The Washington Times - November 4, 2008, 10:09PM

CHICAGO Thousands and thousands of people are still streaming in here in anticipation of what will be a victory celebration for Sen. Barack Obama.



The stage setup for Obama is fascinating - there are two walls of what appear to be bulletproof glass on either side of the podium, and a row of American flags lined up behind him.



Earlier tonight that field was empty, presumably to be filled with top staffers and supporters, along with local volunteers. The massive crowd is pretty far from the stage, and will frame his profile in the images take from the cut riser seen in this photo.


Obama fans literally ran to get in position when the gates first opened at 6:20 p.m.


Most people were happy and friendly, but there definitely has been some short tempers. As I worked my way into the crowd, the supporters were pretty frustrated, saying they couldn’t breathe since they were packed in like sardines and most could not come close to even seeing the stage.


The candidate probably won’t take the stage for hours - the networks have not yet called the race with polls still open in the West, but unless Sen. John McCain pulls out a California upset there is no path left for him to win the presidency.


Check out our electoral map for updates here.


The crowd knows it - roaring at the Jumbotron as each result is projected via CNN. The loudest cheers so far were when the network called Ohio for Obama.


The mood here is ecstatic, a big contrast to what’s happening in Arizona right now.


Earlier the weather was perfect but as the breeze came off Lake Michigan the temperature has dropped considerably.


Christina Bellantoni, national political reporter,
The Washington Times


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