Obama’s victory party | The scene
From the floor of McCormick Place, the second time around seemed just as sweet.
Tuesday, November 6, 10:14pm It wasn’t supposed to feel like the first time. The reelection of the first African-American President of the United States wouldn’t have the same history-making spark as the election of the nation’s first black commander-in-chief. Obama’s election-night party venue—Lakeside Center at McCormick Place, essentially a cement-paved airplane hangar—was less hospitable than Grant Park. The event—an affair limited to invited campaign workers, volunteers and the media hordes—was far less inclusive than the festival atmosphere of ’08. But from the floor of the convention center, it appeared no one told the 10,000 supporters who showed up in spectacularly sequined Obama apparel that they were expected to be less excited. This time around, their man was running not just on hopes of change but on his hard-earned record. The Obamans roared each time a state went blue. And when the President clinched victory, at least one older woman fainted. The rest waved little U.S. flags en masse and sang along as a DJ blasted Shalamar’s hit about sweet repeats: “The second time is so much better, baby.”