Obama Wins! Party Time!
There was no better place to witness the energy, emotion and happiness felt over Senator Barack Obama's victory over Senator John McCain by Obama's followers than the Democratic Official Election Night Celebration. The event was the perfect place for Obama supporters' fears of having another Republican president continue to ruin the country to dissipate.
The Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Century City was where the party took place. The streets were full of people walking toward the long line to get inside. Traffic jams were making parking difficult, but people were in a mood to celebrate the victory of their candidate.
Before the event even started, the hotel was at capacity, leaving many Obama supporters out in the cold. When Obama was announced to be the next elected president of the United States, a loud cheer was heard from inside the hotel.
The many non-hotel guests invited to the party were still outside waiting to get in when Obama was declared the winner. People staying at the Hyatt were allowed preferential entrance through the hotel's main entrance. A small amount of people at the event entrance gave up and left. Steve Fraatz, a Bank of America personal banker said, "Why should I stay out in the cold when I could watch [election coverage] on TV?"
The party was to start at 8 p.m., but by 7:30 p.m. the doors were closed and no more people were let in. It was even difficult for hotel guests to get inside, as there was a sea of people waiting to get in through the main hotel doors.
The fire marshal shut down the event as the crowd kept getting bigger and restless, with cries of "Let us in!" and "Yes we can!" heard from time to time. "The party is at capacity, please step 20 feet away from the entrance. We are not letting anyone in that is not a hotel guest," said the fire marshal. These words did nothing to discourage the overtly enthusiastic crowd outside.
"It is surreal," said Allison Anderson from central Los Angeles. "I can't believe that he won." Anderson, as many other attendees, got there too late to get admitted to the party. Emily Ho from Silverlake was "still a little bit in shock. We just heard that 82 percent of Americans voted."
Not everyone was praising Obama, though. Federico Garcia, a member of the Revolutionary Communist Party who was talking to people outside about an alternative to capitalism said, "I think a lot of people were captivated by the slogan of hope and change. What we don't need is a new face in a rotten system.
If you listen to what Obama is saying, sending troops to Afghanistan, bombing Pakistan, using nuclear weapons against Iran... he signed FISA that expanded the spying by the government... He's part of the system; Obama is just a better face for a brutal empire."
On the other hand, Llon King, a school administrator for the Los Angeles Unified School District shook people's hands while he said, "You did a good job. Well done." Assuming that the people present voted for Obama, King said, "I knew that for sure the US was going to come around."
People inside got to rest on couches surrounded by TVs with news coverage, go outside a little terrace and dance to music and go to the lower levels and visit the different ballrooms with more TVs and alcoholic beverages to pass the time.
However, the main action was happening at the main stage located on the bottom floor, with an opportunity to take a picture with a background by Shepard Faire, the "Obey Giant" creator and artist responsible for the known Obama red, white and blue poster with the word "Hope" plastered all over the city.
There were also t-shirts for sale as well as other memorabilia. "Z Trip" was Dj-ing the main stage as people danced with energy and fervor to an eclectic selection of music, from the Beatles to ACDC. The dance floor was full with barely any room to walk. Lindsay Carlson, an attorney, said about the party, "[I] had a great time." Carlson also said, "It was insanity, lots of people, lots of excitement. It was a historic moment and the first time that I got to vote for a winning president."