Gerry has pointed out that I somehow managed to call the US election back in January. I remembered one of those posts, but not the other two. My most clear cut prediction was in April. I guess I was reasonably confident throughout the year that Obama would win, as were many people I expect.
I was only slightly worried in the two weeks prior to the weekend after the September 11 shift in poll numbers – Obama was on the back foot for a good two weeks, in polls, and being on the defensive in the media.
On Sep 11 the Obama campaign said they would shift gear up until election day, and that they did. Lipstick on a pig was quickly forgotten and from about September 17 to November 4, McCain was almost entirely on the defensive. He never recovered from it.
The last week was an incredible experience. I watched Obama speak in Virginia Beach, I drove with Conor Ryan from the Irish Examiner, from Washington DC to Cleveland Ohio (video interview of that to be uploaded), where I again got to watch Obama speak, after some songs from Bruce Springsteen.
Two days later and we were in Chicago’s Grant Park to watch history being made, and Oprah use a port-a-loo for the first time in her life. Along the way I went out for some (lots of) beers, and met some really nice people, including Fergal Keane from RTE, Chris Donoghue from Newstalk 106, Lise Hand from the Irish Independent, and two Italian film makers, Fabio and Francesco, who were kind enough to let us shack up with them in Chicago (check out their site, they have some brilliant videos, including many exclusives). There were also the kind ladies from the State Department, Elia and Babs, who could not have been more helpful and friendly.
It was though an incredibly long day, which meant walking around, or standing around in various places, in Chicago for a straight 24 hours. And I have blisters to prove it. I also forgot to eat anything, but I guess it didn’t matter. It was all worth it, and I’m glad I predicted back in April that Obama would win, because that was when I decided to go to the US for the result.