CHICAGO-Watching giant projector screens playing CNN’s election coverage, the enormous crowd gathered for Senator Barack Obama’s rally in Grant Park cheered each time anchor Wolf Blitzer projected a win for Obama. Pennsylvania. North Carolina. Rhode Island. Michigan. Minnesota. New York.
“It’s going to be great to see an African-American man become president in my lifetime,” says Doris Goins, 41, sporting a Barack Obama button and baseball cap. Many of the attendees here share the belief that Obama will win the election. “He can’t fail,” says Linda Brown, 55, excitedly. “He’s got it!”
Although the grassy field is cramped and there are no seats available to the public, smiles are plastered across the faces of most. “As long as he keeps winning, I’m going to have fun,” jokes Bobby Mahone, 48, who was also struck by the crowd’s diversity. “I’m seeing so many different nationalities out here, all united for Obama. I didn’t expect to see this. It just shows his ability to bring everybody together.” Though his wife, Brenda Mahone, 43, also says she believes that Obama’s message brings about racial unity, she adds, “And we want to see another color in the White House.”
Ida White, 64, says she believes that Obama represents the change that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke about in his “I Have a Dream” speech: “When King had a dream in Washington, I was in the field chopping cotton,” said White, who grew up on a farm in Mississippi. “My mama let us watch it on television. But this night I will not miss [witnessing in person].” When I ask her how she will react if he wins tonight, she shakes her head. “I just don’t know what I’m going to do.”
Bobby Mahone, likewise, wasn’t sure how he would react, saying only, “All I know is that it will be something to remember for a long time.”
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