Hey all! I've finally got a moment to post about the massive Obama rally in Chicago.
The biggest thing that impressed me was the peaceful, orderly nature of the crowd. Everyone was friendly, polite, and terribly excited to be there.
Few words can describe how Grant Park looked. I have lived here my entire life and I've never seen the city like this. We cheered, booed, chanted and celebrated as one. I saw more than a few tears shed as CNN called the election on the Jumbotron.
There was dancing in Hutchinson Field as we waited for our new President, and when his speech was done, the streets exploded with people. It felt like it was half street party and half victory march. There was enough pride in the air that you could practically reach out and grab it.
The other thing I found notable was the security setup. Getting in was not as hard as the campaign warned it would be. We did go through three checkpoints, but our tickets were not scanned. There were no metal detectors when we went in.
On the other hand, the Secret Service was not messing around. We played "spot the sniper" along the rooftops of Michigan Avenue while we waited in line. There were helicopters circling the area, too. Finally, I was not surprised to see lots of mounted police in riot gear, but I was very startled to see U.S. Marshals brandishing large rifles at the entrance to the garage below the Federal Building.
Now I am on the Metra train back to the suburbs, along with nearly 1500 sleepy Obama fans and several armed railroad police. This is definitely a night I will be telling my grandkids about - the night Chicago sent one of its very best to the White House.
Thought McCain's was incredibly gracious and short. Obama started out strong and then got a little meandering but he's pulling us back with the 100+-year-old-woman who lived to see so much. And the sermon like "Yes we can" is bringing it back to the crowd. What did you think?
Savour the moment.
What next, though? What are Obama's priorities, his agenda, the challenges ahead?
What colour does he/Michelle choose for the drapes in the White House? How soon do we get back to fixing the economy -- with a little help from Plumber Joe -- and to the rough and tumble of life back here in the poorer parts of the world, including here in India, where the bombs are going off and American planes are invading the sovereignty of a neighbouring country, Pakistan?
Okay so McCain's just ended his concession speech...we wait with bated breath for Obama to begin his. The United Colours of America wont be denied !
Sure, Third Worlders like me can wait a little longer for answers...we're savouring the moment too.
The ghost of Al Gore is screaming through Tallahassee tonight.
We have somebody who's agreed to post from Grant Park (or they'll at least try), and still a few Senate seats to watch.
We'll be here 'til the bitter end.
Congratulations to President-Elect Obama and to Senator McCain on his graceful concession.
Feeling very American means you can't discount what these two men also have done for their country...
Mitra here. The hip hop, the soul, the faces on television are making me cry. In high school, my best friend Saba used to say there would never be a black president in our lifetime. How she was proven so wrong! I am with three generations of my family who feel more American than ever, sitting even here thousands of miles away in my New Delhi living room: my father, still not a U.S. citizen but who has spent nearly four decades in the country, with my husband and my daughter, whose birth in the U.S. saw my mother whispering to her, a few seconds old, that she could be president. Well, maybe she can.