Aspen cheers as history is made |

Aspen cheers as history is made

Wyatt Haupt Jr.
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
Jordan Curet/The Aspen TimesGladys Martinez Augello, right, celebrates with the crowd at Belly Up Aspen as Barack Obama is elected president on Tuesday evening.

ASPEN ” When Democrat Barack Obama was introduced as the next presi­dent of the United States at a rally Tuesday in Chicago, the roar of the crowd seemed no less loud than the one at the Belly Up Aspen night­club.

That’s because a crowd in excess of 150 people gathered at the nightspot to celebrate not only a decisive political win, but a victory for themselves and the hope brought to them by the man they cheered.

“It’s an amazing bonding point for me and my two sisters and brother,” said April Hobbs, a 27-year-old Aspen resident who was raised in Huntsville, Ala. “I tried for 20 minutes to get them on the phone … all the lines were busy.”

When she finally did get her fami­ly on the phone, Hobbs said she cried.

“It’s just such a great day,” she said of Obama’s win and the meaning of the victory to her family.

No less moved was Derek Attema, a 24-year-old Aspenite who was vot­ing in his first election.

“Today I feel really proud,” said Attema, a Canadian who became an American citizen about two years. “I think it’s amazing.”

Standing next to Attema was his equally jubilant friend, Nathan Nehring, a 29-year-old Aspen resi­dent.

“I think it’s about time,” said Nehring, who supported Obama largely because he felt the president-­elect would be strong on foreign pol­icy issues. “He gives the U.S. more respect … we gain respect.”

For 64-year-old Martha Meagher, who has lived in Aspen since 1975, the win marked a victory for human­ity.

“He inspires people. He encour­ages people to think big,” said Meagher, who was raised in Canada. “He inspires people to work together. She said while Obama’s opponent, Republican John McCain, seemed like a good man, she felt he was out of touch.

Patti Clapper, a Pitkin Country commissioner who was also on hand to celebrate the win by Obama, agreed, noting the gathering of people spoke for itself.

“Look at the diversity of the crowd in this room,” Clapper said. ” Young, old. With and without.”

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