Stephen M. Silverman
November 05, 2008 12:10 PM

The women of The View wore their hearts on their sleeves Wednesday.

“Last night history was made when Barack Obama was voted 44th President of the United States,” said host Whoopi Goldberg, leading into the separate reactions from each of the ABC’s show’s panelists as emotions built and even spilled over.

Goldberg also made the frank admission that her mother’s reaction when Whoopi asked if she ever thought she’d live to see an African-American president not only was surprising but threw Whoopi off balance for the rest of the night.

“No,” said Goldberg’s mother. “I never thought this day would come in my lifetime.”

Analyzing that response, Goldberg said that, although she’s always thought of herself as an American who lived in the land of opportunity, Obama’s victory at last could make her feel like a true part of the country.

“I could put my suitcase down, finally,” she said.

Hasselbeck’s Reaction

The show’s executive producer and so-called “mother hen,” Barbara Walters, turned to the politically conservative member of the panel, Elisabeth Hasselbeck (who actively campaigned for GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin), and said, “All eyes are going to be on you. How do you feel?”

Hasselbeck talked about watching the election results with her daughter Grace, 3, and Grace’s looking up and asking who won and who lost. “No one lost,” Hasselbeck said she told her child. “Seriously, today is a victory for this country.”

Citing the fact that 14 million more voters showed up at the polls than had ever turned out before, Hasselbeck said that she, too, was caught up in the excitement. “I will get in a long line of supporters for this president,” she said.

Interjected her liberal foil, Joy Behar: “Are you saying I was right all along?”

But it was panel member Sherri Shepherd, who described how it felt to share with her 3-year-old son Jeffrey the enormity of what took place Tuesday, whose emotions ran the highest. Emphasizing how it now felt for there to be “No Limitations” for people of color, Shepherd could barely say the words.

Instead, she dissolved into tears of disbelief, hurt – and joyfulness.

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