Everybody was watching Chris Matthews and the MSNBC TV coverage of the election returns at the Richmond County Democratic Party headquarters at 11th and Greene streets early Tuesday night, waiting for results from the battleground states to come in.
Nothing was conclusive yet. Folks came and ate and watched awhile and left. Robert "Bo" Hunter, who had been a poll watcher at Julian Smith Casino, and state Rep. Quincy Murphy and his wife, Diane, came before making the rounds to other parties. A few, including party Chairman Lowell Greenbaum, were there for the duration.
Franklin Williams was keeping one eye on the TV and the other on the Richmond County election results. He was wearing the same outfit with Democratic candidates' campaign buttons that he'd worn the night Barack Obama gave his acceptance speech in Denver.
"Here's the best button on the whole works," he said, taking his cap off and pointing out one that said "Get the Red Out."
Mr. Williams' tie had a replica of the White House on it. He said the tie had a history.
"In 1992, when we were working on the Bill Clinton campaign, I bought this tie from a street vendor on a dare," he said. "I told the guy, 'I'm buying this tie because we're going to the White House.' "
He wore the tie again working Bill Clinton's 1996 campaign.
"One campaign we lost, the 2004 campaign, I didn't work on," he said.
The Democratic candidates were all winning in Richmond County, he reported.
It was too early to call Virginia and Florida, but things looked good for Mr. Obama, Dr. Greenbaum said.
"We just heard that Florida is not doing well for McCain," he said. "And if he loses Florida, it's almost impossible for him to win the presidency. So Democrats are happy."
Reach Sylvia Cooper at (706) 823-3228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
"I bought this tie from a street vendor on a dare. I told the guy, 'I'm buying this because we're going to the White House.' " --Franklin Williams