Election Night 2008

The pent-up frustration of the last eight years gets a joyous release

Opinion | Maruska Strah, Dardis McNamee | December 2008 / January 2009

Nervous but excited faces filled every single corner of The Lion Rampant pub on the night of the United States Presedential Election. The pub was completely full by 11pm leaving a crowd of people standing outside the pub and even in the street. Children were running around, clearly not knowing what exactly was going on, but their faces showed that they were aware of the fact that something extremely important was occuring.

Many wore Obama 2008 buttons, and those that weren’t were bargaining with those that were. Democratic candidate Barack Obama was clearly popular, even among teenagers and young adults, who were the majority, of the visitors completely filling the basement Keller Stube of the pub, where Joey Green’s combo was riffing on everything from jazz standards to Irish jigs.

For those who were early enough, the inside of the pub revealed a sanctuary dedicated to Obama. Obama banners and T-Shirts were everywhere, and of course, more buttons splashed with his slogan, "Yes we can." A life sized cutout of BHO stood in one front corner, a cut out of Hilary Clinton in the other – either one a little unnerving if you came upon it suddenly, particularly after the third drink.

Reporters were everywhere, and camera crews from ORF2, ATV and Press TV, also photographers standing on table tops or squatting in the crowd angling for a best shot. Every few minutes someone stuck a camera or a microphone in your face; we didn’t think a whole lo about it at the time, but had the odd experience of seeing ourselves on television, page and Info screens all over town for the next two days.

The pub stayed full till into the wee hours of the morning, when the results of the elections were finally announced. As the numbers from the key state of Ohio were displayed on the huge monitor, the crowd went wild, screaming, and jumping up and down, hugging each other, emitting shouts of pure joy, and tears of relief. As we looked around for our coats, we ducked under fists punching up into the air, the watery, shining eyes, through the din of cracking voices screaming their hearts out, Yes we can!!

Yes, now we can actually look forward to the future.

Other articles from this issue

  • Wheels Without Hassle

    Car Sharing - Or how to save money, the planet and nerves
    News | Stephanie Levett
  • Torberg in Exile

    The Kaffeehaus Literaten who lived for longing and writing leters; An exhibition at the Jewish Museum
    TVR Books | Dardis McNamee
  • A Beat for the Feet

    A floor of sound at the Haus der Musi
    On The Town | Kata Cserveny
  • Godfather’s Wine

    Something about being an atheist drinking baptized Christian wine with a godfather in show business
    On The Town | Kata Cserveny
  • All articles from this issue

    the vienna review December 2008 / January 2009