Thought the presidential race was over? Not quite.
The House and Senate met today in a joint session to count and certify the Electoral College votes, formally declaring Barack Obama the 44th president. With Vice President Dick Cheney presiding in one of his last official duties, four pages carried in the two gleaming wooden boxes containing the certificates from each state plus the District of Columbia.
California was the first state read in alphabetical order to give votes to Obama, leading to a roar of applause in the House Chamber. When Obama was announced as the winner, the entire Congress stood and cheered with a few members even exchanging high-fives. Vice President-elect Joe Biden and Republican presidential candidate John McCain also received standing ovations.
When Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s vote tally was announced, a few Democrats remained conspicuously seated.
And in case you were wondering, McCain wasn’t spotted in attendance for the vote counting.