In a city full of politicians, Tuesday’s U.S. election was the talk of the town. Here’s how Ottawa watched Barack Obama’s re-election play out.
The U.S. ambassador takes a stand
At the Chateau Laurier, U.S. Ambassador David Jacobson hosted an “election night viewing party,” where invited guests could cast a ballot and have their picture taken standing between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. The ambassador, who has said he serves “at the pleasure of the president” and must remain neutral told reporters all week that he was going to go home and watch the results in his pyjamas as soon as polls closed. However, at one point during the night he let slip that he hoped the American people would allow Mr. Obama and him – to keep their jobs.
The Opposition rests
A crowd made up largely of NDP staff and supporters gathered at Brixton's Pub in downtown Ottawa Tuesday night to watch closed-captioned news programs on two small television sets. Like many of the city’s gatherings, the group was decidedly pro-Democrat. NDP MP Peter Julian watched the results come in from a table at the pub. "Of course we're willing to work with whoever Americans decide," he said. "But I don't think it's any secret that we're closer in values to Barack Obama."
The Tories keep it real
Treasury Board President Tony Clement hosted an elections-watching party on Parliament Hill, where he said he had to turn away as many as 200 people because of space constraints. Those who made it inside watched the results come in on a big-screen television in a room decked out with balloons and streamers. By 10:30, the group’s numbers had thinned to about 50, leaving behind the most passionate election enthusiasts – and stacks of empty pizza boxes. Mr. Clement and Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney were among those who stayed late into the night. Asked for his thoughts on Mr. Obama’s win, Mr. Clement demurred. “I'm just here for the pizza and socializing,” he wrote in a message on Twitter. “My thoughts are, ‘We will advance [Canadian] interests regardless of who's in power.’ ”