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No red states, no blue states, just Obama states

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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.

Obama and his wife, Michelle -- with daughters Sasha, 7, and Malia, 10 -- jumped ahead of the long line outside the school to pore over ballots for the 23rd precinct of the 4th Ward in their side-by-side booths.

Once done -- the Obamas took awhile, what with all those judges to pick -- Obama displayed his receipt from the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners to the press.

"I voted," he said.

Storylines almost collided, because Bill Ayers and wife Bernardine Dohrn, who live on 50th, across the street from the school, had been in the Shoesmith gym a few minutes earlier to vote.

During the campaign, Obama was smacked around for serving on civic boards with Ayers, a former member of the terrorist Weather Underground -- as was Dohrn.

From there, a dash to Midway Airport for a quick flight to Indianapolis to hustle up more battleground Indiana votes at a UAW get-out-the-vote operation.

Before takeoff at Midway, Obama was asked, "Are you feeling sentimental?''

"You know, I'm sure I will tonight -- that's when the polls close. The journey ends, but voting with my daughters, that was a big deal."

Flying with Obama were three friends -- confidante Valerie Jarrett and her daughter, Laura, a law student; presidential campaign treasurer Marty Nesbitt, and buddy Eric Whitaker.

Obama offered, and his traveling press corps accepted, his autograph on special election night credentials. The corps later posed with him outside the plane for a group photo. From Midway, the motorcade zipped to the Hyatt Hotel on East Wacker Drive, where Obama settled in for a marathon session of broadcast interviews with battleground state outlets.

Obama's motorcade from the Hyatt took only about 10 minutes, as the nation was electing him president, to barrel over to a private gym on Harrison near Washtenaw to play a basketball game.

It's an Election Day tradition with Obama, who was hustling on the NBA-level court at the Attack Athletics and Training Center with a bunch of pals from Chicago, high school and law school. About 30 guys were suiting up: Nesbitt, Whitaker, Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), brother-in-law Craig Robinson, Ariel Investments' John Rogers, Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and Chicago schools chief Arne Duncan.

"He played hard. He made his shots," a buddy said.

Obama returned to the Hyatt for a few hours and left again for his Kenwood home before darting right back to the Hyatt after 90 minutes.

With Grant Park a sea of people long before he arrived, Obama's long day was topped with his first speech as the president-elect.

1 Comment

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!
A GREAT NATION THAT IS REALLY WORKING TOWARD A
MORE PERFECT UNION!
WE ALL MUST WORK AND CONSERVE A LITTLE MORE UNTIL
THE TRAIN IS BACK ON THE TRACK!
THE TRAIN WILL MOVE ONCE AGAIN!
A NATION CURRENTLY THAT NEEDS A SHOT OF CHANGE
BIGTIME!

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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 November 5, 2008 5:33 PM.

Jarrett, Podesta, Rouse to lead Obama transition; Bill Daley co-chair was the previous entry in this blog.

Michelle Obama to visit Laura Bush; early White House visit set is the next entry in this blog.

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