Obama Reelected; Arya Carries Flag, Leads Wesleyan in National Anthem

Breaking: “Our nation is a once great nation divided!”

Last night, around 11:15 p.m., NBC, among other major news networks, projected a reelection win for Obama after noting polling trends in battleground states. Almost immediately, Twitter exploded. Facebook exploded. The President(‘s campaign staff) tweeted:

By the time the notoriously reluctant Fox News called the election, it was clearly over. But in Exley 150, Wesleyan was still watching a glitchy ABC livestream, which was probably about 10 minutes behind and too busy zooming in on electoral maps on people’s iPads to realize that the election had been called. Wesleying liveblogged the moment. The anticipation was palpable. Projected wins for Obama in New Hampshire and Minnesota garnered huge cheers; it was an equally fantastic moment when ABC called the Massachusetts Senate race for Elizabeth Warren, one of the most genuinely progressive moments of the night.

When the projection for Ohio finally came through, the real cheers broke out, followed by “Obama! Obama!,” followed by a semi-ironic chant: “USA! USA!” Then The Wesleyan Fight Song. Then more cheers. Then someone passed around tequila. Then more cheers. Then Arya Alizadeh ’13, Zak Malik ’14, and others hoisted an American flag and led the crowd through the National Anthem. (Not particularly out of the ordinary for Arya, to be fair.)

I tried to track the reactions from my Flipcam; these videos were all filmed in Exley 150 between 11:00 and 12:00 last night:




Let’s be real, though: as far as presidential politics goes, this was satisfaction and warm relief. We staved off a Romney victory; we protected the status quo and preserved the congressional divide. (I’m not talking about marijuana legalization or gay marriage via ballot box, which certainly are cause for celebration.) It wasn’t outright jubilation and madness in the vein of what took place on campus this time in ’08. There were no streakers on Foss, no surprise Michael Roth sightings.

Nor was it much of an electoral mandate. Obama won despite the votes of about “60 million people you’d never talk to,” whose convictions remain as strong as ever; spending Election Night at Wesleyan (where cheers and “USA!” chants follow the victory of any Democratic senator-elect you’ve never heard of) only highlighted that truth. No one cheered when, say, Idaho was projected for Romney. Off the top of my head, I can name a total of two Romney voters I’m friends with. One is my grandpa, and the other’s Mytheos, whose reaction you can succinctly measure here.

As the Times noted this morning, Obama reached victory with 50% of the popular vote,”three percentage points lower than in 2008 and a sign of just how divided the country remains over his leadership.” In a broader historic focus: “He will become “the first president since Franklin D. Roosevelt to win a second term with fewer electoral votes than his first election, suggesting the narrowing of his coalition.”

Times have changed, and liberals are jaded (if there are conservatives at Wesleyan today, we call them “Democrats”), but Wesleyan still seems optimistic about More Shit Getting Done. (Like closing Guantanamo.) (And ending the war on whistleblowers.) (And fixing immigration policy.) (And addressing human rights in Pakistan.) As the esteemed Sheek noted on Facebook:

really tho this is so nice. postracial america 2, electric boogaloo. with more shit getting done probably this time

For more in-the-moment coverage of last night, scope our liveblog coverage here. Here’s a video of fireworks on Foss that I totally failed to witness. Full photo gallery below. Thankfully, you can stop hearing about Bronco Bama and Mitt Romney now:

Oh, and here’s the Election Night story according to Donald Trump’s Twitter, which is even more ludicrous than Karl Rove’s meltdown:

For somewhat of a counternarrative, here’s the night according to Wesleying’s Twitter (much of which is taken verbatim from our liveblog coverage):

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