing group — called "Deport Those Who Wish To Impeach Barack Obama."

And another user's group was titled simply "MCCAIN LOST! GET OVER IT!"

3. The Last Word?

Another Facebook user tried creating a group called: "I bet I can find 1,000,000 people who hate political Facebook groups."

It currently has just 19 members.

4. Funny Papers

Meanwhile, political cartoonists around the world responded to Obama's victory with images that were nearly identical. Twelve different cartoonists drew Obama with the Lincoln Memorial, while nine more drew him with Martin Luther King.

But the response wasn't confined to the U.S. In Mexico City, Angel Boligan drew Obama wearing a Martin Luther King t-shirt. In Australia, Bill Leak drew King in heaven asking "Am I having a dream?" And in West Africa, Tayo Fatunla drew King in front of a picture of Obama, adding the caption "Having a dream...is the audacity of hope."

5. A Cartoon Gamble

Wednesday South Park aired a story lampooning Obama's victory just one day after the election. The production staff "will be up all night working on Wednesday’s show," their blog announced Tuesday, and Trey Parker told the L.A. Times they'd decided that "we're just going to make the Obama version, and if McCain somehow wins, we're basically just totally screwed."

They were still dubbing in dialogue hours before the episode aired — including actual text from Obama's victory speech. But Parker told the paper he was sure Obama would win — because of the odds at a sports betting site where he gambles on football.

6. Radio, Radio

A celebrating college radio station in Oregon played nothing but musical mixes of Obama's speeches for over an hour.

"It's really great to see people happy again," the DJ explained. "That's what the whole Obama thing is about."

7. Gun Sales are Up

A Utah newspaper reported that "Local gun dealers quickly are running out of stock of magazines for Colt AR-15s and AK models." They're not stocking up for militias, but anticipating Obama's reinstatement of a federal Assault Weapons Ban.

"Pretty much anything with more than 10 rounds is in high demand right now," a gun salesman told the newspaper, noting that one dealer had sold 82 assault rifles in a single day.

8. The Internet Responds

Wednesday someone registered the domain Has Obama Taken Away Your Guns Yet . com. In enormous letters, the site displays a single word.


And in a smaller subtitle, it quotes a famously-misspelled protest sign.

"get a brain morans"

9. Catch-All Criticism

On Tuesday, a realtor in Georgia had also registered the domain I Blame Obama.com.

10. Flushing the Plumber

In the end, an ungrateful Joe the Plumber said "I was unhappy that my name was used as much as it was." In an interview with a British newspaper, he complains that instead "I think there were real other issues that should’ve been discussed during the debate.”

All the attention landed him a book deal, and he's launched a charity site — where he's promoting his book and selling "freedom memberships" to the site — though he adds that "I will honor and support my president, but there will be no free ride."

Ironically, the actual domain Joe the Plumber .com has belonged to a different plumber in Amarillo Texas since February of 2004. He's using his site to sell American flags, t-shirts — and advertising space on Joe the Plumber.com

11. History by Hanes?

He's not the only one selling clothing to "commemorate" Obama's victory. An ad on CNN argues that history was just made.

"And it comes in your size."

12. Wardrobe Malfunction?

"Dear Sarah Palin," read a sign in a picture framing store in San Francisco.

"We eagerly await your $150,000 clothing donation on Nov. 5th.

"Thanks in advance, Goodwill."

13. You Betcha

Andrew Sullivan supported Barack's candidacy, and celebrated Thursday by noting a sweet vindication from the state Pennsylvania. The county that Sarah Palin had called "the real America"?

"It voted for Obama."

14. No More Bushes

Blogger Steve Benen observed the historic moment with another startling discovery.

2009 will be the first year in 45 years without a Dole or a Bush in elected office.

15. Ebert Gives a Thumb's Up

45 minutes after Obama was elected, Roger Ebert wrote that "Our long national nightmare is ending."

The 66-year-old film critic was quoting a speech Gerald Ford gave after assuming the Presidency from Richard Nixon. "I agree with Oliver Stone," Ebert wrote, "that Bush never knew he had been misled [into the Iraq war] until it was too late.

"I blame those who used him as their puppet."

16. Predicted in the 60s?

After "new left" protesters clashed with police during the 1968 Democratic convention, Norman Mailer had predicted that a torn country "will be fighting for forty years." (One critic complained that "Here at our end of the forty-year war there are no Norman Mailers. Only pollsters. And consultants. And political scientists.")

But shortly before his death last year, 84-year-old Mailer had made one of the only political campaign contributions of his life — to Barack Obama.

17. The Ghost of Chicago

The violent clashes at the '68 convention haunted Democrats — but one liberal who never understood the protesters was Barack Obama's own mother.

"Emotionally her liberalism would always remain of a decidedly pre-1967 vintage," Obama wrote in The Audacity of Hope, remembering that his mother's heart was "filled with images of the space program, the Peace Corps and Freedom Rides, Mahalia Jackson, and Joan Baez."

18. Rebellious or reasonable

Obama gave his victory speech at the same park as those violent police-protester confrontations in 1968 — and pundits couldn't miss the symbolism. Obama "stands on the shoulders of the crowds of four decades ago," according to one protester. Now a sociology professor, Todd Gitlin told the New York Times that Obama's rebellion "takes the form of practicality. He has the audacity of reason."

But one injury was reported Tuesday night — Chicago Sun-Times journalist Lynn Sweet, who injured her shoulder rushing to cover Obama's speech. In his first press conference, Obama noted wryly that "I think that was the only major incident during the entire Grant Park celebration."

