Thompson Plaza crowd celebrates Obama’s victory

Cat Zakrzewski, Assistant Campus Editor

CHICAGO — The president’s hometown celebrated his projected reelection at the watch party hosted by CNN.

At Thompson Plaza in the Loop, hundreds cheered, cried and hugged when CNN projected the President’s win at about 10:30 p.m.

Chicago resident Gerard Radice, 33, said he saw the watch party on television on CNN and realized it was nearby his apartment. He decided to go outside and join the crowd.

“It’s exciting to be part of such a national thing,” Radice said.

Although many said the atmosphere couldn’t compare to Obama’s first victory, the excitement was still palpable at Thompson Plaza. The crowd chanted “U.S.A.,” “four more years!” and “Obama!”

A contingent of Northwestern students was also present at the event. Communication sophomore Tracy Kopulsky said she thought it would be exciting to be in Chicago for the election.

“It’s definitely a very liberal crowd,” she said. “But that’s what I expected, being in Chicago where Obama’s from.”

For one lifelong Chicago resident, it was important to support a fellow Windy City native, with her four young children in tow. Amy Bachman said she came to the event with several other families after going to Grant Park for election night in 2008.

“We wanted our kids to understand how significant this is,” Bachman said.

Suzie Hernandez-Mendoza of Ohio also said she thought it was important to be in Obama’s hometown to celebrate his victory.

“I woke up today, and I just thought I think he’s going to win,” Hernandez-Mendoza said.

Hernandez-Mendoza went to her job and convinced several of her friends to make the four-hour drive to Chicago after work Tuesday. They will be driving back tonight to make it to work again Wednesday morning.

I like what Obama’s done the last four years,” she said. “He stands up for the small person.”