Around 7 p.m. on Tuesday evening, the mood at Laguna Beach Democratic Club headquarters on Coast Hwy.—in the shell of the old Boom Boom Room—was optimistic but guarded among the 100-plus revelers. People chatted loudly over beverages and watched the two television screens intently. With each announcement of something beneficial happening for the Democratic party, cheers filled the room.
Joe and Linda Filipi brought their son Luke, 9, to the bash. They also brought him in 2008 when he was 5.
"I wanted Luke to catch the buzz of what's going on," said Joe Filipi. "And to experience this first-hand. Most kids his age aren't going to be able to experience it like this. He's in the room. People are excited and charged up about being patriotic and being American."
Linda Filipi wanted Luke to experience an historical event. She thought maybe he would look back 20 years from now and remember the evening.
"I like Obama because he's for 100 percent of the nation," said Linda, "not just the other 47 percent. He's for the people that can't help themselves, especially on the medical aspect of it. I'm a nurse and I see, across the globe, we're the only industrialized nation which doesn't care for its own. [President Obama's] medical reform needs to happen."
Dr. Nicholas Hernandez sat by a sculpture he created of the head of President Obama. Hernandez explained that there's a "good chance" that a copy of his sculpture will go into the White House.
"[I admire President Obama] for breaking this ridiculous racial barrier," said Hernandez, "and being a man of the people ... representing the lower and middle classes. He's multicultural and that's important to me. He's all the things that make up what it means to be an American."
Genny Boccardo wanted President Obama to win and be president for another four years because she agreed with his policies on health care, social services, women's rights and jobs.
At 8:13 p.m., President Obama was declared the winner, and the room went wild. People hugged and whooped and cried and raised their hands with joy.
"I'm so relieved and so excited," said Kathleen Shanfield.
"We were here four years ago," said Kathy Gibson, "and it's just as exciting now as it was then. I gotta let my heartbeat [slow down] a little bit."
Melissa Brunicardi was an Obama delegate in 2008 when she lived in Texas.
"Women's rights will be upheld," said Brunicardi. "I'm a nurse and I love the idea of ObamaCare because of all the people who have no insurance right now and getting rid of pre-existing conditions and getting college kids covered on their parents' [insurance] ... preventative care ... everything."
"I would have wanted to throw up if I had to wake up to Mitt Romney as president," Brunicardi said. "It would have been going back to Bush politics and worse."