Vail Valley Dems embrace new president |

Vail Valley Dems embrace new president

Dustin Racioppi
Edwards, CO Colorado

EDWARDS, Colorado “-In a sea of Democrat blue, tears flowed as quickly as the booze being passed around inside Fiesta’s restaurant in Edwards, Colorado as local Democrats celebrated the victory of president-elect Barack Obama.

There didn’t seem to be enough ways to describe the feeling among the dozens of supporters who watched Republican candidate John McCain admit defeat to the Illinois Senator. The celebratory “Obama-shots” helped explain the whirlwind of emotions in the room, though.

“Elation, are you kidding? Joy. Relief. Optimism. Hope, ” said New New Wallace, co-vice chair of Eagle County Democrats. “We’re in heaven right now.”

Obama’s victory was not all his own, though. Many in the room, like Ben Moore, spent the days leading up to Tuesday night’s election canvassing Hispanic and lower income neighborhoods to spread the word and help people register to vote.

“We’ve been working pretty hard the last few days,” he said, standing beside his jumping, glowing wife.

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Wallace said she’s spent the last two years as a “nervous wreck” recruiting supporters and educating people on what she felt was the right choice for the country. She didn’t begin her celebration until every last news station called the race in Obama’s favor.

“We’ve worked long and hard. There’s that part of you that thinks, ‘are they ready to

bite off on this?'” she said.

Tuesday’s election of the first black president was also a moral victory to many in the room.

As she watched the numbers scroll along the T.V. screen clearly indicating Obama’s win, Vail resident Sheila Linn cried into her palms and reveled in the results.

“The hatred and fear and darkness the last few years is gone. The whole world chose hope,” she said. “It wasn’t just Obama. It’s this ocean wave of hope for the future.”

But as Obama pointed out in his victory speech, his election to commander in chief isn’t the change he’s spoken of the last 21 months since declaring his run for office. It’s the beginning of it, which is what had the dozens celebrating at the restaurant Tuesday night riding high on what several referred to as ” a new lease on life.”

“Barack Obama is going to respect the people of the country and the world,” said Mark Chapin, Eagle County assessor, said. “We needed the change. That’s what it’s all about.”

When January comes and Obama is sworn into office, all those shining faces can officially begin to embrace everything they believe their new leader will bring.

“There’s going to be a change of heart. You have somebody who cares about everybody,” Wallace said. “This man is going to bring us together.”

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