2008 Race for the White House: November 2008 Archives

CHICAGO--Pending appointments in the Obama administration, subject to last minute changes: Pete Rouse, deputy chief of staff; David Axelrod, senior advisor; Robert Gibbs, press secretary

Below is a statement from President-Elect Barack Obama on the upcoming meeting with President Bush

"Michelle and I look forward to meeting with President Bush and the First Lady on Monday to begin the process of a smooth, effective transition. I thank him for reaching out in the spirit of bipartisanship that will be required to meet the many challenges we face as a nation," said President-Elect Barack Obama.

CHICAGO--Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) has accepted Barack Obama's offer to become his White House chief of staff, a source said on Thursday. A formal announcement is to come. Obama is expected to hold his first press conference as president-elect in Chicago on Friday.

In tapping Emanuel, Obama picked a friend with experience in almost two terms in the Clinton White House and in Congress. Taking the job is a sacrifice for Emanuel, the number four leader in the House on a path to one day perhaps being the Speaker.

Emanuel agonized some over the offer, informally made weeks ago, because among other factors, he did not want to up root his family from their North Side Chicago home.

CHICAGO--The Obama home fronts on one side on a residential street with large single family homes. But the Obama home is exposed to traffic on the busy Hyde Park Blvd. The Obama house also faces a variety a apartment windows on the Hyde Park side.

Pool report from Abdon Pallash, Chicago Sun-Times talks about stepped up security for the president elect, who wrapped up a day of planning for his transition at the office of his friend, John Rogers' Ariel financial founder.

from Pallasch....

After six hours at Ariel, Obama was driven back to his home where a lid was declared at 5:36 p.m.

One other point - Hyde Park Blvd. next to the Obama family home is now closed for a block on either side of the house in addition to Obama's own street being closed off.

From the Obama campaign....

This afternoon, Michelle Obama spoke by phone with First Lady Laura Bush, and discussed the honor and privilege of the role of First Lady. Mrs. Bush offered her congratulations on the election. In addition to wishing her a happy birthday, Mrs. Obama thanked her for the grace and strength she's demonstrated as First Lady, and expressed appreciation for her guidance in the coming months as the Obama family begins their transition. Mrs. Bush extended an invitation for Mrs. Obama and her two daughters to visit the White House in the coming weeks. A date for the visit will be set soon.

CHICAGO--What does a man do on the day he is elected president, transforming politics along the way in a sweeping victory, proving that there are no red states, there are no blue states, but a nation of Obama states?

Somewhere between 1:31 a.m. on Tuesday, when Obama arrived at his Kenwood home from his very last campaign rally in Virginia, and his departure at 7:33 a.m. to vote at Shoesmith Elementary School, 1330 E. 50th, Obama had his last night to sleep, if that is what he did, without the awesome responsibility that comes with the White House.


If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

Bill Ayers speaks

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Valerie Jarrett, one of Barack Obama's closest confidants, and her daughter Laura Jarrett spent part of election day with Obama. Here, they are listening to Obama at a union hall in Indianapolis on Tuesday, where Obama helped work the phone banks. They flew to Indiana on the campaign plane with two other close friends of Obama, Marty Nesbitt and Eric Whitaker.(photo by Lynn Sweet)

After voting, near his Kenwood home, Obama flew to Indianapolis on his campaign plane--the last flights for the charter. Obama stopped in at the UAW Local 550 Union Hall in Indianapolis on Tuesday, where Obama volunteers were making get out the vote calls. Obama talked to about ten voters in Indiana, a key battleground state. "We've got to lock down Indiana right her," he said to applause. (photo by Lynn Sweet)

On the tarmac at Midway Airport, after returning to Chicago, Obama pal Marty Nesbitt twirls a basketball while walking from the plane with Eric Whitaker, Valerie Jarrett and her daughter Laura. Nesbitt and Whitaker play basketball with Obama and were intending to hit the court with him later on Election Day. (photo by Lynn Sweet)

Over at the Hyatt Hotel on east Wacker Drive. Obama Finance Chair Penny Pritzker and David Jacobson, deputy finance chair, handled fund-raising chores.
(photo by Lynn Sweet)

Images courtesy of NBC5 Chicago.

CHICAGO--Barack and Michelle Obama voted early Tuesday at the Beulah Shoesmith Elementary School and their daughters, Malia, 10 and Sasha, 7 looked on as their folks filled out their ballots.

