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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Election Night in the Mission - Nobody Even Mentioned Edwards

Posted By on Thu, Feb 7, 2008 at 10:28 AM

By Andy Wright, Snitch Writer

It’s 9 p.m. on Super Tuesday, and the bar is packed with rowdy twentyish drinkers all afflicted with the chicken pox of participatory democracy. Red “I Voted!” stickers cling to every giddy breast. The Bay Guardian-sponsored party is at the Kilowatt, a Mission District staple equipped with pool tables, dart boards, and the usual bar ephemera. Tacked up amongst the Route 66 signs and a cluster of canine head shots is the solitary nod to the night's significance, a black banner that commands “Just Vote,” followed by the Nike swoosh. From seven flat screen televisions tuned to CNN, the guitar pick-shaped head of Larry King glares down on revelers. Numbers scroll past tallying the votes of the 24 states holding primaries this Tuesday.

“I voted for Obama. He’s a candidate for hope, he’s a candidate for change,” says Javier Briones, a 26 year-old-gallery employee. “He’s like JFK for our generation in the sense that he’s young, that he has something new to offer.”

Briones is not alone.

One man wears a hand-lettered swatch of cloth pinned to his hoodie that reads “Balack Oprahma”. (“It’s just a play on words,” he demurs, before adding that “Barack is the only man to get the job done.”) Outside, a loud argument between four men about whether or not they should grab post-bar burritos at a nearby taqueria is punctuated with cries of “Obama!” and a flurry of fist pumping.

With nary a fist pump, 24 year-old community organizer, Dianne Enriquez explains her vote for Obama : “You’re choosing the lesser of two evils. And when it comes down to Democrats verses Republicans, underdog verses establishment - Hillary is establishment.”

Though the TV screen continues to offer up proof that someone, somewhere in California has voted for Hillary Clinton, most of them are not ringing in the election results at Kilowatt. One Clinton supporter declined comment while her friend said she would have voted for Clinton if she had received her absentee ballot.

At least one partygoer admits to not voting in the primary at all.

“I used to just vote Republican, and vote for the one I thought was the worst f**ker. I loved Dan Quayle,” said Peter Spanier, 39, a local bartender. But he felt so uninspired by the candidates that he decided to just let them “hash it out” and then vote for whatever democrat ends up on the ballot in November.

10:30 p.m. rolls around and the bar is emptying out. When approached, clumps of patrons are quick to say they aren’t at the bar for the election party, just for the usual drinks and pool. The “I Voted!” stickers dot the floor of the bar.

It’s an Obama room, but Clinton is winning.

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