For many Americans Obama’s election victory was one of those ‘everyone can remember where they were moments’. Hundreds queued outside the offices of the Washington Post to get a copy of a special edition of the paper — a souvenir of an historic day.
It is a reflection of the mood across much of the country, a feeling of entering a new era.
“It was definitely worth the wait. It was a special
moment and I really want to remember this. A paper is a great way to remember.I’m thinking, frame it, put it up on my wall. It will be great,” said one man who had been waiting in line.
In the president-elect’s hometown of Chicago the euphoria is still palpable. More than 200,000 attended his victory rally in the city, many of them young people who previously had not been interested in politics.
“Last night was the most amazing thing that’s ever happened for me and my generation. I feel like my generation in particular, being 22 – it’s kind of passive, but this is the first thing that actually got us mobilised and really excited,” said one young woman.
For older generations it was an even more momentous occasion. Obama mentioned 106-year-old Ann Nixon Cooper in his victory speech. She was an emblematic figure in the civil rights movement.
Interviewed after the result was known she said: “Since they’ve gone so far I feel they’ll go further and further. After a while we will be all one.”
Having become a figurehead for change, and having promised so much, those revelling in Obama’s victory will now expect him to deliver.