November 5th, 2008
06:52 PM ET

Obama vs. McCain, the Day After

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/05/maureen.jpg]

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

I live about 20 blocks from CNN's New York offices and usually walk to work. Today, as I followed my familiar route, there were subtle yet definite reminders of the history made last night.

Two blocks from my apartment building a chalkboard sign outside a local bar caught my eye. It read: "Yes, we did." I snapped a quick picture on my blackberry. Continuing on, I made a detour to the CVS on the corner to pick up a prescription; a young African American man wearing a "Vote Obama" t-shirt was smiling as he chatted with an employee in the pharmacy department. Several blocks beyond CVS, I noticed a cluster of red, white and blue balloons nestled in the branches of a tree on a side street. Just hours earlier in my neighborhood (Hell's Kitchen, west of Times Square) spontaneous celebrations had erupted in the street when CNN called the election for Barack Obama; I had watched from my 20th floor balcony.

Now, about 12 hours later, the streets were relatively quiet, aside from the typical traffic. But the balloons were a reminder that Election Day 2008 in New York City was unlike any I'd witnessed.

Several blocks later, as I neared the Time Warner Center, I passed another sign outside a restaurant, advertising a "Bailout Recession Special for $10, tax included." The meal included a burger or cheeseburger, a bag of chips, and a soda or Snapple. What I really loved was the tag line: "You've already spent $750 billion. What's ten more?" I snapped another picture. If the exit polling we've seen is right, that burger special encapsulates why so many Americans had such an appetite for voting yesterday.

Filed under: AC360° Staff
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Brenda Ellis

    The people you saw jumping up and down, screaming for joy when the election was called for Obama were successful, educated people who did everything right to gain respect and recognition for the career path they chose. Some received that respect and recognition, some have not yet. Many do not understand the victory that has been won in this election. If you do understand, be sure to congratulate anyone who voted for this brave American.

    November 6, 2008 at 12:05 pm |
  2. Juby Nalin

    America once again showed the world what it is made of. More than anything else it is the personal victory of Barak Obama that will inspire millions of people and the thought that "Yes, I can" attitude that is going to bring out better in humanity, not just in America but also around the world that will bring about the "CHANGE".

    November 6, 2008 at 11:51 am |
  3. DeMarkus

    I think obamo is the man for us we need so one like obamo right .

    November 6, 2008 at 11:40 am |
  4. Robin


    6 Million of us can't be all wrong - maybe you should move

    November 6, 2008 at 11:39 am |
  5. Mike


    You can stop with the hate and fear-mongering...it's time to look ahead as to how WE as American support our President-elect and his administration and make this country better for all of us...So, please put the fear-mongering and empty rhetoric to the side...Thanks!

    November 6, 2008 at 11:29 am |
  6. Stacy

    Carolyn, you think we voted for Obama because we thought we'd get more money? Hardly. We voted for Obama because he offers the chance to unite the country and heal the wrongs the Bush administration did to the world. I voted for him so my sons will have less a chance of going to war in Iran, I voted for him so my daughters have a chance to choose if they someday have to, I voted for him so my grandchildren and their children will have cleaner air to breathe and water to drink.
    My suggestion to all the sore losers, get over it. We had to deal with Bush for 8 years, it's your turn to take the pill and let us clean up his/your mess.

    November 6, 2008 at 11:23 am |
  7. Anne Fletcher

    Now I am a hopeful American, one who sees a light at the end of the tunnel. But press coverage calling the President elect the first black or the first African American to become President is only half true. President elect Obama is our first 'bi-racial' president, who happens to be part Afro American and part White. But let's not forget his deceased American grandmother who raised him or his grandmother in Kenya. Or his parents. They are his legacy. And it's because of this legacy that he will be able to cross color/ethnic lines and provide positive global positioning not only for the U.S. but the world-at-large.

