Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The windy city...


1900 - We arrive at Grant Park. There's already a huge crowd here; they're funnelling towards the park entrances. Most don't have tickets but that doesn't seem to matter. The jumbo-trons are out in force so everyone can enjoy the spectacle.

1923 - We get asked to leave the Press area. We don't have the right credentials apparently, (and there was me thinking British charm was all I needed.)

1945 - We're surrounded by Joe Six-Packs (mercifully few Joe the Plumbers) and it feels good to be with real people. Most are excited by the whole affair. Everyone except Ellen; "I don't care who wins, I just live near the park and thought it'd be silly to miss it." Riiiiight...

1956 - Obama gets New Hampshire. Huge cheers, might be a sign of things to come.

2030 - He's plenty of electoral votes ahead and Obama has just won Ohio - it's practically all over for McCain now. The crowd knows it and can't contain their excitement. History books are being written.

2050 - The park is practically full now, throngs of people are all cramming the roads. There are loads of porta-loos which is good for Luke's bladder, which has been acting octogenarian since we arrived.

2115 - McCain gets Texas. An ironic cheer and a healthy smattering of boos. Some are saying it makes sense that he won That state. Clever.

2145 - CNN has Will I Am on the a hologram. What? Are? They? Thinking? It's ridiculous; it looks like a really shit episode of Star Trek. Too much money, not enough journalism. Sort it out!
Will I Am makes a concern of ours though - when Obama wins, what will his army of campaigners do? Will suggests that they need to keep working for the country.

2203 - CNN calls it for Obama. He's won. The first Africa-American President. Wow. I can't explain the feeling here, some are in shock others are screaming in tears with happiness. The crowd looks bewildered. They can't believe this is happening...

2205 - Janet: "I dreamt of this, I can't believe it. Dreams come true, dreams come true."

2228 - If it wasn't official enough, McCain concedes the race. What will he do now? Retirement after two years of pure slog must be an appealing option. A good race from the man though, and humble in defeat.

2253 - Obama speaks to the nation as President Elect. The speech isn't his finest but he ticks all boxes. It's humble and the most important is the extended hand: "I will be your President too." It's an offering to those vehemently against him, but it's one to the whole world too I think.

2305 - The crowd is being moved on. Jason says: "There are people out on the streets who don't take to the streets. Obama does that. He's the beginning of the changes this country needs."

2330 - We're heading for the L-Train but it's going to take hours. No bother, the streets are packed with happy Americans. The future just started for these people and we're happy to see it start.

0124 - Home finally. CNN says Obama has 338 electoral votes so far. He's on for a huge win, but he still has nearly 60 million Americans to win over. It's a tall order but if you were to bet on anyone, it'd be the most exciting politician of our generation.


Anonymous said...

great work guys so jealous. Hope you had fun in chicago and cant imagine how you didnt have the right credentials! I watched his speech this morning at 5am. He was amazing. full of hope and promise. An incredible night and you must be so pleased to have been there. Have a good end to your trip and see you on monday.rb

ray said...

Well done, and congratulations to us all. I talked to lots of people today and we're all full of optimism. So glad you could be with us for this.