Obama Supporters Celebrate Outside White House
RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:
Earlier this hour, President Bush described Barack Obama's win yesterday as an impressive victory.
P: All Americans can be proud of the history that was made yesterday. Across the country, citizens voted in large numbers. They showed a watching world the vitality of America's democracy and the strides we have made toward a more perfect union.
MONTAGNE: President Bush was in Washington last night for election returns. And, once the race was over, a celebration broke out in his front yard. NPR's Julie Rovner reports.
(SOUNDBITE OF CAR HORNS)
JULIE ROVNER: This is not what downtown Washington normally sounds like at 1 a.m. on a typical Wednesday. But this was no typical Wednesday. It was the first hours of the first day of Barack Obama's tenure as president-elect. And while carefully planned events were the order of the campaign, a not-at-all planned party sprung up directly in front of the White House just after the election was called for Obama.
(SOUNDBITE OF PEOPLE CHANTING "YES WE CAN")
ROVNER: At first the revelers were college students from nearby George Washington University, people like Dorian Brown(ph) from Atlanta. He said the impromptu party on Pennsylvania Avenue wasn't planned.
MONTAGNE: I think the excitement of the night just caught on. Everybody just had to rush over. They couldn't contain themselves.
ROVNER: Why the White House?
MONTAGNE: Because that's where the president lives. Where else would we run to?
ROVNER: But as the crowd started showing up on television, other older people started to join them, like Spencer Bolliker(ph).
MONTAGNE: I want to be a part of history. I want to be a part of all this. It's amazing. I'm so in disbelief, and it just makes it more real.
ROVNER: Even people who didn't vote for Obama joined the party. Trevor Harrison(ph) was visiting from Sydney, Australia.
MONTAGNE: We're strongly in favor of Obama in Australia, eight to one, like the rest of the world.
ROVNER: And what are you doing in front of the White House in the middle of the night?
MONTAGNE: Oh, we thought we'd come down and celebrate with the rest of the world.
ROVNER: It was all very peaceful, but it got a bit loud, which raised the question did the crowd worry about keeping the current occupants of the White House awake? Spencer Bolliker thought about that for about two seconds.
MONTAGNE: Not at all.
ROVNER: Julie Rover, NPR News, Washington.
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