Last Thursday, Americans took over a Bloor Street pub. Under the watchful gaze of a grinning, life-sized cardboard cut-out of Barack Obama, dozens of the president’s supporters gathered at the Fox and Fiddle to cheer, clap, and whoop in unison as they watched the third and final night of the Democratic National Convention. Hosted by the local chapter of Democrats Abroad, an international organization for American expats affiliated with the party, the gathering waited through Vice President Joe Biden’s fiery endorsement speech for Obama’s closer.
Supporting the president hasn’t always been easy—the last four years haven’t exactly been what many progressives had hoped for when they cast their ballots in 2008. The economy has continued to flounder, and Wall Street has yet to be reined in. But for many, Obama still represents forward motion.
“He’s a great speaker,” said treasurer Chris Eggers, who was entrusted with manning a swag table littered in “Obama-Biden 2012” buttons and other paraphernalia. “I don’t have any fears. My fears were about Biden’s speech…every once in awhile something stupid comes out of his mouth.” (Recently, the VP claimed to have known eight presidents, three “intimately.”)
A Bostonian, Eggers moved to Toronto the week before 9/11 to attend U of T. He met a girl and stayed, but his heart belongs to Obama.
“He was given a terrible hand. And he’s overcome it better than anyone,” he said.
Following the commander in chief’s inspiring speech, Karen Lippert—a silver-haired New Yorker who’s been living in Toronto for the past decade—was confident about Obama’s performance. Though she thinks Canada is “a terrific place to live,” the long-time Democratic supporter and feminist activist wears her homeland patriotism on her sleeve.
“I think America is important for the world, and I think our values are important for the world,” she said. “And that’s Obama.”