The crowd kept pouring into the Xcel Energy Center. All ages. All races. All backgrounds. Young Somalis chanting "O-bama!" And older, white women, bedecked in sparkling red, white and blue and holding up a sign, "Women for Obama!''
But most noticeable was the arrival of such people as Buck Humphrey, who once had headed Hillary Rodham Clinton's Minnesota campaign. And Jackie Stevenson, a DFL activist, a feminist and a Clinton-supporting superdelegate, who at the last minute had changed her mind about attending the event. And St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, who was a Clinton supporter until sometime Monday. And Rick Stafford, another Clinton superdelegate.
Former Secretary of State Joan Growe was there. And Minneapolis City Council President Barbara Johnson. And a couple of dozen other people who had invested so much energy into Clinton's campaign.
Political healing process beginning
Their presence at the event where Barack Obama declared victory shows that, at least in Minnesota, the political healing process already is beginning.
No one is making that healing easier than Obama. Last night, after he had finished the sort of speech that leaves his followers exhilarated and exhausted, Obama did not just leave the arena. Nor did he head to the nearest television camera or the nearest fat cat.
Instead, he went to a room where the Clinton supporters had been gathered and one by one, shook the hands of the 25 people, stopping to chat with each of them.
"Chris (Coleman) walked around the room with him,'' said Stevenson, "and introduced each one of us.''
It was really pretty extraordinary.
"He shook my hand and said, 'Thank you for being here; I'm sure it's not easy,' '' said Stevenson of her meeting with Obama. "I thanked him and said that everyone involved in his campaign had been so gracious. I didn't know what to say, so I mentioned that my daughter works for a federal health clinic. And he knew right away which program I was talking about. He said, 'Oh that's wonderful.' ''
Stevenson, a feminist and Clinton supporter, had to admit this: "He's very impressive.''
Read more here