Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Obama's Victory Rally in Chicago

Guest blog by Lynn Voedisch

Somehow we received a ticket to the Election Night party, good for a guest and myself. I thought this was no big deal, but learned later, when I was doing some work Election Day that many people had requested tickets and almost no one was lucky enough to get them. So, I figured the stars were shining on me. After rushing to pack a few things, as we were staying overnight in our downtown condo, I took the El, which became progressively more crowded until the subway became jam-packed. I got off to see streets blocked off, a million policemen and women, hustlers hawking t-shirts, and people everywhere. I hurried to the condo to put away my things.

My husband and I ate a quick meal and made our way to Grant Park, where we were happy to see that ticket holders had an easy entrance. We hurried along a maze that moved quickly until we hit a sudden stop. Oops. Security.
After a long, long wait, we went through TSA (yes, the same people who do airport security) and also noticed the watchful eyes of the secret service. After opening a pillbox of mine and spilling my medications on ground (thank you so much), TSA sent us on on our way to the crowd. And I mean crowd.
Having tickets only mean that we were in the throng closer to the stage than the hoi polloi back in the hinterlands by Balboa street. Being short, I could not see the stage for the life of me, so I had to crane my neck to watch the Jumbotron all night. Someone told me there were seats, but those had been taken long ago--probably by people who lined up hours ago.

When things really started going and CNN started calling the states, the crowd started hollering every time Obama took a few electoral votes. The espirt de corps was high. We were all one, and Obama was our guiding light. We cheered the Democratic senators who won. Every time polls closed in new time zones, we counted down, and new numbers started spilling in. My husband held a portable TV to his ear and told us that other stations were calling states earlier than CNN. Even Fox called Pennsylvania faster than CNN. But eventually CNN did call PA, and McCain's road became more and more unnavigable. Victory for Obama was looking good.

Whenever the camera switched to us in Grant Park, we jumped around hollering like crazy people, even though there was no chance anyone would recognize us in that crowd. We still wanted to world to know that Chicago was having the biggest party in the country. Any doubts about Obama winning were obliterated by this time, and we could see the landslide coming, We knew if was only a matter of time. We grew wearing of waiting for Virginia and Ohio, especially since all the other networks had called Ohio. Eventually, the Ohio call came, and people were dancing in place. Calls of O-BAM-A went sweeping through the throng. McCain was winning the South and there were some boos, but it was pretty restrained. It was a polite crowd, all things told. No one expected Obama to win Mississipi or Texas, anyway.

Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, and, of course, Illinois, all came in and the crowd became delirious. So close, so close. What was going on with Colorado? What was wrong with Virginia? And Florida? Too close to call. We wanted Florida badly. My stomach was tightening up with anticipation. When would it happen? When?

Then like a scene change in a play, everything was transformed. The countdown came for the polls to close in the West Coast. Five, four, three, two, one. Polls closed. And then, filling the screen: Obama wins the Presidency! Shrieks went through the crowd. People were hugging and kissing each other. It was like New Year's Eve. People jumping in place. Yelling. Dancing. We listened respectfully to McCain's concession speech, which was amazingly good-natured and full of hope and promise. We applauded his spirit of camaraderie and good sportsmanship. Then sound system started playing music (including "Signed, Sealed and Delivered," which is the Obama ring tone for chief strategist David Axelrod). Even though people were jammed in shoulder to shoulder, we danced. We sang. A bishop prayed. We said the pledge of allegiance. Someone sang the national anthem and butchered the words, so the crowd joined in and sang it correctly. There were tears.

Striding on the stage came the president-elect. Oh my goodness, could we actually be saying those words? President-elect Obama? Obama spoke so eloquently, so rapturously, that I cannot remember the words. I only remember the chills going down my back. Not only did he inspire me about the nation, he inspired me about my own life. Never have I ever felt so passionately about candidate as I have about this man. We were all practically lifted off our feet by his towering oratory. Then the family came on stage. We wildly applauded Michelle and Biden and everyone else. We even cheered for their plans to get a puppy. It was joy piled upon joy. Suddenly, like all dreams, it was over.