"I voted," Obama said when he was done. The Obamas took about 15 minutes to fill out the ballots, time consuming because there were with a number of local contests. At one point Obama and his wife seemed to confer.

(Sun-Times photo by John H. White)

CHICAGO--Storylines collided on Tuesday at the elementary school in the Hyde Park community were Barack Obama votes,

Before Obama came to the Beulah Shoesmith Elementary School two neighbors who figured heavily in his presidential campaign showed up to vote.

Bill Ayers, the former Weather Underground terrorist now respected educator and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, another former Weather Underground member now running a legal clinic entered the Shoesmith gym shortly after polls opened at 7 a.m.

Ayers and Dohrn left a few minutes before Obama accompanied by his wife, Michelle and daughters Sasha, 7 and Malia, 10 appeared in the gym to cast his ballot.

Manassas, Virginia, Nov. 3, 2008
(photo by Lynn Sweet)

MANASSAS, VA. -A sea of some 90,000 people rallied for Barack Obama in northern Virginia late Monday night, in the last rally of a two year presidential campaign that is poised to vault the Illlinois senator to the White House on Tuesday.

"Even if we're successful tomorrow we will be facing bigger challenges than probably any administration since FDR. But you and I know, you can feel in your gut, something happening here. That it is time together. It is time to look at the future again."

CHARLOTTE, NC--Barack Obama talks about governing challenges ahead with ABC News Ann Compton in an interview on Wednesday

CHARLOTTE, N.C.--Since July, the current Obama campaign plane, the bird with the rising O on the tail, has been the home away from home for staff, journalists and Secret Service agents. Many have nested. The photographers on board have made the cabin of the plane where reporters ride a remarkable record--sometimes irreverent--of the campaign. Newseum, this one's for you.

(photo by Lynn Sweet)

(photo by Lynn Sweet)

Obama 2008.jpg
Barack Obama at rally in Charlotte, North Carolina talking about the death of his grandmother. AP PHOTO

CHARLOTTE, N.C.--The day before the presidential election, Barack Obama
and his half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng said Madelyn Dunham, their grandmother passed away after a battle with cancer. Obama traveled to Hawaii to visit with his ailing grandmother on Oct. 23 and 24. The woman Obama called "Toots" died at her Honolulu home near 4 a.m. eastern time. Obama was told near 8 a.m.

The campaign released a statement about Mrs. Dunham's death shortly after his campaign plane touched down in Charlotte, where Obama is en route to a rally, the second to last in his campaign.

Obama lived with maternal grandparents for a time during high school, while his mother remained in Indonesia.

The statement, released jointly from Obama Soetor-Nig said "It is with great sadness that we announce that our grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, has died peacefully after a battle with cancer. She was the cornerstone of our family, and a woman of extraordinary accomplishment, strength, and humility.

"She was the person who encouraged and allowed us to take chances. She was proud of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and left this world with the knowledge that her impact on all of us was meaningful and enduring. Our debt to her is beyond measure.

Obama in Jacksonville.

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photo by Lynn Sweet

photo by Lynn Sweet

photo by Lynn Sweet

JACKSONVILLE, FL.---If Barack Obama wins the White House on Tuesday, Gov. Blagojevich is mulling appointing a search committee to advise him on who he should appoint as his replacement in the United States Senate, I learned Monday.

I'm told that Blagojevich may host a press conference later this week in Chicago in order to discuss the appointment, the criteria and give some insight into the process to replace Obama, elected to the Senate in 2004.

While Blagojevich will make the final decision who will serve the two years remaining on Obama's term--he would be up for re-election in 2010--the governor is mulling a consultative process.

JACKSONVILLE, FL.--Barack Obama's mission here on Monday morning in this GOP territory is to keep John McCain's margins down so Democratic votes from other parts of Florida can propel him to clinching a state that has narrowly eluded Democrats for the past two elections. McCain campaigned Monday in Tampa on his own marathond last full day of the 2008 presidential contest.

Obama boiled down the almost two-year campaign to one word: "Tomorrow."

Showing more obvious confidence that he will win the White House Tuesday, Obama sent an olive branch to McCain during a speech here: "Now Sen. McCain has served this country honorably and at the end of this long race, I want to congratulate him on the tough race that he has fought."

