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WASHINGTON D.C. — The twenty-two month battle for the highest position in the country came to an end tonight as the Republican National Committee gathered in Washington D.C.’s Capitol Hilton Hotel ballroom. Those who once anxiously monitored the polls began to accept defeat.
Minutes after Sen. Barack Obama became the president-elect, faces turned solemn. Numerous people proceeded to flood the exits of the hotel, while some remained in the ballroom observing the news. Those who remained to hear Sen. John McCain’s conceding speech held steady gazes at the monitors, but offered no outright emotion.
Many remaining guests declined interviews. Nate Breeding, senior consultant, said on behalf of his fellow Republican that they were optimistic, but realistic that there would possibly be a shift in power for the country.
“With the economy not doing well, the party in power always suffers, so I kind of foresaw that it would happen this way,” he said. “I’d prefer John McCain as our president, but I congratulate Barack Obama for winning. It’s a very historic time in America.”
Breeding added that McCain’s conceding speech was very professional and well spoken. “You can’t deny that he is a true American hero and has served this country well,” he said.
Earlier in the night, optimism had surged through the air as the celebration persisted under crystal chandeliers and musical renditions including “We are Family,” “Buttercup Baby,” and “Dancing in the Street” by an 8-man band. The evening carried on with political discussion heavily weighing on wagging tongues.
Television screens remained fixed on Fox News as spectators watched anxiously, awaiting new developments from the polls across the country.
At 9:00 p.m. EST, the crowd drew their attention to the screens as commentators revealed the latest results. Hand clapping and cheers flooded the room as McCain was announced the winner of states like Kentucky, West Virginia and South Carolina. But that flair quickly dissolved when Obama was shown winning Florida and Ohio.
Although a Republican, Brendan Andrews said at the time that he felt good about the prospect of having an African American as the next president.
Paris Dennard, 26, was not a bit concerned by the news. “I was happy about the states that came in for Sen. McCain,” he said. “It’s proof that Sen. McCain’s message is resonating with voters. The ones that came in for Obama were by no means surprising.”
This marks the third presidential election that he has voted in. He was extremely confident of McCain’s ability to snag the seat for the Oval office.
Dennard added that it was exciting witnessing his candidate doing well amongst states that are traditionally not viewed as red states.