19. What took you so long?

The morning after Obama was elected, he was told he'd been expected by Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple.

In an open letter, the 64-year-old author wrote that Obama had no idea how profound it was for southern blacks, though America's first black president was already "with us" and "in us" in previous generations, and "Knowing this, that you would actually appear, someday, was part of our strength."

She closed her letter by saying Obama's smile "can find an answering smile in all of us, lighting our way, and brightening the world.

"We are the ones we have been waiting for."

20. I Have a Dream

In 2004, Martin Luther King's widow had witnessed Obama's first address at the Democratic convention. King's daughter remembered that night after Tuesday's election results, saying her 76-year-old mother had said "Bernice, come here.

"I think we got somebody."

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Oakland Celebrates Obama’s Victory

A 20-something reporter from Tennessee said she teared up after voting today. She said she was proud of our president — finally, for the first time in her adult life.

And as I drove to Oakland, it was obvious she wasn't the only one.

One city over, a crowd of people were counting down the seconds to 8:00, when results would be announced, at the Democratic Club in Alameda. But I walked in the door as it came up on the screen: Barack Obama was our next President. Everyone cheered. Several people wiped their eyes. My cell phone rang — it was my girlfriend — but I couldn't call her back, because cell phones stopped working everywhere, because everyone was already calling their friends with the news.

"President Obama," someone said. "I told you. President Obama."
"The whole country is calling each other."
"We did it."
"It's over."
"He's already won."

A black woman in a dirt-colored windbreaker watched to the left of me. She had a birth mark on her face, and her hair was pulled back in a frizzy pony tail. "I never had a doubt," she said. "I never had a doubt."

A young black boy smiled, held his arms over his head, and said "Yes we can."

"Yes we did," someone said.

"God bless America."

People were jumping up and down, and there was hugging. Most of the people in the room were white, and mostly young, but I saw an older blonde woman with a big necklace around her neck. She was tearing up. So was an older guy in a baseball cap. So was the woman in the pony tail who'd said "I never had a doubt." So was I.

At the side of the room was a smiling cut-out of Barack Obama. "California made him win," someone said. "California is what did it." A woman raised her fist over her head. "Obama, y'all!" On the street, I heard a stranger shouting "Obama. Whooo!" And then I left to drive to a celebration party at Everett and Jones, a big barbecue restaurant near Oakland's Jack London square.

At the restaurant, people had screamed when the victory was announced. A news crew filmed people jumping, hugging, waving flags, dancing, and weeping. "Thank you Jesus," the restaurant's owner said, over and over again, clapping her hands. "400 years! We won!"

"I wish my mother and father was here," another woman said. "My mother always worked at the polls, and she always told us to vote. And to believe in ourselves."

Near the restaurant, one street had been blocked off, where a band was performing. There were small balloons woven into an arc — red, white, and blue. Cars drove by honking. Even a truck honked its horn. One honking jeep drove by with two American flags. I heard later they were honking horns in Washington D.C., and in New York. All across America, horns are honking. Three hours later, I'd hear horns start honking again.

A black guy stood at the side of the street dangling an Obama t-shirt to the passing crowds. Later he started dancing — squatting and then kicking. I saw a black kid on his parents shoulders waving an American flag.

I had trouble finding parking, and the barbecue joint was so packed it was nearly impossible to move around. The TV showed a shot of Sarah Palin, and some people booed and held up downturned thumbs. We couldn't hear McCain's concession speech, but were only seeing his expression. Someone said that "He never had a chance."

I saw two black women leaving the crowd. Their eyes looked moist, and that made me mist up too. A young white woman from the Oakland Tribune asked me questions about the election — are you excited? What do you expect Obama to do? What's the first thing you're going to do tomorrow? I started to say that I'd watch everything tomorrow that I missed tonight — that it seemed sad to watch TV tonight when you could be out with the people. I told her I'd been there when they'd counted down to 8 o'clock, and when they'd said Obama was President. I choked up. She thanked me, and moved to someone else.

"This is history right now, Oakland," a woman said from the stage. "This is what we do."

Everywhere I looked I saw cell phones and PDAs. Everyone was still calling everyone else. I found the line for barbecued food — but it was long. After I'd waited for five minutes, I saw the man in front of me greeted by one of his friends. They were both black, and the friend said "I'm so proud. This has been a long, long coming." He didn't say "time" — just a long, long coming.

A reporter from the Oakland Tribune was interviewing a grey-haired black man behind me. Five minutes later, they were still talking.

A lot of the crowd were proudly wearing Obama t-shirts. I saw an "Obama on the cover of Time magazine" t-shirt. And an "Obama on the cover of Ebony" t-shirt. One shirt just said "Black man running, and it ain't from the police."

There was a bright light in the sky. It took me several seconds before I realized it was a helicopter sweeping the crowd. Everyone cheered and waved. Three different people held their hands over their heads, making the "O" sign.

A younger man with dreadlocks and a goatee said "I never really thought I'd see something like this happen in my lifetime." A local news crew filmed him saying Obama had the support not only of African Americans, but everybody. "So America can be what it's destined to be —a melting pot."

A woman from the restaurant was cooking dozens of big dinner sausages on a wide outdoor grill, wearing a sequined "Uncle Sam" hat. The band sang a funk song.
"I thank my lucky stars
I got you in my arms."

I heard the reporter from the Tribune say he was out of ink.

Yes we can.

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