On Election Night, 73-year-old Eunice Bauer stood beside a life-size cut out Arizona Sen. John McCain at the Hilton Garden Inn hotel.
Clutching a bundle of red-white blue balloons, she wept as the news of the Republican’s defeat filtered into the McCain New York-New Jersey Headquarters.
“I’m an African-American, but I didn’t vote on race,” Bauer said. “I voted on the issues. I’m so devastated.”
“For the first time in my adult life, I’m not proud of this country,” said Arthur Horn, 62, a computer manual writer who lives in Manhattan.
It was a crushing defeat for a man who has spent the past 21 years representing the state of Arizona in the U.S. Senate and been branded a maverick by many.
“I’m miserable,” said Karen Shuster, 33, a registered nurse.
“McCain is a maverick for change. Although he was definitely going to upset the applecart of society, he was going to open up channels for communication never seen before,” Shuster said.
“It is a massive blow to our nation.”
It was just February of last year that McCain appeared on “The Late Show with David Letterman” to announce his candidacy. His official announcement came on April 25th 2007 in New Hampshire.
“I had mixed feelings when he announced his candidacy in 2007, he wasn’t that conservative,” said Tinyomin Mandel, 50, a computer programmer.
“But when he announced that Sarah Palin was on the ticket, I respected him a lot more. It’s so upsetting that he’s wont be able to show the world what he can do.”
New York’s Republican establishment rushed to endorse Senator John McCain in January, with party leaders expressing confidence that his appeal to independents could help fend off a Democratic sweep that might cost them the State Senate.
In New York, McCain was embraced throughout his campaign by the city and the party organization that had aggressively fought to keep him from even getting on the ballot in 2000.
Then he got 44 percent of the vote and 26 delegates.
“I’ve been campaigning since September,” said Joshua Hursa, 19 president of the Republican Club at Rider University in New Jersey.
“If McCain would have won, the country would have been in a much better state. Now we’re going to try our best to block Obama’s policies every step of the way.”
McCain supporters were very skeptical about President-elect Obama. Many felt that the Illinois senator’s beliefs and policies are naïve especially on issues like abortion, gay rights, and the war in Iraq.
“I’m scared for my safety,” said Cecilia Pappano, 53, an X-Ray technician from the Upper West Side. “I’m sacred about him having terrorist affiliations. President Bush has protected us for seven years against terrorist attacks, now what are we going to do?”
Christian Lynch, 27, agreed with Pappano as she said angrily “It’s a mistake to withdraw the troops from Iraq. As Americans, if we see other people being treated badly, should we just sit here and not react?”
As McCain supporters mourned their candidate’s loss, they expressed their discontent with the next president of the United States.
“After Obama shunned Clinton and chose Biden. I knew that he was no good. So I decided to support McCain,” said Anat Gordon, 41, a lawyer who was on Hilary Clinton’s fundraising committee.
“Now that he has been declared president, I still don’t respect him at all. He has no proven record, it’s a shame that he won.”