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November 04, 2008

A Family Affair

By Allie Sakowicz

Obama won Ohio and this place went crazy! Ohio is probably THE most important swing state. If you don't count Florida and Pennsylvania. With a win already declared in Pennsylvania, the excitement at the Obama party in Chicago is building.

Security has increased tremendously in the last 10 minutes. We’ve seen about 4 helicopters overhead. Police are everywhere. It’s really tightening up. I’ve seen a few celebrities here: Kenny Mayne with ESPN and hosts a segment on Dancing With the Stars and Tom Joyner, a very popular African-American talk radio host.

I’ve been noticing more and more that this is becoming a family affair. Parents are bringing their kids to see what it’s like. I talked to a family with two kids ages 9 and 12.

Alex, 9, and Felicity Rich-Michael, 12, are from Oak Park,  Illinois. They talked about how they have been following the election online and in their classrooms. I was really impressed with how much they knew about Senator Obama’s policies. They thought education was really important and felt Obama would do a really good job of improving education.

They are excited to see Obama tonight in person after seeing him for so many months on TV. Also, because they have studied so much about this election, they said it was really cool to be here tonight in person.

Iris English, a medical biller from Chicago told me, “the ticket to this event will go with me into my grave.” She’s been waiting here since about 1 p.m. so she could get in early. She was overjoyed and jumping up and down she was so happy.

Tanya Davis,  a receptionist from Chicago, is also here with her family. “It means so much to me as an American and African America to see Senator Obama this close to the White House.," she said.

They are testing the microphones on stage to get ready right now. The whole set is a bunch of American flags in the background with a blue backdrop and a big podium. Obama is expected to speak at about 11 p.m. Central Time (midnight Eastern Time).

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