McCain supporters ‘worried’ and ‘sad’

PHOENIX — Some stood with arms crossed, anger etched on their faces. Others expressed disappointment, even fear. Still others wiped away tears and grumbled when Sen. John McCain congratulated his opponent, America’s first black president, for making history.

And it was clear on an election night like no other that the hard feelings of a hard-fought campaign would not fade anytime soon.

Jeri Mott, 58, of Tucson listened to McCain’s concession speech with her arms tightly crossed and a look of disgust on her face.

“I’m thinking that I’m real worried about what’s going to happen tomorrow, especially about my troops,” said Mott, whose son recently enlisted in the Army. As for the historic nature of the night, Mott didn’t much care.

“I have no problem with an African-American at the helm. It’s his vision of what he wants to do that I have a big problem with.”

Donna Petello and Jamie Gibbs, both of Gilbert, lingered at the Arizona Biltmore resort after the speech was given and the party ended.

“We’re feeling really sad,” said Petello, 53, who wore a hot pink button that said “Hot Chicks Vote Republican.”

“I wouldn’t say we’re angry,” said Gibbs, 50.

“Just sad,” Petello continued. “America made a big mistake and they’ll surely see that soon. But we can’t do anything about it.”

The night began appropriately enough with Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing” booming from the speakers at the Arizona resort where, 28 years ago, McCain and his wife, Cindy, celebrated their wedding.

Hundreds of supporters wore buttons and T-shirts proclaiming “Victory 2008,” chanted McCain’s name and, like the candidate they gathered to honor, projected optimism and faith.

But as the night wore on, organizers temporarily stopped broadcasting the returns overhead and announced few results, as if not to put a damper on the party. Those they did disclose lagged behind national projections showing Obama gaining on McCain.

Even after Obama had been declared the winner in Pennsylvania and Ohio, former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer walked on stage to tell the crowd about “another state in the McCain category. It’s the great state of Louisiana!”

But around 8:30 local time, U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., took to the stage to deliver what sounded like a eulogy to McCain’s quest for the presidency.

“The truth of the matter is it is uphill. This has always been an uphill race. Yet John McCain kept clawing back, he kept clawing back until tonight.” He applauded McCain’s “fighting spirit,” while still telling the crowd the race was too close to call.

One supporter muttered, “I’m feeling like doom is coming.”

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A Cessna 150 crashed north of Paine Field on Friday evening, Feb. 16, 2024, in Mukilteo, Washington. The pilot survived without serious injury. (Courtesy of Richard Newman.)
‘I’m stuck in the trees’: 911 call recounts plane crash near Paine Field

Asad Ali was coming in for a landing in a Cessna 150 when he crashed into woods south of Mukilteo. Then he called 911 — for 48 minutes.

Everett
Snohomish County likely to feel more like winter, beginning Monday

Get ready for a mix of rain and snow this week, along with cooler temperatures.

Anthony Boggess
Arlington man sentenced for killing roommate who offered shelter

Anthony Boggess, 33, reported hearing the voices of “demons” the night he strangled James Thrower, 65.

Ryan Rafter appears in court for sentencing Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, at Snohomish County Superior Court in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Man sentenced to life in prison for murder of Everett father

In April 2022, Ryan Rafter, 42, shot Christopher Buck, 29, to death after breaking in to his home to steal drugs.

Marysville
Driver strikes, kills Marysville man who was crossing I-5 in Seattle

The man’s car had broken down near Mercer Street. Troopers reported that he was struck when he tried to cross the freeway.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Darrington in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Police: Darrington woman stabbed, buried 5-year-old daughter

The woman reportedly told investigators she was hearing voices before she killed her young daughter on Valentine’s Day.

In this Feb. 5, 2018, file photo a Boeing 737 MAX 7 is displayed during a debut for employees and media of the new jet in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
FAA gives Boeing 90 days to develop plan to fix quality, safety issues

The agency’s ultimatum comes a day after a meeting with CEO Dave Calhoun and other top Boeing officials in Washington, D.C.

A view of one of the potential locations of the new Aquasox stadium on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024 in Everett, Washington. The site sits between Hewitt Avenue, Broadway, Pacific Avenue and the railroad. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
20 businesses could be demolished for downtown Everett stadium

Some business owners say the city didn’t tell them of plans for a new AquaSox stadium that could displace their businesses.

A person walks out of the Snohomish County Corrections building on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Snohomish County Jail review finds no fault in Florida inmate’s death

David Koeppen, 38, was the third inmate in two months to die in the jail. He was being held on murder charges.

Everett
Snohomish County pharmacy tech accused of stealing 2,500 opioid pills

Rachel Langdon stole oxycodone while working at a Snohomish County pharmacy, according to state Department of Health allegations.

Sen. John McCoy, D-Tulalip, left, a member of the Tulalip Tribes of Washington, speaks Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, as Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, right, looks on at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. After the speech, Inslee signed a bill sponsored by McCoy that seeks to improve oral health on Indian reservations in Washington state. The measure is the first bill the governor has signed this legislative session and it allows tribes to use federal funding for dental therapists. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Curriculum on state tribes to be renamed after late Tulalip legislator

On Tuesday, John McCoy’s former colleagues in the Senate honored the late lawmaker by passing House Bill 1879.

Lynnwood
Man stabbed, killed inside Lynnwood-area condo

Detectives were looking to identify suspects in a killing Monday night at the Brio Condominiums.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.