JACKSONVILLE, FL.--While John McCain told his campaign not to make an issue of Barack Obama's association with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, he could not control GOP allies. Some GOP analysts have said McCain lost an opportunity to hit Obama on a significant vunerability by ruling out using Wright. I saw a spot slamming Obama's relationship with Wright Monday morning on cable here in Florida funded by the National Republica Trust political action committee titled "He never complained once." A Wright ad, bankrolled by another group, is running in Pennsylvania.

click below for script

One day left.

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JACKSONVILLE, FL.--Barack Obama stumps here, Charlotte, N.C. and Manassas, VA. Obama tapes an interview with ESPN to air halftime at the Monday night Redskins-Steelers game.

Michelle Obama is at rallies in Las Vegas and Littleton, Col.

Margaret Talev
McClatchy Newspapers

Pool Report #1 - Jacksonville, Fla.
8:40 a.m. Motorcade departs the Hyatt for a short ride to Gold's Gym. Obama emerges, in a ball cap and black sweats with a white stripe, and heads in to the building. Reggie Love and Eric Whitaker are with him. Perhaps two dozen local workers gather outside their offices by the gym and across the street over the course of the next 45 minutes to await his exit. At 9:25 a.m., he emerges, and those locals cheer and clap. He is smiling wide and waving to all. "Oh, he's so cute!" shouts out one woman in her 20s or 30s who appears to work at the bank a couple doors down from the gym entrance. Then she and her female coworkers start squealing and laughing. No interaction with the pool. Return to hotel 9:28 a.m.

JACKSONVILLE, FL.--Landed here, at hotel, need to plug in gear to recharge laptop, phone, blackberry, camera, sleep, start it all over again in 7.5 hours for the final full day on the trail of the Barack Obama presidential campaign.

Obama rally, University of Cincinnati, Nov. 2, 2008 (photo by Lynn Sweet)

Barack Obama introduces his daughter Sasha, 7, to Bruce Springsteen at a rally in Cleveland, Ohio. AP photo

CLEVELAND, OHIO--Rocker Bruce Springsteen at a rally downtown here Sunday for Barack Obama: "Sen. Obama, help us rebuild our house."

COLUMBUS, OHIO--In 2004, the Kerry-Bush contest came down to Ohio; President Bush won a second term with a win here. On Sunday, Barack Obama is hitting Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland as polls show he has a good chance to beat John McCain in this battleground state. Rocker Bruce Springsteen stumps with Obama in Cleveland.

An estimated 60,000 people rally in front of the state house in Columbus, Ohio for Barack Obama. Nov.2, 2008 (photo by Lynn Sweet)

The Obama family--Barack, Michelle, Malia, Sasha-- coming down the stairs from campaign plane on arrival Sunday morning in Columbus. (photo by Lynn Sweet)

Barack Obama displays his "oh you kid" grin after ABC NEWs Jake Tapper shouts a question at him (photo by Lynn Sweet)

From Kathy Kiely, USA Today

Subject: Pool report: arrival in columbus

First broken promise of the Obama administration?

About that Weds presser: Linda Douglass says Sen. Obama didn't mean it
after all. He'll meet the press before the end of the week, she said,
but "don't count on Wednesday."

After Michelle Obama and the kids got into a waiting car, the
irrepressible Jake Tapper tempted the candidate with a juicy substantive
question: "David Petreaus just landed in Pakistan," our colleague
shouted above the jet din. "Do you have a message for him.?"

Obama hesitated for a moment at the door of a car, then flashed an
oh-you-kid grin over his shoulder. He seemed to say something, but our
colleagues with boom mics say it was not even audible to them. Then
Obama ducked into the car.

COLUMBUS, OHIO--At massive rally in front of the state house here--crowd estimate 60,000--Barack Obama offered this on John McCain's schtick on "Saturday Night Live"

"John Mccain was funny yesterday on Saturday Night Live." Obama said.

SPRINGFIELD, MO.--In the last stages of his presidential campaign, Barack Obama has not held a formal press conference (something announced, more than just a chance for the pool to shout questions) for a week and a half. The last one was in Richmond, Va.

Now, with prodding from ABC NEWS' Jake Tapper, Obama said there will be one on Wednesday. That news nugget triggered a blast e-mail from the Republican National Committee with its latest edition of "Audacity Watch"

What happened is this: On the tarmac here Sunday morning, leather jacketed Tapper managed to get the candidate's attention with a shouted question: (Tapper is calling these "Sams" as a tribute to Sam Donaldson.)

