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Nicole Richie, Joel Madden

AP Photo/Shea Walsh

Although Joel Madden escorted Nicole Richie to the Alberta Ferretti store opening last night, he had more on his mind than just fashion. The Good Charlotte rocker and Obama supporter thinks things have already changed for the better since Barack won the election.

"Just traveling, being abroad and seeing how the world truly looks at us and feels about us hasn't been that fun over the last eight years," Joel told E! News.

"There's a new kind of American spirit...Everyone in America is proud to be an American, everyone in America is pro-America—we've just needed a leader to make us feel good about ourselves, and I think Obama does," he continued.

Turns out, he wasn't even in the states on Election Day...

Joel just returned from a UNICEF trip to the war-torn Central African Republic. "Coming back to a new America was kind of special," he said, adding that he voted early. "I landed and Obama was president."

One election-night development he wasn't happy about? The passage of Prop 8.

"It's not for us to decide if people should be able to get married, no matter who they are," Joel said. "I have the right to get married; everyone should have the right to get married."

As for whether he'll be getting married anytime soon to Nicole, Joel would only say he "didn't know" before running off to join his lady inside.

Inside the fashion fete, Nic and Joel sipped champagne and talked to Lucy Liuand former stylist Rachel Zoe briefly. Ali Larter came with Amy Smart instead of her fiancée, but she showed off some serious bling on her ring finger.