Students and D.C.-area residents swarmed the White House as media declared President Barack Obama the winner of the 2012 presidential election Nov. 7. As temperatures dipped in the early morning, the crowd swelled with Obama supporters.
Of the 19 percent of the voters who were under the age of 30, 60 percent of them voted for Obama, according to exit polls by Edison Research.
Hundreds of people celebrated an early victory outside the White House on Election Night, bundled in winter garb. College students from AU and other D.C. schools chanted “Four more years!” from trees while others waved flags and posters celebrating Obama’s win over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Cigarette and marijuana smoke wafted above the heads of those who had gathered in front of the White House at Lafayette Park. Champagne was popped as the street became increasingly filled with broken glass and crumpled beer cans. At least three life-size cardboard cutouts of Obama bobbed through the crowd.
AU students gathered at the White House, many after attending various on-campus viewing parties, to experience the one presidential election to take place during their time at AU.
• “I’m a little overwhelmed. I can’t believe I’m taking part in history right now and that I’m standing right in front of it, but this is awesome and I’m really happy that I got to vote. We’re moving forward!” - Emilie Litsas, SIS freshman
• “I think we are going to party. It’s just a good night to be here.” - Tyler Sadonis, SPA junior
• “You should go to the White House to experience this. Otherwise, you’re not taking advantage of the experience that you have,” - Monica Charles, SOC sophomore
• “It’s my last year at AU. I couldn’t imagine being anywhere for this. And this is the place to be.” - Danny Baldwin, CAS senior
• “People are coming back together for their country.” - Francesca Cameron, SIS sophomore
• “I was screaming, so many people were screaming, I just couldn’t help it.” - Claire Woosley, CAS freshman
• “We just want to revel in all this awesome energy, just bask in it right now.” - Manal Lafralta, D.C. resident working in international development
• “I think the thing that is particularly tremendous about the crowd that here right now, is the fact that almost everyone here is young… And I think what it shows is that the priorities of the future leaders of this country are in a place that really supports equality for all people, and that is working towards trying to come up with a country that will ultimately be sustainable for future generation. I think it shows we have confidence Obama can bring that for us.” - Jeff Nadel, Colorado College ’12 graduate
• “I think it’s just that Obama was really the right choice for the next four years. I think we would be really regressing with Romney.” - Adam Beckerman, SPA junior
• “We were on campus, and everyone was cheering, and we were like, ‘we really need to be at the White House right now.’” - Paige Salmon, SOC sophomore
• “I don’t even support President Obama. I didn’t support him in the elections, but I just wanted to be a part of this. I mean I’m only going to be here for a few years, and I wanted to take part in the celebration and know what it’s like when we get someone from our ideological beliefs in the White House. Be prepared for that celebration.” - Christian Rice, Georgetown University junior