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Breaking: Exhaustion at Obama’s Grant Park Event

CHICAGO, Ill. — Unlike energized Sen. Barack Obama supporters and volunteers, many campaign professionals here are openly exhausted.

Traveling aides told me they’re just happy that their two-year national tour is over. Several reporters sheepishly said that no matter what happens, they just hope this race is called early tonight. One person is circulating an “off the record” election night pool for press people who want to play the odds, but few seem psyched to play. No one is listening to the CNN pundits droning on the big screens here. In fact, I’m most struck by the general blase attitude in the cavernous white tent the Obama campaign built for its high-tech, high-priced “press file.” Writers and bloggers without $900 to spare are stuck on a set of bleachers outside, sans power or heat.

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Picture-12-300x253.png

Organizers work in Missouri today. The Obama campaign has been uploading pictures of its GOTV operation in real time. (Credit: Obama Flickr.)

Now, maybe I’d like to augment this post with the contrast of excited supporters filling the fields here, but first, most people have not arrived, and second, we can’t really get close to most of the audience areas.

Earlier today, however, I visited a local field office packed with volunteers making calls to Ohio and Pennsylvania — and there was zero exhaustion there. People were pumped, reading off their calling scripts, posing for pictures in front of homemade Obama signs, and trading excited plans for election night. I can’t see them here at Grant Park, but I know they’ll be here tonight.

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