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Clintonites

Interesting stuff as ever from Politico:

Here’s how you can tell the campaign is over and the transition has begun: Barack Obama’s aides now wear suits and ties, their desks are in the Federal Building on 6th Street in Washington — and Clintonites are everywhere.

Obama’s victory in the general election produced what his primary campaign couldn’t: A swift merger of the Clinton Wing of the Democratic Party with the Illinois Senator’s self-styled insurgency. The merger began, during the campaign, in the policy apparatus — which is now rapidly becoming the governing apparatus.

And Obama wants to use the power of YouTube for his weekly ‘radio’ address.

Predictions

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.

Buying papers in Chicago

It’s proving hard for people in Chicago to get copies of the Chicago Sun Times and the Chicago Tribune. So much so that lines formed on the streets, and people bought dozens of copies each. This guy was happy with his purchase, having already bought about a dozen copies, he asked for another dozen.

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And they say the newspaper industry is dying 😉

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Press rush after Obama announcement

Here is the semi chaos that happened the press area at the Grant Park, Chicago, event last night. CNN called the election, and the press corps run to get closer to the crowd:

Update: At the Obama press conference today, Chicago Sun-Times reporter Lynn Sweet said she was injured during the rush to get to see his speech. I’m not sure if it was while this video was taken. Her arm is now in a cast apparently.

Oprah visits the loo

So we were hanging around the food area in the press section, and Oprah walks by with her minder. Into the port-a-loo (I guess even the richest woman in America has to go). She comes back out and I take a quick photo:

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She actually hung around for a while, which meant a media scrum. I have a video about this also. More once I recover. Here was the view from the main press area:

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Bruce Springsteen booed in Cleveland?

When Barack Obama came on the stage last night and thanked The Boss for attending and singing, the crowd either shouted “boo” or “Bruce”. I’m not sure which, though being there in person it did sound more like boo. I’m not sure. You decide:

Update: A viewer says it definitely was “Bruce” they were shouting.

At the Cleveland rally, right now

*** Will be updating this post during the evening ***

LOL. Number 6 on Google for “Obama Cleveland rally”

I’m at the Obama event in Cleveland, and wifi is available, unlike at the Virginia Beach rally. There is a huge crowd here. I tried to take photos of the queues to give some sense of the length… but at ground level you just cannot capture it. One went on for at least 10 blocks, another one went on for another 10. Miles of people waiting to get in.

I see some other journalists from Ireland, one from the Irish Times, and another from Newstalk.

I took these photos a few minutes ago.

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Update:

The crowd waits for Obama:

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The press wait:

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The interval music from the press area:

Obama in his stride despite the rain:

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