January 3rd, 2008
10:07 PM ET
10 years ago

Elation at Obama caucus night event

Shock turned to celebration among Sen. Obama's supporters in Des Moines, Iowa.

Shock turned to celebration among Sen. Obama's supporters in Des Moines, Iowa.

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - At Obama's caucus night headquarters in Des Moines, the hall is filling up with people - many young - screaming "We did it!" When they see returns on the big screen TVs ,the crowd bursts into spontaneous rounds of Obama's campaign chant: "Fired up - Ready to go!"

Obama aides say returns show Obama did better than expected among seniors and in rural districts.

The candidate himself seemed to be in a confident mood today. At a visit to a restaurant this afternoon he told diners "I feel good" or "We're doing great."

Obama began the day playing about an hour's worth of basketball with staff and old friends. He spent this evening with family at the Residence Inn and is expected at this hall later in the evening.

Meanwhile, CNN's Candy Crowley and Sasha Johnson report a mellow, but not morose crowd of a few hundred gathering in Des Moines for Hillary Clinton's speech. Clinton aides are passing out a potpourri of signs as supporters wait to hear from their candidate – "AFSCME for Hillary," "Women for Hillary," "Ready for Change."

UPDATE: "There's a lot of hugging going on. Everyone is excited, and quite frankly shocked," Steve Hildebrand, Obama's deputy campaign manager, tells CNN's Suzanne Malveaux. "We started a year ago. In a lot of respects it was a dream. We started with nothing. We were up against a Clinton, and a former vice presidential candidate who spent the last six years in Iowa.

But we've only won one state. There are 49 to go. There's no doubt this will be a protracted fight. We have 26 more contests in the next 33 days."

He added that Obama, who has been watching results with his family and a small group of friends at his hotel, will be heading to the HyVee Hall soon for the party, then on to Portsmouth, New Hampshire around midnight.

–CNN's Jessica Yellin

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Padma marchant

    Change always reflects good attitude towards our problems and give chance who wants to turn around for a better at the present situation...my good wishes for all.

    January 3, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  2. Jeanette Harris

    As a 72 year old white Southern woman, I am delighted to learn of Obama's win in Iowa. I dared not believe I would live to see an African-American as a serious candidate for president of the United States. It's good to be proud of my country once more.

    January 3, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  3. Nicky, Phoenix, AZ

    Count me out of your elation. I think he's an "obombanation". Don't like him, it's like listening to a salesman with no substance.

    January 3, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  4. Anne Casas

    Evidence of God's intervention is demonstrated by this vote. He who created us all will see that we either do the right thing; stop looking at the color of someones skin, or bow to our knees and pray, preferably bow......I am elated and very proud that the grass roots of this country examined their conscience, and voted for the best candidates at this caucus. Now for Fred Thompson to win in New Hampshire!

    January 3, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  5. Joe Chavez

    Change is the responsibility of the Congress and the President who agrees, then signs on to change. With agreements to change at least 2 of the 3 branches of our Government may be on the right track.

    January 3, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  6. alan

    Obama is articulate and sincere........ and sincerely unqualified. At least Jimmy Carter was a Naval Officer and a Governor before he became President. What has Obama actually ever accomplished?

    January 3, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  7. Stephanie/Illinois

    As a school teacher and divorced mother of four, I believe in you Barak! I'm putting all of my children's eggs-of-HOPE in your basket. You are our ticket to a future-individually and as a reunited nation. I thank you. God bless you. By the way-loved your books!

    January 3, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  8. Chas

    Technically, based on delegate count, there is almost a 3-way tie among the Democrats' Big 3. Mrs. Clinton has New Hamshire and Michigan to look forward. Do not be surprised if and (more likely when) the Obama and (less likely) the Edwards campaigns try to write off Clinton's likely win in Michigan (as she chose not to withdraw from the primary ballot).

    If this election stays this close through super Tuesday, look to a possible floor challenge come convention time from the Clinton campaign if she does not win the nomination without Michigan.

    As for Florida, this may be closer, as the delegation would likely be open, as none of the Big 3 are on the Florida Democratic primary ballot.

    January 3, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  9. kate

    Why is CNN suddenly tagging all Obama news with "Barak Obama" instead of "Barack Obama"??

    January 3, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  10. Thomas Jackson

    Those of you who show bitterness towards Senator Obama even after this historic American caucus be reminded: AMERICA WILL MOVE FORWARD, WITH OR WITHOUT YOU. WE WILL WIN AGAIN, WITH OR WITHOUT YOU. AMERICA, LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT. WE ARE LOVING IT, AND ARE CHANGING IT!

    January 3, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  11. Richard Winger

    All of the Democrats are on the Florida Democratic presidential primary ballot. Florida law provides that presidential candidates mentioned in the media are automatically put on the ballot, so they are all on, without any of them having had to file.

    January 3, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  12. Kiesha Ross

    As a Response to Alan, most people who catapult change do not have formal experience. ex the youth of America. Please do your on personal research on all the canidates and you will find interesting facts that can either qualify or disqualify him/her for the job. Ronald Regan was an actor, but yet still he won America's heart and catapulted change.

    January 4, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  13. phillivethedream

    Tonight in Iowa, in what is known as the grass roots of our nation, history is in the making. Take from this night what you want, but understand one thing, no one can take away the loud cry song by the state of Iowa: Obama, Obama, thank God Almighty for Barack Obama.....

    January 4, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  14. mike, dallas, TX


    Now Obama has convincingly won Iowa, I hope you will give him the appropriate respect that he deserves and stop just exploit by printing smear e mails and bogus polls that are not a real reflection of him while consistently favoring Hillary even when she made one blunder after another.

    This is a good time for CNN (especially TICKER) to join the community of civilized reporters.

    January 4, 2008 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  15. Stephanie/Illinois

    alan dear . . .what are you afraid of ? Look who's running our government right now . . .what are they sincerely qualified for ? Sincerely making the rich super rich at the expense of the planet, the people on it everywhere! That's very sincere alan, so stop being afraid of change. . . it is the only way and it is going to happen!

    January 4, 2008 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  16. Jen


    Voters just rejected Hillary. She should put her personal ambitions aside and let the democratic party unites!

    January 4, 2008 03:05 am at 3:05 am |
  17. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    Congratulations to Obama's Iowa State Director Paul Tewes and his staff for pulling off what has been considered an "impossibility!"

    January 4, 2008 03:09 am at 3:09 am |
  18. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Did Alan just compare Obama to Jimmy Carter and say "at least he had" – I would say any correlation between yourself and Jimmy Carter is a drawback....

    Obama is running on honesty- I am a Republican....and while I don't like his left wing message – (and if Giuliani is not selected as our candidate) – Obama will have my vote....maybe the past "experience" we have seen in other presidents wasn't a "benefit" to the country....lets try honesty....for once

    January 4, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  19. Justin Lee

    Hey CNN, it's Barack Obama, not Barak. Please change your numerous errors of this.

    January 4, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  20. John Edmond

    Folks, what record does Obama have to back up this big talk about "change?" He gave a good speech at the Democratic convention in 2004, then became the US senator by default and is now wanting to become the president? He is a good orator and is charismatic but that doesn't qualify him to become the president. Wake up, folks.

    Anyone but Obama.

    January 4, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |