Why Celebrating President Obama Re-Election Victory Gave Me Insomnia

Why Celebrating President Obama Re-Election Victory Gave Me Insomnia
U.S. President Barack Obama, waves before addressing supporters during his election night victory rally in Chicago, November 7, 2012. (Reuters/Jeff Haynes)

My feet hurt so good.

I could not bring myself to leave the convention hall at McCormick Pace in Chicago, soaking in the recently departed raucous cheers of tens of thousands of adoring supporters of the newly re-elected President Barack Hussein Obama.

Throughout Election Day I obsessed over the campaign and stared in the eyes of every person I encountered. I tried to search their souls for any indication we were in the same boat. I could not tell.

I took in the banners, the confetti on the floor which now resembled a fresh coating of red, white and blue snow, the bright production lights of the enormous media stand which still buzzed of news reporting from around the world, and the few remaining stragglers who took pictures of the podium and stage upon which the victorious Commander-in-Chief once stood and address the crowd.

I took a deep breath and just stood in meditating silence. I just could not leave.

I walked outside of the convention hall into the foyer and few more people stood outside in two separate lines taking pictures in front of election night themed step-and-repeats.

Finally, I took a slow victory lap through the enormous McCormick Place until I reached my car, and drove home.

I was not ready to end the peaceful joy which landed upon me. I arrived home at 3:30 a.m and turned to the major cable news stations to tune in for another hour. Partly to watch Fox News to gloat, some of which to see the analysis of CNN, and finally MSNBC to revel in the giddiness of a party reassured.

The previous night I could not sleep, because I had a jarring fear Americans would potentially look for any reason not to re-elect its first African American President after years of Republican obstructionism, mischaracterization of a steadily improving economy, and demonization of its leader by the highest rated cable news station.

My faith in the direction of my country, the collective consciousness of its people, and the hopes of my ancestors was 100% restored.

I was dead wrong.

Throughout Election Day I obsessed over the campaign and stared in the eyes of every person I encountered. I tried to search their souls for any indication we were in the same boat. I could not tell.

Fortunately I had the chance to go to the United Center to see the Chicago Bulls minus Derrick Rose square off against the Orlando Magic minus Dwight Howard.

It was strange. I looked all around me to see thousands of fans cheering on their team, together. From black, white, Latino, Asian, young, old, and three piece suits to jogging suits, we all were in it together.

The Bulls played even for most of the evening, fell a little bit behind in the middle, and then hit their stride in the fourth quarter, only pulling away in the final minute to pull out a victory.

If there was a game which represented a perfect metaphor for the presidential election it was this one. As the final seconds ticked from the clock, my worries washed away.

During the game I had slapped hands with people of all races around me. At the same time President Obama was closing Mitt Romney out to win the election, only a few short votes away to clinch 270 Electoral College votes away to secure victory.

Moments later I would arrive at McCormick Place and be blown away at the throng of fellow Obama supporters “fired up and ready to go” running through the halls as texts and tweets rained in about giving the President Ohio and sealing a victory.

Thousands of people of all races filled the foyers. They were all just as excited as I was. After pouring through the security checkpoint we yelped as we all streamed toward the convention hall, slapping hands along the way.

We had done it.

My faith in the direction of my country, the collective consciousness of its people, and the hopes of my ancestors was 100% restored.

So excuse me if I stayed up all night to celebrate and lost another night of sleep.

I was absolutely exhausted, but now I had peace.

Exavier B. Pope, Esq. is an entertainment and sports attorney, media personality, syndicated writer, Fortune 500 speaker and peak performance strategist, author, philanthropist, and sports business and law blogger for ChicagoNow. All opinions expressed are those solely of Mr. Pope.

(c) 2012, Exavier Pope

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