ABC News: Senator Obama, what would you tell your Treasury Secretary do differently with the $700 billion?!

Obama: (laughs)

ABC News: It's a substantive question!

Obama: It is! But Jake, we're on a tarmac! That's a pretty good question!

ABC News: Have a press conference then!

Obama: I will! On Wednesday!

Obama walks up the stairs to his plane.

Obama spokesman Linda Douglass said later on the plane en route from Springfield to Columbus, Ohio that the Wednsday mention was merely a "place keeper."

PUEBLO, Colo. -- Vice President Dick Cheney, Barack Obama's politically unpopular distant cousin, handed Obama a gift Saturday by affirming his support for John McCain, while a Kenyan aunt of Obama's turned up in a Boston public housing apartment, living illegally in the U.S.

And foreshadowing what an Obama administration may look like, Obama urged public officials to boycott cable television shows that he contends only foment dissent and look back, not ahead.

"Don't spend all your time bickering, stay off the cable news shows," Obama said.

SPRINGFIELD, MO.--While the Obama entourage--Barack and Michelle Obama, their daughters, campaign staff, travel press-- was awakening in the heart of the Ozark Mountain Country on Sunday, the ad team released a new spot jamming John McCain with Vice President Cheney's tout of the McCain Palin ticket on Saturday.

(This corner of Missouri is usually a GOP stronghold; Obama took the time to stump here to cut down on McCain's margins, making it easier to win this battleground state.)

"I'm delighted to support John McCain and... I'm pleased that he's chosen a running mate with executive talent, toughness and common sense, our next vice president Sarah Palin," Cheney said in Wyoming.

Obama on Saturday in Pueblo, Col. called this an endorsement as it Cheney was for the first time coming out for McCain; perhaps a better way is just to say Cheney was just reaffirming his backing for the GOP ticket.

click below for script

PUEBLO, COL.--Hooking up with his wife, Michelle and daughters, Barack Obama on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon may have sent a lightening bolt to cable talk show bookers: "Stay off the cable news," he said at a rally in the city.

With three days left, Obama returning to a familiar theme, said there is need to get beyond ideology. Then he added something new, jabs at the cable news shows.

"The job of an elected official -- whether it's a President or a council member -- is to solve problems, deliver for the people, don't spend all your time bickering, stay off the cable news shows. You know, and I watch sometime those shows, and I realize, you know, you're arguing about the past, we need to be talking about the future."

HENDERSON, NV.--Barack Obama strategist David Axelrod said California Gov. Arnold Schwarzengger--who said on the stump for John McCain that Obama needs to do something about his skinny legs--should play some hoops with Obama.

"I have to tell you, as someone who could use a little work, that Sen. Obama is pretty fit," Axelrod told reporters here Saturday morning, after an Obama rally.

"Maybe when this is over, we can get Gov. Schwarzenegger on the basketball court and see what he can do," Axelrod said. This was not a challenge. "No, it's just a suggestion."

In Columbus, Ohio, yesterday, where Schwarzenegger, who fame first came as a bodybuilder said of Obama, "He needs to do something about those skinny legs. I'm going to make him do some squats."

"And then we're going to make him do some biceps curls to beef up those scrawny little arms," he said, before comparing the meat on Obama's bones to a lack thereof on his policies.

Three days

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Obama rally, Henderson, Nevada--just outside Las Vegas--Saturday morning Nov. 1, 2008. (photos by Lynn Sweet)

HENDERSON, NV.--Barack Obama hits battleground states Nevada, Colorado and Missouri on Saturday. At rally here, Obama was introduced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nv.)

What next for David Axelrod?

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(photo by Lynn Sweet)

SARASOTA, Fla. -- "I am a kibitzer with a broad portfolio," David Axelrod is saying. He's kidding, of course, as he underplays his pivotal role in Barack Obama's drive for the White House.

Axelrod has been a part of other White House bids -- Paul Simon in 1988, John Edwards in 2004, even having influence on a "West Wing" presidential contest when writer/producer Eli Attie turned to Axelrod for advice in shaping the Obama-esque Matt Santos character played by Jimmy Smits, elected as the nation's first minority commander in chief.

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Lynn Sweet

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

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the 2008 Race for the White House category from November 2008.

2008 Race for the White House: October 2008 is the previous archive.

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