CHICAGO---In a newly painted 757--with the Obama sunrise logo on the tail and "Change we can believe in" painted on the sides--the Middle East and Europe bound Obama campaign press plane was poised to lift off Sunday evening from Midway Airport to meet up with presumptive presidential Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) after he finishes visits to Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq.
Obama's newly reconfigured plane is divided into first class for the candidate and his closest advisors--such as strategist David Axelrod, who is on the flight; business class seats, occupied Sunday by foreign affairs advisors such as Denis McDonough and coach, where 41 journalists who are part of the traveling Obama press corps are seated.
In the days ahead I hope to report on the substance of the Obama visit as well as the media circus aspects of the highly choreographed trip.
Obama already has booked interviews with network anchors and has a date to do "Meet the Press" from London next Sunday. The campaign announced at 4 a.m. on Sunday morning--but mid-day in Europe that Obama will deliver a speech on trans-Atlantic relations in Berlin on Thursday outdoors in a park near the Brandenburg Gate.
Fruit and cheese platters greeted the reporters on board the very pricey charter.
The plane will make a stop in Shannon, Ireland en route to a destination that I cannot say. Our overnight kits for the flight include toothbrush, mouthwash, socks, Neutrogena body lotion and lip moisturizer, Scope mouthwash, ear plugs and blindfold for sleeping.
The campaign is still requesting details of the Obama visit be kept secret. Obama arrived in Afghanistan early Saturday morning--traveling on military aircraft--and will soon be enroute to Iraq after a stopover in Kuwait.
The Obama overseas tour takes him to Jordan, Israel, Germany, France and England.
Dinner entrees are a choice of beef medallions, baked tilapia or eggplant parmesan.