LIVE Coverage from Barack Obama’s Election Night Rally in Chicago
The lines for Election Day voting in Chicago started swelling around 6 a.m., but hours earlier a different queue began forming as anxious Barack Obama supporters scouted out a spot near Grant Park in hopes of landing a front row view of history. Two brothers (one of which happens to be my lovely fiance) hopped in line late Monday night, planning an overnight camp-out near the entrance of Grant Park. Chicago police had a different idea, giving the duo the boot until sunrise.
Around 9 a.m., other excited and anxious Obama supporters rolled in and by 11:30, a group of nearly 80 people had assembled along Congress Parkway. Follow updates from the front of the line on Twitter and here on NowPublic all day!
Play-by-Play Updates From the Group of Folks at the Front:
9:30 pm (Monday)- Arrive in line. Just me and the guy playing guitar.
12:30 am- Interview with Korean television station who kicks off questions with "So Obama's Black?" Hmm...answer with a smile.
5:30 am- Chicago police still don't have plan for 65K people lining up before 8:30.
6:30 am- Met guy from Congo who saved all his money and flew in to the Windy City for chance to attend Obamafest.
6:30ish am- Sunrise...finally! Who wants to supply the line with Starbucks?
9:30 am- More people showing up along with a bus filled with Chicago cops.
10:00 am- Interviews with MTV and Chicago Tribune.
12:30 pm- Line hits 150! Not sure where 60K people are going to line up.
12:40 pm- Interview with Korean Television shown nationally in South Korea...good thing I remembered the one Korean phrase I know!
1:00 pm- Line has begun swinging around Congress Parkway.
2:30 pm- Annie (ACBert) has arrived!
3:00 pm- My fiance (Tom) has now been interviewed by stations from Sweden, Germany, Argentina and a slew of others.
3:15 pm- Police have warned that the lines will soon be moving closer to the park. It's absolute chaos...the CPD seems confused, but the vibe in the city is absolutely phenomenal!
4:30 pm- The police randomly decided to let about 2,000 people in and we are now corralled in to a gated area with no estimate of when we will be let in... it's basically chaos
6:30 pm- Went through the security gates, a mob of people made a mad dash to the stage. The stage is in the middle, and supporters were put behind in VIP section.
7:00 pm- Watching CNN on the big screens at the rally, cheers and boos with every update depending on the results being announced.
ABC news is standing right in front of us with John Berman.
7:30 pm- Made it to front row!! Watching the results come in on the CNN jumbo-tron!
8:00 pm- After standing for hours and hours without being able to eat or drink, we talked a little girl into sharing her sandwich and we all shared one bottle of water...now that's spreading the wealth!
10.10pm- Obama wins!!! The air smells like cigar smoke and victory! The announcement made all of Grant Park erupt like I can't explain.