We filed out, a bit starstruck, and on this unusually warm night, we just wandered around in the streets, which were too full of people for any cars. It was a bit like a street fair. Some restaurants stayed open. Everyone loved everyone else. Smiles all around. I headed up to the condo to talk late into the night to my son in Florida, who told me all about his experiences down there. And then I turned in, not sure if what I had experienced was real or not--but happy, incredibly, zooming-to-the-moon happy. And when I woke up, I had to remember all over again, that what I had experienced was real.

To see my photos, got to www.xanga.com/bastetmax .

Football reporters online show 11/13

Another Thursday Night Football reporters online show and another Jam Packed 90 minutes of football talk.

This weeks Guests: Former University of Toledo and CFL Star QB Chuck Ealey, the subject of a PBS documentary this month, and Former Miami Dolphin DB Liffort Hobley will Join us, as well as your questions from the Mailbag and the Chat Room, and our game of the week picks. join os on Blog Talk radio at


Obama Inauguration Tickets - How To Get Them In Oakland or Eastbay, CA

According to the Oakland Tribune, Eastbay Lawmakers have set up call-in numbers and email lists for those looking for inauguration tickets. Here's their report, in part:

The East Bay congressional delegation is compiling first-come, first-serve waiting lists of those who want free — and hard to get — tickets to the Jan. 20 presidential inaugural ceremony in Washington, D.C.
But federal lawmakers are warning the hundreds of constituents who have called or sent e-mail requests for tickets that a spot on the list offers no guarantees.
Members do not know how many of the estimated 250,000 tickets their offices will receive from the Joint Congressional Inaugural Committee. Ticket-holders will have access to the outdoor viewing area on the west front of the Capitol.
Lawmakers' phones started ringing months ago, but the volume ramped up after the historic Nov. 4 election of Barack Obama, who is poised to become the nation's first African-American president.
It's unclear how many tickets will end up in the hands of constituents versus how many will go to federal officials, their staffs and well-connected political friends...MORE


To put your name on a waiting list for a free ticket to the Jan. 20 inaugural ceremony in Washington, D.C., contact the offices of the two California senators or a member of Congress:
REP. ELLEN TAUSCHER, D-ALAMO -- www.tauscher.house.gov or 925-932-8899
REP. BARBARA LEE, D-OAKLAND -- 510-763-0370
REP. PETE STARK, D- FREMONT -- www.house.gov/stark or 510-494-1388
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN -- tickets@feinstein.senate.gov
SEN. BARBARA BOXER -- 415-403-0100
OFFICIAL INAUGURAL SITE: Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies' Web site atinaugural.senate.gov/
ONLINE TIP: To find the name of your representative, enter your ZIP code at https://writerep.house.gov/ or www.votesmart.org.
Source: MediaNews research

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Donald Lacy's Views On The Election, Obama

Donald Lacy is a name that came into Oakland and the nation's view after the 1997 murder of Lacy's daughter who was an innocent bystander just leaving McClymond's High School in Oakland. As part of his on-going effort to combat the problems that caused that event, Lacy started The Lovelife Foundation, which is "promoting life and saving lives through community revitalization, leadership and development." (http://lovelifefoundation.org) . I saw Lacy at the San Francisco Democratic Party event on Election Night and got his views on the Election and President-Elect Obama's victory.

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Sean Sullivan's a new name and face in Oakland politics.

Observers may remember Sean's run for Oakland's District Three Council Seat, where he lost to the incumbent Nancy Nadel. But Sean pressed on. He's worked at Covenant House and serves on the board of several non-profits in Oakland and the Bay Area. You can learn more at his website:


At the Westin on Election Night, Sean stopped to talk about the election and now President-Elect Obama and the then-progress of the No On Prop 8 campaign.