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A fan waits to see Obama at home, reflects on diverse coalition

November 07, 2012|By Christi Parsons
  • President Obama walks off the stage following his victory speech on election night in Chicago.
President Obama walks off the stage following his victory speech on election… (Jewel Samad / AFP / Getty…)

CHICAGO — TyRon Turner celebrated the victory of President Obama at his lakefront election-night party, but he woke up Wednesday morning wanting a little more.

So he took a cab to the president’s Kenwood neighborhood to applaud him personally, if only as he passed by in a motorcade.

But as he stood on the sidewalk in a sweatshirt and blue knit cap, the small-business owner said he couldn’t stop thinking about the challenges ahead.

The divisions in the country were so evident on television on election night, he said, as cameras panned the saddened faces of Romney supporters and the jubilant ones around him at McCormick Place.

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The crowd shots at the Romney party were disproportionately white, he noticed, while the Obama party reflected the racial coalition that won the president’s reelection.

“We were all hugging each other, black and white,” said Turner, who is African American. “I said to someone, ‘Look at all the different races in this room.’ We were all together as Americans, as we should be. This is what America looks like.”

Obama could lead the country to a new conversation about the polarization, Turner said, but he can’t do it alone. Republican leaders have to be part of it too, he said.

“Both sides have to give up something,” Turner said. “We have to clear the slate. Start over.”

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