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No joy (yet) at Obama gathering

January 8, 2008 |  6:32 pm

Manchester, N.H. -- The Times Maria La Ganga is at Barack Obama's election-night party, where we imagine those who showed up figured they've be whooping and hollering by now. Instead, La Ganga reports:

The atmosphere was edgy in the flag-draped gym of Nashua High School South. An hour after the polls closed, with just over a quarter of the votes counted, Hillary Clinton was ahead, and the crowd was restive.

“It’s very scary,” said Con O’Donnell, a software engineer from Wyndham, N.H. “It was a Hillary state until three weeks ago. There are a lot of Hillary people on the street ... when it’s over, if he wins, it’ll be a helluva party. It’s really tense.”

Supporters were watching the returns on a super-sized projection television, craning their necks as NBC interviewed a happy Ann Lewis, a senior Clinton advisor.

Not everyone was worried though. Dave Bamford, an attorney from Dover, declared happily that Obama “is going to win. My feeling here is I just think this is a seminal moment. The shot heard ‘round the world. I really believe this is the next president of the United States.”

It remains unclear, of course, whether Bamford's optimism was misplaced. It did seem clear that the blowout victory that he and others were hoping for was not going to occur.

-- Don Frederick