My evening began “Outside the Perimeter,” in Cumming, where I was assigned to gather voter reaction:
The mood was not quite as buoyant at Spondivits up in Cumming where a host of regulars — uniformly blue collar and all McCain supporters — were prepared for defeat.
“I don’t know anyone who voted for Obama,” Forsyth County contractor Jeff Jones said. “One guy in my neighborhood had an Obama sign in his yard, but I don’t know him.”
Still, Jones predicted an Obama “blowout,” an outcome that has him concerned. He doesn’t think Obama has the necessary experience.
“Isn’t he a Muslim?” Jones asked. “That’s what everyone’s been telling me.”
Nursing a cocktail, Cindy Hazard spoke for the room.
“We’re screwed,” said Hazard, a controller for a heating and air-conditioning company.
She said the mood among her co-workers is similar to that after Sept. 11.
“Everybody’s scared,” the Cumming resident said. “I think [Obama] has misled a lot of people.”
Navy and Air Force veteran Brian Kelly said Obama doesn’t understand the importance of America’s position as a world superpower.
“I fought for America. I believe in the Stars and Bars,” said Kelly, of Cumming. “He doesn’t like the Stars and Bars.”
Despite the dire projections, the mood was not so somber.
“We’re drinking heavily,” Jones said.
Around 11:30 p.m. I rolled into downtown where I observed a party in search of a destination. The exuberance was completely rational. No one was hurt. No property was damaged. Just pure, unadulterated joy.
I immediately thought of the scene in “The Wizard of Oz,” after Dorothy killed the Wicked Witch. Not sure if that makes sense, but it’s difficult describing the energy that flowed through the streets last night. I’m just glad I was there to experience it.