While Some Celebrate, San Jose State U. Republicans Are Concerned About An Obama Administration

This story was written by Adam Murphy, Spartan Daily


As supporters of Barack Obama cheered, one person stood in stark contrast to the animated celebration at South First Billiards. Jonathan Sandhu was stock-still as the crowd around him exploded at 8 p.m. Tuesday after the announcement of Obama's victory.

"I would love to say, as a bitter Republican, I hope that he messes it up and his inexperience shows through," said Sandhu, the president of the College Republicans at San Jose State University. "But as an American, I have more hope that things go well."

Sandhu joined a group of about 20 students to watch the results of the election at South First Billiards in an Election Night party hosted by Generation Engage Silicon Valley.

The lack of a Republican presence at the event may have been due to the forgone conclusion of the election, Sandhu said.

"I've been prepping for this one for the last month," he said.

He added that Sarah Palin's vice presidential nomination turned a lot of stalwart Republicans away from McCain.

Sandhu said he was upset that McCain lost, but was grateful for the political fervor that this election caused.

Fellow Republican Sophia Ybarra echoed the sentiments of Sandhu.

"We are a strong nation," said the junior justice studies major. "Regardless of what happens, we will be OK."

Sandhu and Ybarra both voiced their concerns about the lack of foreign policy experience Obama brings to the White House.

"The war in Iraq has gone positively, but it has given the Democrats a track toward removing American military presence around the world," Sandhu said. "This could be potentially viewed as a moment of American military weakness."

CNN's election coverage was shown on a projection screen while viewers who paid a $2 entry fee were allowed unlimited beer refills.

Generation Engage Silicon Valley sponsored the event and brought along DJ D-ROC to play music during commercial breaks. The mission statement, according to representative Megan Fluke, was to attract young voters and to allow a forum for them to discuss politics.

While Democrats and Republicans often disagree on key issues, they were unanimous in their hope for a more politically involved populous.

"I am excited in the sense that this has been one of those rare elections that people of both sides have really been passionate," said Marcus Kilgore, a senior sociology major.

Some wanted to attend the event just to take in others' reactions.

"I wanted to go to a public place to see people's reactions," said Billal Asghar, a senior global studies and health science double major.

While most came to watch the election results, some were there just for the beer and entertainment.

"I came here to drink some beer and to have a good time," said Humza Chowdhry, a civil engineering graduate student. "I figured that I could have a good time and watch the election with friends."

While students laughed, cheered and drank free beer, Jonathan Sandhu said he pondered the next four years.

"I hope the Republicans take this time to lick their wounds and come out stronger," he said.
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