Harvard Reacts to Close Election

In overwhelmingly liberal Cambridge, Bush celebrations were few and far between yesterday, but as one news organization after another called the race decisively for the President, Republicans responded.

“We’re ecstatic,” said Harvard Republican Club (HRC) spokeswoman Lauren K. Truesdell ’05. “It wasn’t as close as it was predicted to be.”

But the downcast mood of liberal students and faculty—felt in all aspects of campus life, from classes to meals to libraries—overshadowed the celebrations, leaving Republicans isolated in their ecstasy.

“Being in the minority on campus tends to temper one’s outward celebration,” said Christina L. Adams ’06. “Among Republicans there is a sheltered enthusiasm.” Overall, she said she felt relief—that her candidate won, but more that the election is over.

“Today’s mood has been pretty somber, everyone’s real touchy,” Truesdell said, referring to Republicans “under fire” on Adams-Schmooze. Heated debates on many house open lists yesterday signalled a continuing partisan fervor in the wake of the election.

“We respect the fact that [Democrats] worked really hard but now is our turn to celebrate,” Truesdell said. “People I am running into, they are a little bitter, but they’ll get over it.”

Jennifer H. Lee ’05 says she is a Republican, but many of her friends may not know that about her. She said she received many instant messages complaining, “This is the worst day of my life.” To which she simply responded, “Oh, I hear you.”

For the campus Republicans, it’s back to business as usual—though Truesdell said she expected last night’s board meeting to be “jubilant,” the real party is not until next weekend.

A LEAKY-EYED LEFT

The mood among Harvard Democrats was strikingly quiet.

“A combination of anger and disappointment. Sort of a shock,” said Paco J. Britto ’06.

“Funeral-like,” said Dems President Andy J. Frank ’05, who gathered with fellow liberals yesterday to watch Kerry’s concession speech.

College Dems Legislative Director Thomas M. McSorley ’06 sadly recalled having to erase “drunken stupor” from his daytime schedule. Others joked about fleeing the country.

But misery loves company, and College Dems found comfort in each other.

“Nobody had to mention why. Some would say, I’m having a bad day and we all understood why,” Britto said.

Sarah J. Watson ’06 recalled the “spontaneous expressions of angst” she experienced with other students in her classes.