    November 6, 2008 at 11:11 am |
  8. Bev

    Please Carolyn, get a grip. The money PRESIDENT-elect Obama collected was mostly from people like ME, not lobbyists. And I am NOT ignorant. Only a mean-spirited, hateful, angry, ignorant person like yourself would make a statement like that. Please remember that President Clinton left this country and Bush alot of money in the budget. Your repugnicans quickly lost it all by sending us to a non-necessary war and distributing it to they're billionaire corporation cronies. The country is in "utter chaos" now. Again, take a pill and get a grip. Such sore losers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 6, 2008 at 11:05 am |
  9. Michelle

    "Yes we can, yes we did and yes we will" DO WHAT? I still haven't heard the completion of this. Win the election? Okay you did that, big deal. Bring about change? Oh that's descriptive. It's never been specified what kind of change we're bringing about! I guarantee that change would happen no matter who became president.
    So "change" what? "Yes we can" do what?

    November 6, 2008 at 11:05 am |
  10. kay

    whoever carolyn is, is dumb. how r u still goin to support McCain. the spread the wealth comment got blown out of proportion. Obama is the only one who could make a change. i wouldn't be surprised if ur a rasict. YES WE DID. stopin hatin because u can't change it.

    November 6, 2008 at 1:25 am |
  11. koran ryf

    I wasn't sure where this comment should go but I guess I'll put it here. Today the stock market dropped almost 500 points due to what yahoo cited as concern over electing Obama. So, my question is this- Did "we" have second thoughts about who we elected or does this mean the Republicans control the market? I just don't get why the market didn't surge today...

    November 5, 2008 at 10:32 pm |
  12. Debra from Roswell, GA

    To Carolyn.....I guess you voted for Bush. I felt the same way as you do eight years ago when he was allowed to become president by the Supreme Court. I was right about Bush. In eight years, let's meet here again and see if you are right about Obama. I don't think you will be, but only time will tell.

    God Bless America. God Bless Obama.

    November 5, 2008 at 9:07 pm |
  13. Andre

    Mr. Cooper:

    I just have to let you guys know this. I'm am an African American with a landed statice in Delta, B.C. Canada. Since being off work at Boeing (Strike). I have been working in the film industry in Vancouver. While on set Canadians here were glued to CNN sweating over our election.

    After wrap driving to the house people were honking and yelling out, "Obama! Obama! When I got home we watched this historic win on CNN and I let my kids know once again that America is the best country in the world and this could only happen there on this level.

    This morning I took my daughter and son to school and principal's, teacher's, monitors and children were talking about Obama winning the election and congradulating me as if I won the Presidency my self. This all happened in Canada.

    I am a proud African American and I only wish the elders could have been here that are gone to have seen this. I am extreamly proud of my country as a whole. God Bless America!

    November 5, 2008 at 8:50 pm |
  14. Kerry

    One of the neighbors attempted to intimidate voters by hanging a confederate flag, with a light shining on it so that it illuminates at night, the day of the election

    Vickers St. Glendale, California

    November 5, 2008 at 8:32 pm |
  15. Greg M

    I'm so glad to hear that your experience the day after was unlike mine. It was incredibly quiet in my southern town as if something had gone terribly wrong. Imagine, after millions of Americans voted for our next president last night I went to sleep excited about the progress we've made and the hope that our future holds, and awoke to a South that hasn't changed a whole lot. There is an atmosphere of resentment and I can't help but to feel that is not about a political party.

    November 5, 2008 at 8:31 pm |
  16. troy

    i am a african amercian in La. The day after has been imspiring and heart broken because white america in the south is mad. I have had racist remaked made to me and thing that shouldn't be said about our obama. Please America lets come together

    November 5, 2008 at 8:28 pm |
  17. Ojabeh monday

    Americans,i am really proud of you.

    November 5, 2008 at 8:24 pm |
  18. Kareen from Puyallup, WA

    Many of the commentators have said that Obama was elected because of the amount of money that he was able to raise via the internet, however, they don't seem to realize that many people gave less than $100.00 and instead gave a more important thing–time! My sister and I worked the phones, waved signs and delivered flyers and we are both "senior, white, female voters". Many of the volunteers that we had at the Democratic office in Puyallup were either older folks or young people. We all were "hopeful" though!!

    November 5, 2008 at 8:17 pm |
  19. Mike Mulvagh

    This is a momentous day for American's and particularly for people of color. It's so great to see that so many people now have hope where it didn't exist before and to experience the truth in the fact that all people are created equal. But there are those of us in this country where that doesn't hold true. The last true civil rights struggle exists in the LGBT community who face so many ongoing prejudices, and where it is still ok and acceptable to discriminate against a group of people.

    As of today, we still don't have the same rights as other Americans – adoption, tax benefits, inheritance rights, hospital visitations etc. Will President Obama support us...really support us? Who knows. But amidst all of the celebrations and hope being experienced across this land, millions of people are still facing hardships and discrimination and are hoping for the day that we can celebrate and say the amazing words: "I didn't expect this to happen in our lifetime" and to say the words – out loud – YES WE CAN TOO.

    Only then, will this country be truly a place where all men, and women, are created equal.

    November 5, 2008 at 8:10 pm |
  20. Rebecca Cannon

    During your scan of people in the crowd at President Obama's victory party, I saw the Reverend Billy Graham. It was in one of the close ups during the 20 minutes leading up to his arrival. I know that is who I saw, I know his face. Could you please have your producers or whom ever does the vidoes look through them and re broadcast that shot? Of all the people that was there, I think that this is a very famous person that you might and I say might have missed.

    Rebecca Cannon
    Florida for Obama

    November 5, 2008 at 7:46 pm |
  21. Will

    Yes it was a great thing that many people came out and voted for this historic election but to me this is because of the media. The media have become way to strong in political influence, even you CNN. CNN's claim of NO BIAS NO BULL is one of the biggest misconceptions in history. Barack may have won with or without the media but the absolute irresponsibility in this elections reporting was horrifying. If the media continues to distort the news then America will simply become a set of drones learning all of their information from reporters that may or may not be telling the whole story. Congratulations Obama you did a great job and ran a good campaign and I wish you luck in your presidency. But to CNN and the rest of the media KEEP YOUR OPINIONS TO YOURSELF and LET US DECIDE WHO WE WANT AS PRESIDENT

    November 5, 2008 at 7:41 pm |
  22. Annie Kate

    The recession lunch sounds great – and just ten dollars...wow. Is there any pork hiding in that hamburger??

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    November 5, 2008 at 7:38 pm |
  23. Carolyn

    I guess there just aren't enough level-headed people in the US anymore. People may be excited now, but I think the party will be short lived when Obama does exactly the opposite of what he said he was going to do. Obama said he wants to “spread the wealth”, to show us the money. Well people, you more than likely won’t see any “money”. Your taxes will probably be raised and this country will go deeper in debt. I cannot believe that the majority of the American people sold their souls for the almighty dollar that they think they’re going to get. By electing Obama, this proves that money is truly the root of ALL evil. I desperately fear for the safety of this nation. Even though times are tough, I would rather have the economy as it is, than have the utter chaos the country will see, and when that happens, the ignorant people that voted for him will wish they hadn't. The damage has been done. Now it's just a matter of time. I’m glad that everything in life is temporary and I consider this administration to be temporary. God help us. To Obama supporters: Hope didn’t win…money did.

    November 5, 2008 at 7:34 pm |
  24. Rose from Muscoy, Calif

    Yes, we can and yes we did and yes we will!

    November 5, 2008 at 7:31 pm |
  25. Tola Dibaba

    Yes, Obama made history but it is the American people who showed to the world how democracy and people's choice unfold. As naturalized citizen of US I feel proud to be an American. The era of hate, fear and divison like most of world dictatorship is near death, We Americans start fresh and let god be the guide and Obama succeed.

    November 5, 2008 at 7:22 pm |