NORWALK, Conn. – The campaign season is finally over and the people sitting in the lobby at Norwalk’s Hilton Garden Inn Tuesday night could not be happier.
“If Romney won I would have been depressed or scared,” said Erica Padmore, moments after CNN declared President Barack Obama the victor in the 2012 presidential election.
“I wanted Obama to win the election because he deserves a second chance,” said Rahoul Dupervil.
Padmore and Dupervil were watching CNN at the Norwalk Democrats’ gathering. State Sen. Bob Duff had left about 20 minutes earlier, having won reelection in his campaign against Republican challenger Jack Chiaramonte.
I had watched Jack at the Norwalk Inn, calling Bob to concede the election, offering to work with the state senator to help Norwalk. “Everybody told me it was going to be an uphill battle, so I knew going in,” he said, afterwards. “But I had a fire in my belly to do it and I felt I could do a good job up there representing our city and getting money for us. Not this time around unfortunately, but like I said, if I can help him in any way to accomplish that, on the Board of Ed, I will do it.”
Then I headed over to see what the Democrats were up to, happening to catch Bob on his way out the door. “It’s been a long day but it’s been a good day,” he said. “I really want to thank the people of Norwalk and Darien for their continued confidence and for the mandate to continue to do what I’ve been doing.”
Dems at the bar were watching Fox News. Padmore, Dupervil and Bill Moorer were sitting in front of a fireplace, watching CNN.
Fox was a bit ahead – Common Council member David Watts’ hand shot in the air with a No. 1 sign with the news that Obama had won. Jackie Lightfield left the bar and joined the fireplace crowd to watch CNN announce the same thing moments later.
“It was intense,” Dupervil said, adding that he had rallied the Haitian community in support of the president. “The country has shown the determination to move forward.”
Obama faced strong opposition in Congress during his first term, Dupervil said, predicting better results the second time around. “He needs to get everybody on board so he can move on. It is similar to what Bill Clinton did when he came to power. The first four years of Bill Clinton weren’t that great.”
Padmore said she was excited as she was afraid of Romney. “He had no plan,” she said.
She stressed that she was independent, and had backed Hillary Clinton in 2008 before becoming an Obama supporter. Romney “isn’t even appealing,” she said. “He’s not even a personable person. To say 47 percent – that’s half of the population of people that you’re saying you don’t care anything about. If you look at what he’s done with companies, shipping jobs to China. It’s just about profit and money for him.”
The group went on to speculate that Hillary Clinton would run next time. Some said Michelle Obama should run, but Dupervil said she isn’t a politician.
I went back to the Norwalk Inn, hoping to find a different point of view, although it was past midnight. One person said it was “depressing.” Almost everyone else was gone.
At City Hall, Republican Registrar Karen Doyle Lyons was looking at her payroll for the election. What about the presidential race?
“Disappointing,” is all she said.