Last night's scene at the Biltmore


Shortly before 9:30 pm last night, a huge roar went up among the Democratic crowd packing the 17th floor ballroom at the Providence Biltmore. Obama had been projected as the winner of Ohio -- a state that Republicans have almost always had to win to gain the presidency -- and the steady optimism among the assembled turned into something more ecstatic. 

The throng, which slowly started to gather at 8 pm, was unusually diverse -- young and old, black and white -- for such an occasion, seemingly befitting Obama’s barrier-breaking victory.

In the flush of the win, and the new dawn of a new presidency, it was easy to forget that most of the members of Rhode Island’s Democratic establishment had reflexively backed Hillary Clinton during the bygone primary season.

Cliff Monteiro, president of the Providence chapter of the NAACP, had been so excited on Election Day, he says, that he woke up at 3 am and couldn’t fall back asleep, watching cowboy movies to try to relax and pass the time before voting.

I never thought it would happen in my lifetime, but I am so grateful that a man who represents all of America -- because he is half-black and he is half-white – and I think that this country is more central. It’s not to the extreme right, it’s not to the extreme left, and I think he is more central and focused [on] the feeling of America. And I’m just excited that it’s the right man at the right time to lead our country out of the terrible dilemma that we’re in economically and politically.

Anchor Rising's Justin has some snapshots up from the scene, including one of yours truly chatting with Stan Israel and Channel 12's Wal Buteau.


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