Biden Win Ignites Democratic Joy Pent Up for Days and Years
(Bloomberg) -- After four years of angry division and five days of breath-held anxiety, celebrations erupted in Democratic strongholds across the country as news of Joe Biden’s victory spread, even as President Donald Trump’s supporters continued to protest the result.
A crowd gathered near Manhattan’s Trump Tower, with people shouting, “You are fired!” Residents of Chicago, a city derided by Trump, danced in the streets, banged pots and shot off fireworks. In Washington, crowds around the White House jeered Trump’s motorcade as he returned from golfing. And the village center of Maplewood, New Jersey, filled with families as cars rolled through with horns blaring and children poking their heads from sunroofs.
Trump’s supporters gathered as well, processing a loss that the president wouldn’t acknowledge. In Lansing, Michigan, they converged on the capitol in a state that the president-elect flipped back to the Democrats. Dozens more marched toward the Supreme Court in Washington for a “Stop the Steal” rally to bolster Trump’s false claims of a rigged election. And in Beverly Hills, California, scores converged just north of the city’s upscale Rodeo Drive retail strip. A caravan of cars and trucks with Trump flags drove by, blaring horns.
In New York, hundreds of Biden supporters converged on Washington Square Park, a staging ground of protests over the past few nights, to cheer and wave signs. Across downtown Manhattan, cars honked horns and diners clapped and stood up in their restaurant seats when news networks called the race.
Carrol Cruz, 41, a photographer, and her husband left their apartment to join the crowds in Washington Square. “I haven’t slept for days,” Cruz said. “I kept an iPad next to my bed and kept checking for results and suddenly I heard ‘Celebration’ and the neighbors screaming, and I knew they had finally come.”
In Los Angeles, people stepped out of their homes to cheer on an unusually gray and chilly morning. Drivers honked and celebrities, including singer Lady Gaga and actress Kerry Washington, expressed support for Biden on Twitter. Kim Kardashian West, whose husband, Kanye, also ran for president, posted a picture of Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris with three heart emojis.
Regina Favors, a retired postal worker, showed up for a rally at the Detroit Department of Elections with a “Vote by Mail” T-shirt and a Biden-Harris face mask. Hip-hop blared as union members and retirees in red, yellow and navy-blue t-shirts celebrated. Favors said she was driven by a need to cleanse the country: “If you want unity, you have to try to get rid of all of this divisiveness and hatred.”
The jubilation was set against bitterness among the millions of Americans who had voted for Trump.
A group of about 50 assembled outside the Clark County Elections Office in Las Vegas for the fourth consecutive day to protest the vote-counting, claiming without evidence that the election was being “stolen.” Some held signs referencing conspiracy theories. At least two wielded guns and wore military fatigues.
“We are in this fight, we will win this fight,” Courtney Holland shouted through a megaphone. “There are multiple viable legal claims in every contested battleground.” So far, none of the Trump campaign’s challenges have held up in court.
At the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix, hundreds chanted “Fox News sucks!” because of the network’s early call that the state had gone for Biden. State GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward said she “won’t rest” until every legal vote is counted. “It’s coming down to the skin of our teeth for President Trump,” she said.
In Austin, a black military-style vehicle with the insignia of InfoWars, a pro-Trump website that promotes conspiracy theories, headed up Congress Avenue, attracting loud jeers and some cheers from a crowd just south of the Texas Capitol. A man standing in the vehicle’s turret shouted that the election wasn’t over yet, while a few bystanders taunted him by singing “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye.”
And at the U.S. Capitol, dozens bearing flags and other gear marched around the grounds. Some stopped at the foot of the building for a prayer vigil; few would speak to a reporter.
But there were few signs of worry at the White House, where thousands of peaceful demonstrators danced and sang. The raucous celebration could be heard blocks away.
In the Houston suburb of Sugar Land, Texas, Cynthia Ginyard had been watching MSNBC in her den when news flashed that Biden had won the election. Ginyard, who chairs the Fort Bend Democratic Party, said Biden’s win was a huge relief -- but having a woman of color as vice president is even bigger. “Earth-shattering,” she said by phone. “I can say, ‘Madame Vice President.’ I can say that.”
Chicago closed a stretch of Wacker Drive near Trump’s building there for celebrations.
Alderman Scott Waguespack said in an interview that he was “ecstatic.” Waguespack said Chicago, like municipalities across the country, have been ravaged by the health crisis and the economic fallout, and “we’ll have an administration that we will work with that focuses on the issues that we need to fix.”
Trump’s Chicago-bashing rhetoric was political theater, but hardships for minority and immigrant communities were real, said Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, a member of the City Council’s progressive caucus.
“Those are all things we felt in our communities,” Ramirez-Rosa said. “There is hope today.”
In Seattle, dozens of people gathered at the edge of Cal Anderson Park to cheer, clap and dance in a part of the city that’s been a center of racial-justice protests this year. As cars drove by a Black Lives Matter mural on the street, drivers honked to show approval.
At one point, the crowd erupted into a call-and-response to taunt Trump:
“We say, ‘you’re.’ You say, ‘fired.’”
Samantha Lozano was drinking a tea and standing with her friends across the street. The 30-year-old nonprofit worker said she had been “doomsday scrolling” on her phone all week, waiting for the race to be called. She said she heard people honking from her apartment when Biden’s victory was announced Saturday morning and wanted to be with others to celebrate.
“It’s really important to mark this day, because it reaffirms our values and moves us in the direction of being an anti-racist country,” she said.
Back in New York, on the corner of 55th Street and Fifth Avenue, at least 50 people waved American flags, some wearing Biden-Harris branded masks and T-shirts. It was the closest they could get to Trump Tower, which was barricaded from pedestrians.
“We saw the news, and we immediately heard people clapping at their windows and we had to go out,” said Christine Debouck. “I thought today would be like yesterday and the day before.”
“Suddenly it was over. I’m so excited.”
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