PPP´ler Connor berichtet von der US-Wahlnacht 2012

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Connor, Stipendiat des von ODI durchgeführten Teil des Parlamentarischen Patenschafts-Programms (PPP), berichtet sehr eindrücklich von der ARD-Wahlparty zur US-Wahl am 06. November 2012.

A night to remember

So there I was, smack dab in the middle of the nation’s capitol watching history unfold. Of course, when I say history I mean: the 2012 election for the presidency of the United States of America; and when I say nation’s capitol I mean: Berlin, Germany.

Yes, on the eve of "Die Wahl", I was invited by my area representative – Grit Kümmele – to an election party put on by the program “Menschen bei Maischberger” at the E-Werks building on Wilhelm Str, right across from the Ministry of Finance and the Bundesrat. The atmosphere was electric; the party lights glowing a patriotic red and blue, the dozens of monitors displaying the real live action from New York, to Chicago, to Washington, the hustle and bustle of the camera crews following the various journalists giving up to date stats and interviews, and the freshly concocted American cheeseburgers and donuts, all made for one spectacular night of entertainment.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, PPP´ler Connor und der ehemalige deutsche Botschafter in den USA, Dr. Klaus Scharioth

The studio was filled to the brim with people from politicians to political activists, dozens of Obama supporters to 2 ½ Romney supporters - that I counted, and of course, people there to just enjoy the boxing match that was this election – as well as the free food and drinks. Then there was me, taking in the sights, sitting in the center of the room on a large white cushy sofa that wrapped around a coffee table with the American Flag printed on it. The monitors played news stories from reporters stationed in the U.S who were talking with everyone and their grandma about the election. Right across from me, on the other side of the couch, I witnessed interviews with members of the Bundestag and the U.S ambassador Philip D. Murphy. Even Henry Kissinger stopped by to say “Hallo” over video chat. Naturally, I spent the night with my camera documenting everything as well as getting pictures with all these big names that showed up for what some - perhaps hyperbolizing – called “The Election of their lifetime”.

The election itself kicked off as the east coast states opened up their voting booths. Romney claimed the first few states and their electoral votes to the shouted boos of the crowd in the studio. Obama fought back winning the majority of the north east coast to the unanimous applause of the now pleased crowd. As the night went on, one needed only to listen for the cheers or disapproving silence of the studio to know what was going on as state projections started pouring in. It was neck and neck for a good time until the west coast came in giving Obama a slight lead. It would go down to the all important swing states that would give the presidency to Obama or Romney. We all hung onto the edge of our seats as we kept getting updates in the race in the all-important Florida who, even though hours ago started voting, was still cleaning up its mess of ballots only showing a 50/50 between the two candidates, making it unclear. No, the state that would eventually decide the outcome was Ohio, and as Ohio was called for Obama we all went wild, well, as wild as this type of crowd would go at 5 am. Cheering, hugging, and gleaming victory smiles were seen everywhere as Obama’s face surrounded by falling red and white confetti was projected onto all the monitors throughout the studio. He had done it; the president of the United States of America was re-elected.

On my way out, I glanced at the monitors showing the supporters in the Obama camp in Chicago chanting “four more years, four more years”, and I gave a quick smile. Dusk had turned to dawn, as I wandered out into the empty streets of Berlin, trying to find the nearest subway station. I eventually did and collapsed from exhaustion onto a bench waiting for the S-2 to come and take me home. It was then that I looked at the cracked and aging walls of the station; walls that had been here for years, for decades; walls that had seen so much history. And here I was, smack dab in the middle of Berlin, Germany - like the crumbling walls - watching history unfold.

By Connor Linnerooth

Ansprechpartner Parlamentarisches Patenschafts-Programm