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.
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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.