The emotional tidal wave triggered by Barack Obama’s US presidential
triumph hit Australia early on Wednesday afternoon, leaving Democrat supporters
in a happy state of shock.

“It’s elation, absolute elation,” dual US-Australia citizen Greg Carr, 66, formerly of Oklahoma, told AAP in Sydney.

“We have just elected a black man as the president of the United States.

“If you had asked me that 10 years ago, I’d have said: ‘Not in my lifetime’, but now it’s time.”

The Democrat event was held in the Slide Lounge, in central Sydney’s Oxford Street.

Carr, who has lived in Australia for more than 40 years, stood with
more than 200 other cheering Obama-supporters who attended a Democrats
Abroad Australia event which filled the hotel.

The increasingly
jubilant crowd – many visiting US or dual citizens – had watched CNN’s
live election count coverage for several hours before their moment of
collective triumph came just on 3pm (AEDT).

The close of the
polls in the US western states delivered Senator Obama the final
tranche of electoral college votes needed to propel him into the White

The Sydney crowd’s regular chant of “Yes we can!”
switched quickly to “Yes we did!” as the long-awaited vote count
projections came in.

“My heart is beating so fast, it’s like it’s surreal,” said Margaret Williams, 45, from Philadelphia.

“I’m still shaking inside, I’m just overcome with emotion at this moment.”

The 45-year-old African American woman is in Australia for a four-year stint as a visiting critical care nurse.

Williams also said she never believed she would see a black man in the
White House. She now felt proud her country had taken a major step to
overcome past prejudices.

“My parents are from the south … I
can remember as a child travelling through Florida and, we’re in a car,
and people saying ‘Pa, niggers are out there to get some gas’,” Williams said.

“So, we’ve come a long way. I don’t think this is the final frontier but it’s the beginning of the journey there.”

US citizen Lyndsi (Lyndsi) Crowder, 32, from Virginia, told AAP it was “a historic moment, a unique moment”.

the world over are looking at America again, saying if they can elect
this man – Barack Hussein Obama – to the most powerful job in America,
then maybe America is changing,” she said.

“Maybe America is more than we thought.”