Monday, November 17, 2008


Mike and I have purchased a puppy and are SUPER geeked about it. The breeder is shipping her to Evansville the Friday of Thanksgiving. Yay, puppy!!
Her name is Milly, and she'll be 13 weeks when we get her. She is a beagle!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


An email from a friend, Kyle, who was on the Obama speechwriting team:

Hey guys -

Thanks to all of you for your texts/emails. I'm really not sure what to say except that last night was an experience that I will remember for the rest of my life. Right now I'm beyond exhausted, and this entire office is hung over, but the last 24 hours have been incredible.

We all watched the results come in from the press area here at headquarters. Personally, I felt like I was going to throw up waiting for the networks to call VA/PA/OH, but whenever one state came in, the whole place would break out in cheers. Spike Lee was watching the returns with us, and he stood up and took a bow when they called New York for Obama (he had voted in Brooklyn that morning). It's a testament to how surreal this campaign has been that this didn't seem weird at all.

Earlier in the day, I had used my staff pass to go down and take a look at the rally site in the daylight (and before the whole city of Chicago descended on it). I just kept flashing my badge until I was right up next to the podium. It really felt like I was in the middle of a war zone - helicopters overhead, batallions of police and secret service, bomb-sniffing dogs, bullet-proof glass, miles of police barracades and lots and lots of guns. Even though the gates wouldn't be opening for another 5 hours and Obama wouldn't be speaking for 9, there were already thousands of people lined up outside the gates, and the street vendors were making a killing with Obama paraphenalia.

Back at Headquarters, I decided to wait with the communications staff until it was pretty clear the race was in hand. The speechwriting team had two speeches ready to go - a victory and a concession. At the end of the victory speech was a story about a 106-year old woman named Ann Nixon Cooper - the daughter of a former slave who lived long enough to vote for an African American for President. Once the networks had called Ohio, and it was clear we would be hearing the victory speech, my boss, Jon Favreau, called Mrs. Cooper at home and told her to watch the speech. It was one of the most memorable moments of a very memorable campaign. She was still awake (pretty surprising in itself) and said she was very excited. She asked which channel the speech would be on, and Favreau told her it would be on every channel.

At that point, I walked down to the rally. Again, we went through about 15 layers of security before being ushered into the fenced-in grassy area right in front of the podium - looking out on a sea of 125,000 screaming, crying, flag-waving people. I have never seen anything like it in my life, and the view gave me goosebumps that lasted all night. Oprah was in the house, and we got word that Brad Pitt had just come through the metal detectors - prompting the girls I was with to go on an unsuccessful 'Pitt-hunt.' CNN was being broadcast on huge screens, and when they projected that Obama would be the next President, the crowd erupted - and didn't really stop erupting until he walked onto the stage.

I watched the speech about 40 ft. from Obama. It made me feel really, really small knowing that the scene I was looking at was being watched by the entire world from Alabama to Australia. After the speech was over, we caught up with the staff and walked back uptown in the middle of Michigan Avenue. Probably the last time I'll ever do that without inviting certain death.

This morning, Barack did a conference call with all the staff to sort of wrap this thing up. He thanked everyone - especially our campaign manager David Plouffe, who flew back to DC at 7am this morning because his wife is having a baby girl. He said that there aren't too many opportunities in life to make the world a little more hopeful place, and that's what this campaign has done.

As for me, it's time to pack up and head home. My future is up in the air - the speechwriters are fantastic, and I'd love to keep working with them in some capacity. But the transition is just beginning, and nobody knows much about anything. So I'll head back to VA and wait for the call, but no matter what happens, it's been a wild ride.Hope to see all of you soon.