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US: Raucous Obama victory party reaches White House gates

05 Nov 2008 5:03 PM
US: Raucous Obama victory party reaches White House gates

WASHINGTON, Nov 5 AFP - Chanting and shouting their delight at Barack Obama's historic election win, hundreds of young people flooded the avenue infront of the White House in raucous celebration.

Many in the crowd - chiefly students from Washington-area universities - waved red, white and blue balloons, others pushed their Obama campaign signs to the sky, most chanted Obama's name, his "Yes we can" slogan, or "USA! USA!"

Laura Kiefer, 18, laughed about the key role her home state of Ohio played in the Democrat's historic victory - "I got a hug from my entire dorm, it was great!"

Her friend Kerianne Cantelmo, also 18, said they had watched the returns ontelevision and had waited to be sure that Obama had won because "we didn'twant to jinx anything" before heading to US President George W Bush's doorstep.

"We are all telling him - go now, Obama is coming, it's over," said Shaterra Lee, 20, a George Washington University student, referring to the vastly unpopular Bush.

"This is the change that we've been waiting for," said Lee's friend ChantalRomain, 20. "It's historic, I can't wait to tell my kids about it."

A small group of dispirited supporters of Obama's Republican rival, John McCain, and his running mate Sarah Palin also took to the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the presidential mansion.

"I'm going to throw up if I stay here any longer," said Brittney Morrett, 20, a George Washington student from Pennsylvania who was wearing a T-shirt with Obama's face with a red line through it, like a no-smoking sign.

Upon seeing two young women wearing McCainPalin T-shirts, and seemingly holding each other up as they marched from the crowd, Morrett said dryly: "Oh, some friendly faces. We should all hug and cry."

Some students were more confrontational about their dislike of Obama: Maxwell Anthony, 18, waved a red Soviet flag with a friend at the heart of the crowd.

Anthony, who said he borrowed the banner from a friend's roommate, said it was "in mockery of the Obama movement" and repeatedly referred to the firstAfrican-American US president as "Comrade Obama".

Anthony said he had not voted.

AFP apm =0A