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Chicago, Boston prepped for presidential victory parties

Posted November 5, 2012

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— Media hordes invaded Chicago and Boston Monday in preparation of election night gatherings by the two presidential candidates, although it remains unclear which city will be celebrating by Wednesday.

After a whirlwind end to months of campaigning, President Barack Obama planned to spend election night with supporters in Chicago, where he first gained political fame as an Illinois state senator. Republican nominee and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney likewise returns to his political roots by rallying in Boston.

Hundreds of news crews from around the globe crammed into the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center for what Romney and vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan hope will be a raucous victory party.

Photographer James Marshall said political races are much lower key by comparison in his home of New Zealand.

"We probably have four TV stations in New Zealand, so you'll probably get four TV cameras at an event," Marshall said. "Here, there are hundreds – hundreds of cameras and media.

"It's an interesting election. A lot of eyes (are) on it – who's going to take it – because, either way, it will affect the world dramatically, I believe," he said.

Media won't be allowed into the sprawling McCormick Place convention center in Chicago until Tuesday, but a small city of satellite trucks has set up in nearby parking lots. Journalists from stations from as far away as Russia, Mexico, Norway and Japan were beaming news stories back to their respective countries.

A short distance away, Grant Park was much more serene Monday than election night 2008, when an estimated 240,000 people crowded in to hear Obama proclaim victory and become the nation's first African-American president.

Chicagoans recall night of Obama's 2008 election Chicagoans recall night of Obama's 2008 election

Obama campaign volunteers working overtime for re-election Obama campaign volunteers working overtime for re-election

"I didn't know which way to turn," said Damien Lewis, a Chicago resident was in Grant Park four years ago. "I wanted to be in some of everybody's pictures. I was looking for newscasters, just because it was a historic moment and I wanted to be part of it."

Chicago native Christopher Thomotoulos said he never felt prouder of his hometown and the U.S. than that night.

"People from all over the world were coming in to celebrate that moment, and to see a diverse person become president for me was very uplifting," Thomotoulos said.

Trying to relive that moment, volunteers at an Obama phone bank in a Chicago office building expressed cautious optimism Monday as the campaign's get-out-the-vote effort was in overdrive for a final Election Day push.

"I'm feeling excited. I'm feeling anxious. I'm praying a lot. I'm not sleeping. I want this man re-elected in the worst way," campaign volunteer Andi Morris said.

Morris, a Massachusetts native, said she remembers Romney's tenure as governor and said it was tough to be a union worker under his administration.

Volunteers like Morris and Bill Boone said they wanted to leave nothing to chance, which is why they have been working overtime for an Obama re-election. Boone, a Chicago native, has also traveled to other states to knock on doors on behalf of the president.

"There's a hope and a sense that he's going to squeak through. That's my prayer as well," Boone said.

Harvard student from NC eager to aid Romney campaign Harvard student from NC eager to aid Romney campaign

Meanwhile, Rocky Mount native Andrew Pardue said he was excited by the opportunity to be part of Romney's Election Day operation in Boston.

Pardue, 18, is a first-year student at Harvard University studying government.

"It's definitely not North Carolina. The campus and the students are a lot more liberal than I was used to in high school," he said.

Pardue said he, like Romney, is more moderate than many Republicans, and he was drawn to the candidate for his positions and his business acumen.

"He has a great track record of coming into entities that are failing financially and turning them around," he said.

Pardue has his own future political aspirations, calling public service "the best way to make a difference and make a change for the better in my community."

On Tuesday, however, he said his sole focus will be on the Romney campaign.

"I'll be answering phones from battleground states, talking with poll workers, troubleshooting problems that they might come up with," he said. "To be able to work in your candidate's campaign headquarters on Election Day – and it's your first election – that's an amazing opportunity, I think."

15 Comments

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  • paultaylorsr100 Nov 6, 5:19 p.m.

    Have we not paid enough just to have elected the "first black president"? I don't want to pay another 4 years. Time to move on!

  • NiceNSmooth Nov 6, 4:21 p.m.

    LOL...a victory party in Massachusetts in a state that will not vote for him?

    I guess they know him best.

    lol... agreed!!! Only people attending the party in Massachusetts will be the media

  • Minarchist Nov 6, 4:04 p.m.

    Obama is up 17 points in Massechusetts. Why is the party there for Romney? LOL per vinylcarwraps23

    ------------------

    The Obama's have purchased a home in Hawaii and that is were he plans on building "his" presidential library...so why not have his party in Hawaii?
    affirmativediversity
    November 6, 2012 3:03 p.m.

    I dont care if Obama has his speech in Kenya. I didnt vote for either of those Goldmann Sachs funded "candidates".

  • affirmativediversity Nov 6, 3:03 p.m.

    Obama is up 17 points in Massechusetts. Why is the party there for Romney? LOL per vinylcarwraps23

    ------------------

    The Obama's have purchased a home in Hawaii and that is were he plans on building "his" presidential library...so why not have his party in Hawaii?

  • affirmativediversity Nov 6, 3:01 p.m.

    "There's a hope and a sense that he's going to squeak through. That's my prayer as well," Boone said. (a Obama supporter)

    ----------------

    How absolutely pathetic...they are "hoping" Obama will "squeak through"..."squeak through"...after 4 years as President and they are hoping he'll "squeak through"

    Its not quite as bad as the "Oh there was a major storm that left millions without power for days and destroyed thousand of families' home BUT hey President Obama got to "play at being Presidential" so you should vote for him"...

    If he has to "squeak through" on the misery and suffering of Americans what does that truly say about him?

  • ICTrue Nov 6, 2:57 p.m.

    "Its hard to imagine either one of these guys giving the other a concession speech and accepting defeat. I foresee one side being EXTREMELY upset if "their guy" does not win ..... "

    I thought that was Obama's concession speach when he was crying last night and couldn't even fill half of an area with Bruce Springstein and Jay-Z there.

  • ICTrue Nov 6, 2:52 p.m.

    The Chicago riots are going to be awesome.

  • Minarchist Nov 6, 2:29 p.m.

    Obama is up 17 points in Massechusetts. Why is the party there for Romney? LOL

  • Crumps Br0ther Nov 6, 2:21 p.m.

    Its hard to imagine either one of these guys giving the other a concession speech and accepting defeat. I foresee one side being EXTREMELY upset if "their guy" does not win .....
    PanthersFan45

    You mean like all the threats of rioting those classy dems have been making for 2 weeks? I havent heard a right winder threatedn violence if Romney loses. The people who have put all their faith in the failure Barry Hussein are becoming unhinged, and will get even worse when their precious entitlement programs they voted for start to run out of money. You cannot depend on government for anything Katrina and Sandy have shown the ones that pay attention that very fact.

  • JustAName Nov 6, 12:22 p.m.

    I guess everywhere else should prepare for riots.

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