Chicago Sun-Times
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Sweet column: A walk through Obama's presidential HQ. Facebook's Chris Hughes on staff.


Moving from cramped, temporary space a few days ago, Barack Obama's national presidential campaign headquarters on Thursday was settling in to its new home on the 11th floor at 233 N. Michigan.

The campaign took over a turn-key sublease from Accenture, 33,000 square feet complete with sleek blond custom workstations, meeting rooms and space for the various departments of the Obama campaign: political, policy, new media, press, research, scheduling, finance, youth vote, advance, Michelle Obama, field, operations and management.

Campaign Manager David Plouffe presides from one glass-enclosed offices. About 100 people are based in the Chicago headquarters and "the staff will grow over time," Plouffe said.

Most of the staff moved to Chicago for the campaign and they are renting places to live close to work.

ยป Click to enlarge image

Workers are busy in the new Barack Obama national campaign headquarters in Chicago.
Most staffers are in their 20s and 30s, including Chris Hughes, a youthful Web legend. He's one of the founders of Facebook who brings his social networking skills to the campaign as the online organizer. The Net is a powerful tool for Obama. In the 24 hours since announcing that the campaign collected $25 million in first quarter fund-raising on Wednesday, the Web yielded $435,000 for Obama from 4,600 donors -- 4,300 of them first-time contributors.
New Media chief Joe Rospars parks his MacBook Pro on a desk in his office overlooking Michigan Avenue. Not everyone is in on this day; some staffers with Obama's Web operation are on the road with Obama shooting and editing video for the site.

Down the row are the offices of Robert Gibbs and Bill Burton, who oversee communications and press. Over in the section where the rest of the press staff works -- Jen Psaki, Tiffany Edwards, Kevin Lewis and Katie Hogan -- there's a wall where each day the front pages from some 36 newspapers -- big city and in the key primary states -- are taped. Six wall-mounted flat-screen televisions are set on news channels.

The Obama campaign moved from interim space on the 17th floor of the building in the Illinois Center complex.

There's no campaign hangout saloon yet, said Burton. "We're still auditioning."

And there's one person who does not have an office. That's Obama. The theory is he's got more important places to spend his time.


I cannot click to see the picture..

what a comprehensive operations and processes mgt!!

I also cannot click to see the picture.

I am soooooo happy that all of this is taking place. I have not been this excited about a future President since John F. Kennedy. President Hopefully Obama was GREAT in Atlanta. There were many people in the crowd that where certain were their vote would go if he is on the ballot in November! I am one of those people!

I have a large number of concerns about this upcoming election. In my 72 years, I have listened to a number of politicians make promises about things to be done for the old folks, school kids, and poor among us. In fact Lyndon johnson declared war on poverty years ago. We still have poverty.

Critics of Sen. Obama say he has connections with some rather bad characters; Bill Ayers, Frank Marshall Davis, Tony Rezko, Madeline Talbolt, and Rev Jeramiah Wright. Each time this is presented, Senator Obama or his spokesperson says a lot of words, without addressing the questions. Could I get a simple yes or no about, whether he had a friendly relationship with each of these radical people? The longer this is left pending, the more suspisious it seems to those of us on the outside, looking in.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on April 6, 2007 10:10 AM.

Sweet column: Mayor Daley, meet SEIU president Andy Stern. SEIU flexing muscle in City Council elections. was the previous entry in this blog.

White House Easter dinner menu. Green chili cheese grits! is the next entry in this blog.

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