In a crass way, that summed up the late-night mood at last night's Denver Democratic watch party at the downtown Sheraton hotel.
The beginning of the night was much more tame. We arrived just before the stated start-time of 7 p.m. to find a ballroom mostly empty save for the press. A few people were milling about, including Denver electrician Tom Tyler, who was enjoying a Blue Moon bought with the required drink tickets."I'm 52 and I feel this election is the most critical election for this country in my voting lifetime," Tyler told us. "There are such radically different views of how to take this nation forward." Today, Tyler ascribes to the Democratic one, but he didn't always. Disappointed by Bill Clinton's stance on NAFTA, Tyler says he drifted right for several years -- but the possibility of a second George W. Bush term yanked him left again.
Sitting at a small banquet table, Tyler pointed at the two giant screens flanking the stage at the front of the room. Mitt Romney was on TV. "If that man right there wins -- if the red states pull this through -- we'll see nothing but heartburn, heartache," he said.
Tyler was soon joined by a woman named Angeles Ortega, who'd spent the last several hours monitoring the polls at Manual High School with Just Vote Colorado. (No problems, she reported.) He fetched her a red wine and the two watched the screens.
"Wow, that's amazing!" Tyler said at 7:15 p.m. "Two hundred votes apart in Florida!"
"It's going to be an early night!" Ortega said. They clinked their glasses in a toast.Standing spitting distance from one of the screens was Fred Conseen and his wife, Karin. The two wore matching gray Obama sweatshirts and matching grins.
"I am here to see this man reelected!" Conseen said, as '80s music played over the speakers.
He'd spent the past two months volunteering for Obama, offering his Denver house as a staging area for canvassing. "The national disaster we've had -- I'm sorry it had to come down to this, but it's knocking it out of the park for him," said Conseen, 45, who never voted in an election until Bush ran for his second term. (He cast his ballot for the other guy.) "I didn't think my vote counted for much," Conseen explained. "But when I realized the United States could start a war -- we could start a war -- for no good reason, I got into politics."Continue for more on the Dems watch party.